A message from Community WISE program manager Leslie Simmons
I don’t have a background in STEM. In fact, when I was in high school, I thought an engineer was someone who wore blue pinstripes and worked on the railroad. Why, I wondered, did my peers have to go to Cal Poly for this career pursuit?
The last math class I took was more than 20 years ago as a freshman in college. Even worse? I received a C in what was probably one of two science classes I took at the university: female physiology.
So yes, I received a liberal arts degree and today earn a living in marketing and communications.
In spite of my early challenges with science and math – or perhaps because of them – I am a STEMinist today.
The vision of Community WISE is to build resources and lead change so that every woman and girl achieves her full STEM potential. I wonder what my relationship to math and science would have been had I been aware of the many and varied STEM careers available to me? What other work might I be doing today had I received guidance and mentorship that gave me confidence in my STEM abilities?
Now that I am a mom to a curious child exploring their future pathways, I believe it is more important than ever to open doorways and provide resources that help every young person envision their future and realize their potential. Not every girl will want to pursue STEM, but we MUST provide meaningful and equitable opportunities to explore their options in these fields. Let’s give girls the chance to make an informed decision about their STEM potential by building their knowledge and confidence, versus choosing a default path away from STEM due to lack of support.
We seek to build a vibrant network of people, investments and initiatives connecting women and girls to enrichment opportunities for STEM education and careers. So let’s start with people. Whether you have a PhD in astrophysics or you’re a stay-at-home mom (or dad!), I need you in our network.
By working together, we can ensure girls are provided opportunities to engage in STEM exploration that opens their eyes and lights up their minds to a myriad of possibilities. And if you believe this work is as important as I do, I hope you will spread the word and share our mission with others, because diversity and gender parity in the STEM workforce are crucial to scientific advancement and economic growth.
One way I’m hoping you’ll engage in 2021 is through our new virtual speaker series, STEMspiration. We launch on January 21 with Carmen Medina who worked for 32 years at the CIA. We chose her not for her STEM background, but because she is a self-proclaimed rebel and successful change agent in what is probably one of the most rigid institutions in the world.
Let’s get inspired by Carmen’s example and become change agents in the world of STEM. Invite friends to our series. Invite daughters, nieces, moms, dads, teachers. Let’s build and lead change together through a vibrant network in pursuit of every girl reaching her full STEM potential.
P.S. There are other ways to engage with us – contact me anytime to learn more!
Message from Kathy Goodacre, CEO
As 2020 ends, I cannot help but reflect. It’s an annual tradition to look back on accomplishments and set our sights on new goals for the coming year. In considering milestones today, I began by looking back at our January 30 newsletter – released just 10 days after the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the United States. So much has changed for us all!
All I can say is: what a year!
Yes, we all had many challenges. But we also had some big successes.
We expanded our partnership with YouthTruth Student Survey, which illustrated how our county’s students are affected more deeply than their out-of-county peers by the impacts of distance learning coupled with catastrophic fires experienced over the past several years. The results are so powerful and rich that it is not only informing the crucial need for the kind of engagement and hands-on learning that career technical education provides, but is guiding community-wide discussions and decision-making in areas such as housing, health, family and mental support services.
We joined others by standing behind: Black lives matter.And we started on a path to address systemic racism by making meaningful change through understanding and education; in both ourselves and our organization by engaging in honest conversations about race and unconscious bias. We commit in 2021 to continue engaging our staff and board as we strive for greater diversity, equity and inclusion in all layers of our work.
We had so much fun with our first Virtual Girls Tinker Academy. For two weeks last summer, 27 girls explored STEM concepts at home through guided hands-on activities and challenges where they were able to connect, get inspired and build confidence in science and engineering.
We zoomed, zoomed and zoomed some more. The important work we do to support students did not and cannot stop, and CTE Foundation staff have been working productively from home since March. On the bright side, we now have dozens of career exploration interviews and virtual activities such as tours and live panels on our website. And students are engaging, with over 2,400 views since the summer.
We shared our impact. We released our first annual impact report (2018-2019) which illustrates how our investment model is working and our approach to aligning education with workforce development is leading to transformational learning.
We invested quickly and wisely. In response to teachers telling us what they most needed most, we launched a distance learning grant program to get materials to students in maker, engineering and construction courses. The grant program was further expanded this fall, opening up to include other CTE programs aligned with key local economic sectors and workforce development needs. To date, nearly $40,000 has been granted to 18 local teachers benefitting 1,500 high school students.
Given the accomplishments of 2020, I cannot help but be extremely proud of the innovation and resilience of my staff to meet the needs of students and teachers through a crisis that we never could have predicted. I am grateful for our board and community partners who have cheered us along the way. And I am awed by the empathy, creativity and dedication of our educators persevering through so much that has been unknown, unpredictable and uncertain.
I’ll share more next month about what I’m looking forward to in 2021. For now, please enjoy a safe holiday season with your family. Thank you for your continued interest and engagement in our mission.
Message from Brandon Jewell | Director of Industry Engagement
“When life gives you lemons, learn to juggle!”
When the shelter-in-place order hit last spring, I admit it was difficult for me to understand how best to do my job, which is to connect teachers and their students to local employers to help young people explore and prepare for career opportunities here in Sonoma County. This is a crucial part of CTE curriculum because it helps students understand the real-world relevance to both the academic and hands-on learning they’re doing in class.
As April 1 rolled around, it was clear that school-community engagement was going to look different than ever before. But CTE Foundation was committed to finding a way to spark students’ interest through engaging opportunities.
I began by recording one-on-one interviews with local employers to help students explore careers from home. These were a hit for students and teachers, but we at CTE Foundation wanted to do more to actively engage students and allow them to interact with employers.
Over the summer, we conceptualized a year’s worth of virtual activities with a focus on local career opportunities. In October, we partnered with the Sonoma County Economic Development Board, Sonoma County Office of Education and local employers to design five live activities including virtual facility tours, manufacturing demonstrations and panel discussions.
There is no substitute for in-person learning, but we’ve discovered that virtual activities allow us to impact more students per activity than we ever could in person. Instead of a single class with 25 students, hundreds of students can engage with one activity! These virtual experiences provide an opportunity to be live and interactive, but recordings are available on YouTube, allowing students to learn on their own time.
Thanks to partnerships with local employers, these activities are made for and by local people, connecting students to career opportunities in Sonoma County and providing an important distinction between any other videos or learning activities found online.
November is Construction Month and we’ve partnered with the North Coast Builders Exchange to bring more live virtual activities to students. We look forward to bringing teachers and students a full school year of live and interactive virtual activities that offer the unique opportunity to connect with and learn from local employers.
We’d love you to get involved. Reach out to me to learn how you can support these virtual activities. To see all of the past and future activities, visit www.CTESonomaCounty.org/VirtualCCL.
–Brandon Jewell, Director of Industry Engagement, CTE Foundation
Industry partners in construction and engineering have been sharing their educational and career pathways with students through interviews, virtual tours and panels.
Check out all the virtual activities available here.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Santa Rosa, California (April 23, 2020) – With education as we know it flipped upside down, Career Technical Education (CTE) Foundation is pivoting to address the challenges that the shelter-in-place order has created for learning. Following extensive conversations with partners and funded programs, CTE Foundation is implementing three initiatives to support students and educators during home-based remote learning.
- Maker Kit Grant Program: It is well documented that instructors are struggling with the unexpected shift to teaching students from their homes, but CTE teachers have a particularly tough challenge due to the “real-world,” hands-on approach that the career technical education model delivers. Through surveys of high school CTE teachers and work-based learning coordinators in Sonoma County, CTE Foundation has identified that teachers are struggling to get materials to their students to support maker, engineering, construction and design curriculum. To address the need, CTE Foundation is offering grants for currently funded CTE courses to provide custom supply kits that support teachers’ instructional plans and allow for quality hands-on activities and learning from home.
- Multi-disciplinary Project Teams: CTE Foundation is partnering with Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE) to support three high school interdisciplinary teams between now and the end of school year to create innovative remote learning experiences for students. Teacher teams at Healdsburg, Windsor and Rancho Cotate High Schools will collaborate to create projects that address material in each respective subject area and work with students and industry mentors to solve authentic community problems. “Mandatory remote learning in our schools poses significant challenges,” says Chuck Wade, program coordinator at SCOE. “But it also removes some traditional barriers – like bell schedules – to allow for true multi-disciplinary project development. We’re seeing this as an opportunity to support innovative and relevant learning for our students during the Covid-19 lockdown and I think it will carry beyond this crisis.”
Girls Tinker Academy Going Virtual: This two-week summer academy for middle school girls that introduces Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) concepts through maker activities is currently being redesigned to go virtual. Sonoma State University Assistant Professor Natalie Hobson, who designed and has led the Girls Tinker Academy for the past two years, is researching best practices and assembling materials to support girls’ hands-on exploring at home. “It’s not a time to be canceling programs like this. Girls need support more than ever to pursue STEM education and career pathways,” says Natalie. “By reimagining this program amidst this crisis, we can keep them engaged and connected to their peers and to learning.”
Funding to support these new initiatives is provided in part from a $15,000 grant from Sonoma County Vintners Foundation. The Vintners Foundation announced the awards last month and informed recipients they would be allowed to “repurpose” their funding as needed to address urgent issues related to Covid-19. In addition, CTE Foundation is continuing fundraising efforts through the crisis to support and expand these and other ongoing initiatives.
“We are grateful to the Sonoma County Vintners Foundation for allowing us to utilize the grant to address the very real and urgent needs of our educational system,” said CTE Foundation CEO Kathy Goodacre. “Our aim is to fulfill our mission to innovate the education-to-career experience for students, which includes pivoting our support in response to emerging needs. Career technical education is proven to increase student engagement which through these initiatives we hope to provide the support our kids need to remain connected and learning during this unprecedented time.”
Santa Rosa, California (October 25, 2019) – STEMhub, a web-based platform designed as a dynamic resource for women and girls interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and careers is now live.
STEMhub is the first online resource to serve as a clearinghouse for women and girls in the North Bay to learn about regional STEM-related opportunities such as classes, meetups, events, seminars, careers and conferences. It is designed to connect “learners” – those interested in pursuing STEM education or career pathways – with “mentors” who are already working in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.
Nationally and in California, the demand for a skilled STEM workforce is growing and STEM jobs offer higher salaries than non-STEM jobs. Women working in STEM jobs earn, on average, 33% more than those in other fields, yet women account for only 24% of the STEM workforce. Women’s under-representation in STEM fields begins early, with gender gaps in STEM interests beginning in middle school and growing throughout high school, college and career.
To address these challenges, the Career Technical Education (CTE) Foundation launched Community WISE (Women Investing in STEM Equity) in 2017, a coalition of individuals and organizations wishing to invest in support structures for women and girls in STEM. CWISE has been working strategically for two years to identify innovative solutions that enrich learning experiences and inform career exploration such that more North Bay women and girls will be encouraged to pursue STEM education and careers. An example of this effort includes the successful Girls Tinker Academy, a two-week summer camp that utilizes maker principles and activities to introduce and teach STEM concepts (see Press Democrat article from June 30, 2019).
“STEMhub is a way for us to both broaden and deepen our impact for girls in the North Bay by allowing us to engage with potentially thousands of women and girls instead of just dozens,” said Amber Figueroa, associate executive director at CTE Foundation. “We’re really excited about the mentor component because research shows that when women and girls are introduced to strong STEM role models who are women, a career in these fields becomes as attractive and attainable as any other.”
The STEMhub web platform uses gaming strategy in its design and offers “badges” to learners for participating in various local STEM events, connecting with other learners and mentors, and for building a mentorship relationship. Learners are separated into pathways according to their current level of STEM participation and can move to other paths depending on their engagement with the platform. Once learners become more experienced in their chosen STEM fields, they receive a certificate from the platform, and they are encouraged to apply for mentorship on STEMhub to help other young women find their own way in any STEM field.
With direction from the CWISE Steering Committee, STEMhub platform development has been led by Dr. Julia Mossbridge, a scientist, technologist, and author who puts together technology teams. “This launch is really thrilling for me,” Mossbridge gushed. “I’ve been in this field for twenty years and this is the first time I’ve worked with an all-woman team, believe it or not. I’m not saying it’s better; I’ve worked with excellent men too, but for this project there is of course a feeling of commitment among these women. This experience reinforces my belief that we need more women in STEM not because it’s simply ‘fair’ or ‘equitable,’ but because we need people who think in many different ways to solve difficult problems, and my team has done just that.”
STEMhub is a community driven resource web-page, so community members with a background or experience in STEM – or simply with a passion for supporting women and girls to pursue STEM education or careers – are invited to begin populating the site with community events and mentor profiles. Simply log on to stem-hub.com to add community events or register as a mentor.
For more information, visit stem-hub.com and ctesonomacounty.org/cwise.
Kaylie L., Cloverdale High School
“I’ve always wanted to be a baker,” said Kaylie, so it’s no surprise that she has twice enrolled in the Farm-to-Table Culinary class, one of many funded by CTE Foundation.
“I loved this class and recommend it for everyone,” said Kaylie, a sophomore at Cloverdale High School. “I like the fact that we cook every week and I learn new and better ways to cook things than I already knew.”
She especially enjoyed the hands-on experience in the garden and getting important skills she can take anywhere in the future – not only in the kitchen but also project management and marketing.
“It surprised me to learn how easy it is to make homemade products like lip balm, lotion and candles. I’ve learned that instead of using chemicals, you can use bees wax. It’s just three ingredients and you’re done.”
Kaylie’s enthusiasm and experience were enough to impress Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geyserville. Earlier this year, she and her classmates attended the Food & Beverage Manufacturing Career Summit hosted by CTE Foundation, and to her surprise, Kaylie was offered a baking job on the spot at Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geyserville.
“I’m so excited,” Kaylie says. “I’m going to be in the baking department getting trained for two months and then I can actually be alone and do everything by myself.”
Santa Rosa, California (March 13, 2019) – The Career Technical Education (CTE)
Foundation Sonoma County has launched its newest initiative in partnership with
the county’s largest employers and education institutions. The Sonoma Corps is
a pilot program recruiting high school students in their senior year to prepare
them for a “gap year” work experience internship following graduation. Beginning in Fall 2019, up to 20 seniors from Piner
High, identified through a competitive application process, will attend
semi-weekly classes to develop work-readiness and technical skills, meet
employers, and explore how personal interests can lead to lucrative careers
with Sonoma County employers. Upon high school graduation, participants will be
assigned to a year-long paid internship based on their learning objectives and
aligned to economic development needs in the county. After successful
completion of gap-year internships, participants will be awarded scholarships
for tuition at a post-secondary institution, preferably into education pathway
programs at SRJC and SSU.
across the country are increasingly opting to postpone
their traditional academic plans and participate in a gap year experience, a break between high school and college that might include
travel, work or volunteering before continuing academic studies. The
trend supports increased demand for structured
gap year programs, which allow young people to explore their interests and
ultimately enter their post-secondary school more energized and focused. Data shows
how students who had internships where they could apply
the knowledge and skills they were learning in the classroom are more likely to find full-time employment
after college and to be engaged in their work.[i]
The Sonoma Corps concept was developed to further a
key strategy of Strategic Sonoma’s “grow our own” approach when addressing
local workforce shortages. In its competitive assessment, Strategic Sonoma
sites the demand for workers with mechanical and technical skills, stating,
“Education-dependent technology jobs grew 36% over the past decade – compared
to only 3% overall growth.”
program manager at the Sonoma County Economic Development Board and Sonoma
Corps steering committee member, sees that many in-demand jobs increasingly
require skills and knowledge that go beyond entry-level skills.
“For at least a
decade, we have seen local companies struggle increasingly to recruit and
retain skilled employees,” Brown said. “The 2017 fires exacerbated this problem
and it’s crucial that we develop a pipeline to train young people for careers
that will keep them in the region and support the growth of our local economy.”
population is aging faster than the national average – 28% of our local
workforce was over the age 55 in 2016 – and rapidly losing residents under 25
years old due to the region’s high cost of living and perceived lack of
opportunities to earn a living wage. Concurrently, many high school graduates
find themselves unprepared to enter college – financially, emotionally, and
academically – and instead languish in transfer programs with little direction
or motivation to persevere in their studies. These same students also lack
relevant skills for efficient transition to in-demand, skilled, high-wage jobs
which would allow them to stay local.
has a proven track record in creating and funding programs that create pathways
to careers and post-secondary education,” said Jim Happ, president of Labcon
and Sonoma Corps steering committee member. “This initiative leverages CTEF’s experience
with other successful programs like the North Bay Construction Corps and expands
growth of a skilled workforce pipeline for the industries that drive our local
economy. I look forward to participating in and growing the program so that we
can continue hiring skilled workers from our community.”
About Sonoma Corps
Developed in partnership with public and private stakeholders, Sonoma
Corps is a gap year program for high school students. Several industry partners are involved in the design
and implementation of the program, and have signed up to host a “gap year”
intern with their company, including: County of Sonoma General Services
Department; E&J Gallo; Keysight Technologies; Labcon; Straus Family
Creamery; and Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART). In addition to major
employers, key education stakeholders have pledged support to bring Sonoma
Corps to fruition: Jerry Miller, Senior Dean, Career & Technical Education
and Economic Development at Santa Rosa Junior College; Lisa Vollendorf, Provost
at Sonoma State University; and Stephen Jackson, Director, CTE Partnerships at
Sonoma County Office of Education. Jen Klose, President of Santa Rosa City
Schools Board (the largest district in the County with six high schools,
including Piner) is a close collaborator on Sonoma Corps, and will be
instrumental in its pilot implementation, evaluation and model development.
Finally, Ethan Brown, Program Manager at the Economic Development Board will
represent the Strategic Sonoma coalition on the Committee. Steering Committee
activities launched February 11, 2019. All partners named above gathered to
discuss motivations for joining the effort, come to agreement on program goals
and desired outcomes, and provide input on the ideal candidate for the program.
Monthly meetings have been set for the year to guide program development,
including senior-year course curriculum, gap-year internship structure, student
recruitment and wrap-around support planning.
About Career Technical Education (CTE) Foundation
The Career Technical Education (CTE) Foundation, founded
in 2013, works to improve the economic outlook for Sonoma County’s youth by
investing resources in a coordinated system of college and career readiness
programs that lead to high-wage, high-demand, and high-skilled jobs in the county.
The aim is to significantly improve overall student success and achievement
through innovative educational programs that simultaneously mirror local
economic trends and workforce demand. This is accomplished by gathering input
from local employers about the skills gap and workforce training needs to help
guide and coordinate opportunities to build a constructive connection between
educational institutions and industry leaders while retaining the flexibility
to respond to the challenges and needs faced by both.
to Work and Working to Learn, the U.S. Chamber
of Commerce Foundation (USCCF), June 20, 2017, https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/reports/learning-work-working-learn
Santa Rosa, California (February 6, 2019) – The Career Technical Education (CTE) Foundation has approved $343,652 in grant funding for 22 technical education programs among 11 Sonoma County schools.
Now in its sixth funding cycle, the CTE Foundation has invested over $3 million since its founding in 2013, creating new programs that connect students to employers for career exploration and skill-building and spurring over 100 new classes in local schools that focus on career and technical education in industries including engineering, manufacturing, agriculture, health, and the construction trades.
The 2019-2020 funding adds two new schools to the organization’s portfolio and new classes with topics from robotics to welding technology that will expand opportunities for at least 400 students throughout the county, including more than 50 girls who will enroll in a Women in Engineering pathway at Rancho Cotati High School. The funding also aims to enhance the students’ classroom experience through supply grants that help teachers provide engaging, hands-on learning. Two planning grants were also awarded at Credo High School and Technology High School to create blueprints for pathways in regenerative agriculture and building math confidence, respectively.
“Our organization’s momentum continues, and we are thrilled with the innovative learning opportunities presented by all of our awardees that align with the county’s workforce demands,” said CTE Foundation Board Chair Bob McGee, who is also President and Chief Operating Officer at Straus Family Creamery. “We are seeing more students better prepared for in-demand careers that are both high-skilled and high-wage.”
In addition to grants for schools, the CTE Foundation invests in programs that increase relevance for student learning from the classroom to real life, and students enrolled in these programs are engaged, active learners who graduate at higher rates and are better prepared for the rigors of both college and career than their non-CTE counterparts.
To learn more about the CTE Foundation, programs, funding or donor opportunities, contact Kathy Goodacre at (707) 708-7081 email@example.com. To tour a CTE classroom, contact Leslie Simmons at (707) 755-5722 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last spring, the CTE Foundation, in partnership with Sonoma County Office of Education, launched a community engagement process to help develop a common definition and success measures for what it means to truly be “college and career ready” for Sonoma County graduates. Through this effort, a task force was formed to answer the question: What skills and characteristics does a K-12 graduate in Sonoma County need to demonstrate in order to successfully transition to the post K-12 world?
We are fortunate to live in a forward-thinking county, where we enjoy the collaborative support and leadership among our education, business and community partners. To help address this question and with a focus on achieving college, career and life success for EVERY student, the Task Force has chosen a powerful approach called Portrait of a Graduate (POG). This collaborative model, designed by Batelle for Kids, is transforming school districts nationwide by engaging the larger community in developing a collective vision that articulates the community’s aspirations for ALL students. During the next nine months the College and Career Ready Task Force, renamed POG Design Team, will be engaging with a broad representation of community stakeholders to answer the following:
- What are the hopes, aspirations, and dreams that our community has for our young people?
- What are the skills and habits of mind that our children need for success in this rapidly changing and complex world?
- What are the implications for the design of the learning experiences—and equitable access to those experiences—we provide in our school systems?
Several local high schools are already implementing around graduate profiles, providing a stated vision for what students should know and be able to do to succeed and prepare for “what’s next” after graduation. With the input from local districts, the development of a Sonoma County Portrait of a Graduate through a community-wide approach, can serve as a North Star for local school in setting their own strategic direction in designing the overall educational experience for students. More importantly, this collective vision can reinvigorate and re-engage our students, teachers and community stakeholders.
We are seeking input and participation from business and community leaders for the design and development of the Sonoma County POG, if you are interested, please contact email@example.com
Santa Rosa, CA (April 10th, 2018) – The Career Technical Education Foundation Sonoma County has been approved for a $1 million grant from Tipping Point Community, a prominent Bay Area funder that fights poverty in the Bay Area, to support expansion of a successful local youth training program called the North Bay Construction Corps. The funding is part of their Emergency Relief Fund, established to support the North Bay’s recovery and rebuilding efforts following the devastating fires last year that damaged thousands of homes and businesses.
The CTE Foundation and its partners in the Construction Corps program, the North Coast Builders Exchange and Sonoma Office of Education, announced the grant today noting that the funds will be used to enhance and expand the NBCC training program in response to the increased workforce needs of the building trades as the 4-county North Bay begins to rebuild. According to the CTE Foundation, the $1 million grant will be used to leverage and supplement the current support for the Construction Corps program in Sonoma County and will provide for expansion into other neighboring counties in the future.
The North Bay Construction Corps is a 5-month training program that introduces high school seniors to careers and jobs in construction in various trades. The program, now in its second year, has proven to be a very successful model that currently includes two cohorts in Sonoma County comprised of 37 young men and women who are in their last semester of high school. The CTE Foundation will work with the North Coast Builders Exchange to develop and execute programs in Napa and Lake Counties, as well as coordinate expansion of an existing Mendocino County Construction Corps program that began earlier this year. Additional interest and funding has been pledged to support expansion into Marin County as well.
“It is so important to provide engaging opportunities that inspire the next generation of tradespeople,” says Barbie Richardson, Owner of Simpson Sheet Metal and CTE Foundation Board Member. “Construction Corps encourages high school students to explore in a hands-on environment how their interests can be leveraged to create a successful career in this industry.”
The five-month training program includes classes that meet one night a week and one
Saturday a month and are exclusively taught by local construction industry representatives to give students a sampling of what it’s like to work in a variety of trades and to expose them to multiple employers. Students learn the fundamentals of tool handling, safety, electrical, plumbing, carpentry, solar, and more. They also earn certifications in Forklift and Scissor Lift Operation, OSHA 10, and CPR/First Aid, giving them a significant advantage upon completion as they seek entry level work or further training such as an apprenticeship.
The program culminates in a 2-week Boot Camp during the summer that allows students to practice their skills and experience first-hand the day-to-day work life in the industry while earning a stipend. Along with trade-based technical skills, students learn soft skills such as communication, teamwork, problem solving, leadership, and working on deadlines, which are all applied throughout the program.
“A national survey of homebuilders conducted recently revealed a startling statistic, one that likely applies to the North Bay,” said Jeff Scott, President of the Builders Exchange. “For every five construction workers who will retire over the next several years, only one new worker is entering the field. That is unsustainable.” Scott added that NCBE is enthusiastic about continuing its great partnership with the CTE Foundation which will lead to the Construction Corps concept expanding to other counties to lend support to industry workforce development goals.
In addition to funding the multi-county expansion of the program, the Tipping Point Emergency Relief Fund donation also provides funding to meet a local grant challenge to expand the program within Sonoma County. Local funders, Tony Crabb & Barbara Grasseschi, Morgan Family Foundation, Syar Foundation, and Bancroft Foundation have collectively donated $200,000 to be offered as a challenge match to the public. An additional $200,000 is needed to support the Sonoma County program through 2020. Fundraising is already underway, with commitments from the Engineering Contractors Association, BIA Bay Area, Charlie Palmer’s Pigs & Pinot Event, Windsor Education Foundation, and North Coast Builders Exchange. The resulting support would potentially fund a total of eight cohorts, including four in Sonoma County, and serving up to 240 high school seniors.
As our community is faced with one of the largest disasters in its history, both public and private funding is needed to find ways to relieve the pains and rebuild the losses. “For those not directly impacted by the fires, it might be easy to think of the tragedy that we faced last October as long past,” says Karen Fies, Director of Sonoma County Human Services and CTE Foundation Board Chair, “Yet there are thousands of displaced residents that want to go back to their homes, and the only way they can do that is if we have a strong workforce of Construction and trades professionals to put the pieces back together.”
For more information about the Career Technical Education (CTE) Foundation and/or the North Bay Construction Corps, contact Kathy Goodacre, Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 707-708-7081.