April 28, 2023, Santa Rosa, CA - The Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) Petaluma campus will celebrate the groundbreaking of the new Construction Training Center on Wednesday, May 3 from 3-4 pm at 680 Sonoma Mountain Parkway, Petaluma, CA. The event is open to the public and parking will be free.
The Construction Training Center supports the community’s work of rebuilding the North Bay’s housing stock after the destruction of year-over-year wildfires and the decline of qualified, talented construction professionals to support affordable housing initiatives. In 2019, SRJC secured an $8.12 million federal disaster grant from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) and local donor Tipping Point with Sonoma County Economic Development Board to construct a state-of-the-art construction training center to prepare students for careers in construction-related industries. Due to the rising cost of materials and the pandemic, an additional $4 million grant amendment from the EDA was secured by SRJC in 2022, with a local supporting grant from Bank of America, allowing the project to move forward.
The Construction Training Center will be a flexible use, 10.000sq. ft. lab space, designed to facilitate learning in both traditional and technology-based construction methods, specialty trades, and green building technologies. The Construction Training Center will be outfitted with trainers, tools, and equipment that will prepare students not only for the hands-on skills they need to secure employment but also the soft skills needed to rise up in their future jobs. Students will also be connected to pathways for further training and local employers.
“With the new Construction Training Center, we aren’t just teaching students skills to become construction professionals. We are building desperately needed affordable housing, creating pathways to living-wage careers, and investing in a community continually devastated by wildfires,” Frank Chong, SRJC Superintendent/President, said.
Special guests attending the groundbreaking include US Congressman Jared Huffman, State Senator Bill Dodd, Petaluma Mayor Kevin McDonnell, Malinda Matson representing the US Economic Development Agency, and Ethan Brown representing the Sonoma County Economic Development Board.