Innovating the education-to-career experience to strengthen economic development and student success
We do this by expanding and enhancing career technical education programs throughout the county to align with the economic and workforce development needs of local employers and industries. Our work is guided by a vision that all Sonoma County students have rewarding careers that strengthen their lives, our community and the economy.
What is Career Technical Education?
Career Technical Education, also referred to as CTE, is a multi-year sequence of courses that integrates core academic knowledge with technical and occupational knowledge to provide students with a pathway to post-secondary education and careers. CTE programs deliver an enriched educational experience that promotes student interest and academic success while developing technical and career readiness skills necessary for the workplace of the future. Graduates of today’s rigorous and relevant CTE programs are better prepared for high-wage, high-skill and high demand careers.
CTE integrates core curriculum with hands-on, industry-related project work and skill-building exercises to connect the classroom to the real world.
CTE fosters an environment to learn and practice skills needed in life and work, such as collaboration, communication and initiative, as well as technical skills related to specific careers.
CTE creates opportunities to observe the “real world” by linking students with industry partners through job shadowing, tours, industry-mentored projects and internships.
CTE better prepares students for life after high school, ensuring higher levels of success in their pursuit of post-secondary degrees, certifications and training.
Sonoma County students have rewarding careers that strengthen their lives, our community and the economy.
Equity, Empowerment, Engagement, Experience, Entrepreneurism
Established in 2012 by private donors who formed a committee advised fund at the Community Foundation of Sonoma County, the Committee sought to expand and enhance career technical training and work readiness for Sonoma County students. With an initial focus to align education with the workforce and economic development needs of the County, and they quickly gained the financial support of the John Jordan Foundation and the County of Sonoma Board of Supervisors.
In 2013, representatives from local government, business, industry and education formed a steering committee to guide the fund’s growth and mission delivery. They determined that funding priority would go to establishing CTE programs that align with Sonoma County’s five key industry drivers as identified by the Economic Development Board: Advanced Manufacturing (including STEM); Construction/Green Services; Health Care; Agriculture; and Sonoma Specialties (Wine/Hospitality/Tourism).
In 2014, the fund became an independent 501(c)3 and named Career Technical Education Foundation Sonoma County. Since its formation, CTE Foundation has generated tremendous support from leaders in industry, government, education and the community. Today CTE Foundation continues to focus on the founders’ original intent by engaging with diverse community partners who share our mission to support innovative, relevant education and workforce development strategies. Thanks to these partners and investors, thousands of North Bay high school students have benefitted from CTE Foundation investments encompassing the full range of career pathways that are in high demand in our region.
Read more about our investments and impact.