Training provided to Yakima Chief Hops through Job Skills Program

Yakima Valley College is excited to announce that the Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) recently approved a Job Skills Program (JSP) grant to help continue to improve employee skills in our community. The grant is awarded for Yakima Chief Hops, Inc. ($129,435) and will work to provide necessary training to employees. Over the next several months, YVC leadership classes and industry-specific training will be provided to about 375 workers in the Yakima Valley.

Yakima Chief Hops (YCH) reached out to YVC and the SBCTC about starting a program to help improve their employees’ skills.

“At YCH, we believe the most creative solutions emerge in an environment where diverse voices are heard, all ideas are considered, bold thinking is valued and people can grow into their fullest potential. This approach is a facet of ‘the YCH Way’ that reflects our commitment to engaging people in ways that help them thrive and innovate,” said Lisa Garcia, chief people officer.

Garcia shared how the company and work environment are constantly evolving to maximize the employee experience and performance. It’s this investment in employee well-being and education that made them interested in partnering with YVC.

“As a local manufacturing organization who invests in their team and its surrounding communities, we are thrilled to be awarded the JSP grant,” said Garcia. “Through this partnership, Yakima Chief Hops is also proud to offer its first annual women’s leadership program created to build the confidence and competence of our female workforce. We are committed to help our women find their voice in our organization. We are committed to making positive changes at YCH; to increase our diversity and empower our women to develop into leadership roles within our company.”

The training dollars will be used to implement workforce development strategies supported by evidence, including industry-driven curriculum, and work-based learning.

The training is made possible by a JSP Grant from the SBCTC. The JSP provides funding to licensed educational institutions in Washington and provides half of the training cost; partner employers provide a cash or in-kind match to fund the other half. Funds are awarded on a first-approved, rolling basis throughout the fiscal year. Training topics include leadership, teambuilding, coaching, conflict resolution, and diversity, equity and inclusion training.

For more information about YVC’s WorkFirst programs visit:

Press Release Contacts:
Dustin Wunderlich / 509.574.6870 /
Stefanie Menard / 509.574.4646 /