SRJC receives farmworker grant

Santa Rosa Junior College has received a $2.3 million federal grant for its program that helps farmworker children complete their high school equivalency (HEP) degree and be able to go to college.

Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, made the announcement Aug. 3, noting that the program “opens the door of opportunity and allows students to achieve goals they may not have considered.”

Children who are 16 years of age or older and are not enrolled in high school are eligible to participate in the program.

The students receive instruction and tutoring in either English or Spanish to prepare for the exam and also support services for them to go to college or the military.

“We’re so grateful to receive this grant, which will help so many future students who have faced great challenges. The HEP grant is truly transformational, supporting education for migrant farmworkers and their children so that they can achieve a better life. We greatly appreciate Congressman Mike Thompson’s support,” said Frank Chong, Santa Rosa Junior College president, in a statement.

State legislators to discuss wine in Napa

State lawmakers will convene in Napa on Aug. 16 to discuss issues affecting the wine industry.

State Sens. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, and Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, co-chairmen of the Senate Select Committee on California’s Wine Industry, and Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, D-Winters, chairwoman of the Assembly Select Committee on Wine, will hear from a panel of industry leaders, local government representatives and nonprofit officials.

They will discuss topics that include sustainability, fish-friendly farming practices and farmworker housing.

The hearing will be from 2 to 4 p.m. at Napa Valley College’s McPherson Building, in room 2277.

Trinchero switches to renewable energy

St. Helena’s Trinchero Family Estates, the nation’s fourth largest winery, is now receiving all of its energy from renewable power sources.

The company partnered with MCE, a nonprofit electricity provider based in San Rafael, to convert its 28 facilities and vineyards in the Napa Valley to 100 percent green energy.

“Trinchero Family Estates is proud to be an early adopter for larger wineries in transitioning to clean energy. Our investment supports our sustainability objectives and our commitment to contribute to the community and work productively with our neighbors toward a shared future,” said Bob Torkelson, Trinchero president, in a statement.

The switch from carbon-based power will reduce more than 1,200 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, which equals the carbon sequestered of more than 1,175 acres of U.S. forests on an annual basis.

Compiled by Bill Swindell. Submit items to bill. swindell@pressdemocrat.com.