Bee Sweet Citrus Welcomes Millennials in its Workforce
- by Kayla Webb
FOWLER, CA - Whether you love them immensely because you have a few in your social and family circles or can barely tolerate their tech savvy tomfoolery (I can say this; I’m a millennial), the millennial generation is out in full force in the job market and Bee Sweet Citrus is celebrating the skills that they bring.
“As of right now, millennials make up approximately 20 percent of Bee Sweet’s labor force,” said Monique Bienvenue, Director of Communications. “Several of them now hold upper management positions after pursuing an internship or a part-time job with the company.”
One of these employees that Bienvenue speaks of is Chelsey Skooglund, a member of the Marderosian family and of Bee Sweet’s upper management team. Skooglund noted, as a millennial herself, that her generation is often more adept to working with new technology—something Bee Sweet has benefitted from in the past decade. Specifically, the company realized many of its technological advancements, including its state-of-the-art packing equipment like its brand-new lemon line that uses an automatic palletization system, have occurred in the last ten years.
“Millennials like to take on work that means something to them: purpose over paycheck,” Skooglund said. “Here at Bee Sweet, millennials find great purpose in what they do, and will act as a driving force behind the company’s future growth.”
In order to create a good relationship between itself and millennials and future generations, especially those seeking careers in industrial technology, crop production, mechanical engineering, and business management, Bee Sweet has strengthened its ties with California State University Fresno, California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, and more. One Fresno State Agriculture Business graduate, Salvador Calderon, interned for Bee Sweet and found that his knowledge regarding the demand for California-grown citrus pulled back the curtain on the vast career opportunities available in our industry.
“There’s no doubt that the accessibility millennials have to technology will help pave the way for prolonged success in agriculture. Not only do we have the opportunity to grow professionally by learning from experienced management, we can also utilize our technical skills on equipment that is meant to bolster the efficiency of production,” said Calderon, who joined Bee Sweet’s shipping management team full-time after completing his internship.
In a recent company press release, Bee Sweet cited Pew Research, which reported more than one in three American labor force participants are millennials—which includes those currently between the ages of 22-36—making them the largest generation in the U.S. labor force, with agriculture being no exception. And, according to Forbes, millennials are enthusiastic about collaboration amongst coworkers and value flexibility and feedback, which has, as a result, shifted traditional leadership styles amongst management teams.
Skooglund added, “Bee Sweet believes that employees should be shown appreciation in ways that align with their strengths and encourage productivity. Millennials tend to be more understanding of this concept and find it easy to implement in the workplace.”
For more on how our industry is changing with the bright minds of our collective industry members, keep reading AndNowUKnow.