College and Career Readiness
Building Relevance Through Industry and Community Connections
Quality CTE programs need strong industry support to engage students in authentic and relevant learning. SCOE staff are available to work with schools and districts to connect with local industry partners. An existing structure of industry advisory committees, jointly coordinated by SRJC and SCOE, is one avenue for connecting with industry. SCOE can also help schools provide opportunities for students to earn industry certifications and ensure that their CTE programs are aligned with current economic and workforce trends.
SCOE has connections with over 200 businesses and organizations that provide work-based learning experiences. Staff are available to work with schools that want to add or expand the work-based learning opportunities they offer students through their CTE programs.
Work-Based Learning Overview
Economic & Workforce Development Groups
CTE programs in Sonoma County schools are a key element of our county’s economic and workforce development efforts. According the Sonoma County Board of Supervisor’s Economic Development Plan, ensuring that the county builds a quality workforce for the future is essential to economic success. SCOE works closely with local economic and workforce development organizations to support CTE programs that are aligned with the county’s goals. Partnerships have been developed with the following agencies.
North Coast Builders Exchange
Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce
Sonoma County Alliance
Sonoma County BEST
Sonoma County Economic Development Board
Sonoma County Innovation Council
Sonoma County Lodging Association
Sonoma County Workforce Investment Board
Sonoma County Strategic Economic Plan
Developed in 2009 by the Sonoma County Innovation Council, this ten-year plan specifically focuses on three areas: the future viability of a qualified workforce, possible future shortages of natural resources, and measures needed to help assure a strong economic climate in the future. SCOE participated in the development of the plan, which provides ongoing guidance for economic and workforce development in Sonoma County and is a resource for schools working to align their CTE programs to local goals.
SCOE has also joined in public-private partnerships with organizations that share the goal of ensuring a promising future for young people. As a result of these partnerships, educators are engaging with industry and community leaders as they work together to improve educational opportunities for youth and ensure economic prosperity for the future. Key partnerships include:
Private Funding for CTE
Sonoma County CTE Fund has been established at Community Foundation Sonoma County to support local CTE programs. This fund supports programs that are aligned with the region’s economic development needs. It secures and grants funding to explore innovative CTE structures, models, and strategies that prepare students for the 21st century. Resources are directed toward results-oriented programs that develop new pathways for challenging programs of study, leading to post-secondary and career success for students.
Established in 2012, the CTE Fund raised over $1,000,000 in its first two years of operation. It has awarded grants to support Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs in five Sonoma County high schools. The video below highlights the impact of those programs.
- Jessica Progulske, Coordinator, Work-Based Learning
- Chuck Wade, CTE Program Coordinator
- Sarah Wilmarth, NCCPA Regional Program Assistant