Funding for Innovative Strategies

School districts trust CTE Foundation to bring credible, responsive and timely resources in support of high-quality career-connected learning initiatives.

Funding for Innovative strategies

Competitive Grant Program

CTE Foundation is the only source of local funding that allows schools to experiment with new strategies that connect students to meaningful careers in Sonoma County. Thanks to significant support from individuals, businesses, foundations and public entities, CTE Foundation’s Competitive Grant Program helps schools better prepare students for “what’s next” by investing in career technical education (CTE) strategies and pathways aligned to high-opportunity careers and local workforce demand.

For the 2019-2020 school year, we awarded funding for seven new or enhanced CTE classes that develop essential skills such as communication, critical thinking and collaboration and introduce students to technical skills and career paths in industries such as construction, agriculture and advanced manufacturing.

Rancho Cotate High School Shop Teacher Cole Smith & his students talk about the importance of CTE

"My CTE classes helped me visualize my future. And for other people who aren't going to college, they provide a pathway other than college and help them get a career afterwards, or spark their interest in something that they might want to do with their life."
Rancho Cotate High School Alumna


invested in local schools for the 2019-2020 school year

Funding for Innovative strategies

Distance Learning Grants

The 2019-2020 school year is indelibly marked with the global pandemic which forced students to complete the school year from home. With little or no infrastructure for distance learning in place, educators did their best to develop online curriculum that succeeded in keeping some kids engaged while many others fell through the cracks. 

In response to urgent needs for support articulated by students and teachers, we awarded more than $50,000 in rapid-response mini-grants to put important hands-on learning tools and supplies into the hands of students learning at home. Teachers were provided flexibility in customizing and purchasing materials to align best with their class curriculum goals.

Teachers share the impact that distance learning grants had on their students

Cloverdale High School Teacher Christi Calson

El Molino High School Teacher Mary Beth Smith

Teachers share the impact that distance learning grants had on their students

Cloverdale High School Teacher Christi Calson

El Molino High School Teacher Mary Beth Smith


students benefited from career-connected learning in funded classes

"The CTE Foundation has vastly improved the curriculum and career exploration opportunities we offer.  The grants have allowed us to expand our course offerings to include Advanced Agriscience and Ag Mechanics courses, engineering courses and more.  These investments have allowed us to expose students to different career possibilities through field trips, job shadows and guest speakers."
Wendy Swanson
Work-based learning coordinator, Sonoma Valley High School

Funding for Innovative strategies

Innovate Ag Fellowships

To increase student awareness of the many and diverse high-skill careers available in agriculture and to build a workforce pipeline for Sonoma County’s agriculture industry, CTE Foundation partnered with the Sonoma County Fair Foundation and Sonoma County Office of Education to create the Innovate Ag Education Fellowship.

Throughout the school year, Innovate Ag Education Fellows engaged in research and connected with employers to develop new curriculum that presents a localized view of challenges and opportunities facing Sonoma County’s agriculture industry. The result? Three new integrated courses launching in Fall 2021 that meet college prep requirements as well as California Department of Education standards for Agriculture-Natural Sciences or Engineering CTE Pathways.