The Career Technical Education (CTE) Foundation Board of Directors has approved over $225,000 in grant funding for the 2021-22 school year, impacting more than 2,500 high school students throughout Sonoma County.
Grants to schools range from $21,500 to $71,056 and support teacher salaries as well as equipment, technology and facility enhancements for CTE curriculum aligned with Sonoma County’s economic drivers including culinary, manufacturing technology, construction and agriculture.
“The ongoing support and commitment of CTE Foundation to our school’s CTE pathway programs is crucial,” said Cloverdale High School Principal Chris Meredith. “Partnership with CTE Foundation allows us to develop and sustain high-quality, career-connected programs in our classrooms.”
A grant to Santa Rosa City Schools provides support for a Workforce Development Liaison who will build the district’s capacity at its five comprehensive high schools to implement work-based learning strategies, establishing a crucial bridge between students’ classroom learning and the skills and experience necessary to enter the workforce following graduation.
“This type of support is especially important as districts face two big challenges: declining student engagement levels exacerbated by distance learning, and uncertainty when it comes to state funding to our schools,” said Superintendent of Santa Rosa City Schools Diann Kitamura. “Work-based learning has been proven to increase student engagement by helping students connect their in-school learning with real world work challenges and local career opportunities.”
Now in its eighth funding cycle, CTE Foundation has invested over $3 million in direct grants to schools 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 aligned with industries including engineering, manufacturing, agriculture, health, and the construction trades. Since spring 2020, the Foundation has also invested nearly $40,000 in distance learning grants to support CTE teachers needing to provide supplies and equipment so that students can continue hands-on learning at home.
In addition to grants for schools, the CTE Foundation invests in programs that increase relevance for student learning from the classroom to real life. 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.