Sonoma Corps

"Gap year" work-readiness program

Launched as a pilot initiative in 2019, Sonoma Corps is a two-year college and career readiness program providing employability skill-building and one-on-one coaching for underserved and under-resourced high school students. The program is designed to help students build a foundation for a successful future through immersive career exploration and development opportunities in addition to paid work experience and scholarships for use in postsecondary education, inclusive of college, trade school or apprenticeship programs. 

Research indicates that this model improves a student’s ability to persist through college to obtain a degree and boosts employment outcomes, particularly for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. For many of our students, participation in this program represents an opportunity to break a cycle of generational poverty and create a financially secure future for themselves and their families.

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Sonoma Corps was designed in partnership with Keysight Technologies, E&J Gallo, Straus Family Creamery, Labcon, Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART), Sonoma County Fleet Services, Sonoma County Economic Development Board, Sonoma County Office of Education, Sonoma State University, Santa Rosa Junior College and Santa Rosa City Schools. 

CTE Foundation launches the second cohort of Sonoma Corps at Piner High School in Fall 2021 and is exploring opportunities to expand to other program sites beginning Fall 2022.