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Construction job training program gathers steam at Sonoma Valley High

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The SVHS construction program thanks:

Rob Smith, CPR/First Aid instructor

Jim Persons, Safety Pride

Doug Hamilton, Oak Grove Construction

Rick Shone, Nordby Wine Caves

Larry Richmond, Richmond Construction

Dave Leff, Leff Construction

Rody Jonas, Pure Power Solutions (Solar Contractor)

Greg Tomco, Tomco Electric

Freddy Maydole, FCM Mechanical (plumbing)

The CTE Foundation Sonoma County

North Coast Builders Exchange

SCOE

SRJC

Aaction Rents

Northgate Ready Mix

Sonoma Valley High School is fortunate to have a robust construction trade program for the first time this year, thanks to a countywide career and technical education (CTE) initiative.

North Bay Construction Corps was launched three years ago as a group effort from the North Coast Builders Exchange, the CTE Foundation of Sonoma County, Sonoma County Office of Education and Santa Rosa Junior College. The first year it was held at Rancho Cotate High School, then expanded to include Healdsburg High School last year. Now there are three chapters including, this year for the first time, at Sonoma Valley High School.

The program has grown from around 20 students in the first year to about 70 students currently participating throughout Sonoma County. Napa, Lake, Mendocino and Marin counties run similar programs as well.

The focus in each class is to have industry professionals present their trade, talk about their company and then do hands-on activities associated with their trade. The goal is to help our students become acquainted with different trades, and hopefully find a career path post high school, whether that is more schooling for a specific goal, or directly into a trade where they can learn on the job and progress into a living wage career. Currently for every five skilled tradespeople leaving the industry there is only one to replace them, which isn’t enough to meet employment demands in the building industry.

Students are given a wide variety of experiences, one evening a week for 14 weeks, four Saturday classes, and a two-week boot camp the first two weeks after graduation.

Our connection with SRJC helps students with soft skills, as well as cover letter writing and job resumes. This results in earning college credit and gives them an idea of post high school education if they choose to continue their education in pursuit of their career goals.

All of our students earn their CPR/first aid certification, and go through safety training on ladders, scaffolding, and how to read safety labels for chemicals and material commonly found in and on a job site. Weeknight classes are composed of industry professionals working directly with the students, and Saturday classes are composed of a day at Aaction Rents operating equipment, safety training for chain saws/cut off saws, surveying, ladder/scaffolding training and jack hammer/compactor instruction to highlight a few.

There is one day committed to rough framing and another to learning how to make cement forms, pouring small slabs and learning finishing techniques. The final event is visiting a 77-home construction site where students toured multiple homes in various stages of construction so that they can see a real-world job site and what that actually looks like.

The culmination of the program is a two-week boot camp where students are actually employed and paid a stipend.

It gives them a view of what it is like to get up and go to work full time for a two-week period.

To learn more, visit ctesonomacounty.org/construction-corps.

Drue Jacobs is a math teacher, the SVHS engineering lead/teacher, woodshop teacher and NBCC Sonoma Chapter Coordinator.

The SVHS construction program thanks:

Rob Smith, CPR/First Aid instructor

Jim Persons, Safety Pride

Doug Hamilton, Oak Grove Construction

Rick Shone, Nordby Wine Caves

Larry Richmond, Richmond Construction

Dave Leff, Leff Construction

Rody Jonas, Pure Power Solutions (Solar Contractor)

Greg Tomco, Tomco Electric

Freddy Maydole, FCM Mechanical (plumbing)

The CTE Foundation Sonoma County

North Coast Builders Exchange

SCOE

SRJC

Aaction Rents

Northgate Ready Mix

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