College of Business

Greater Vision 2016

The Future of Labor: The Impact of Technology on Employment and Community Life in Salinas Valley

President Eduardo Ochoa with panelists.
(L to R) Cesar Lara, Michael Christensen, Julien Laffont, and Eduardo Ochoa

Agricultural production in the Salinas Valley and its environs directly added 11,374 jobs in the last four years, reaching a direct farm employment figure of 53,702 in Monterey County. This impressive growth in employment (and corresponding output) is positioning the Salinas Valley at the forefront of high-tech agriculture in the U.S.

Greater Vision 2016 focused on the impact of technology and the practical issues and dilemmas that the Salinas Valley and the Monterey Bay region face as precision agriculture, robotics, and the Internet of Things (IOT) increasingly become ubiquitous.

The discussion centered on the many forms of artificial intelligence (AI) being integrated into Salinas Valley agriculture industry, and the challenges facing the future of agricultural labor.

Panelists included Salinas City Manager Ray Corpuz, RAMCO Enterprises General Manager Julio Sanchez, Monterey Bay Central Labor Council Executive Director Cesar Lara, Driscoll’s Director of Forecasting Michael Christensen, and Naio Technologies International Business Developer Julien Laffont.

The panel addressed how developments in precision agriculture, software, robotics, bio-engineering, and IOT will impact employment. Will farmers and agricultural workers in the Salinas Valley face the prospect of permanent elimination from the economic process? Managing the negative effects on the workforce, while reaping the benefits of technological advances, will require ongoing collaboration with all stakeholders.

The Grower Shipper Association Foundation and the College of Business at CSUMB partnered to present this public event to foster an informed dialogue among students, faculty, community members, and policy makers on critical and transformational issues in the region.