Employers, we hear you. It's tough to find workers. Not just software engineers and skilled technicians, but also retail clerks, dishwashers, and customer service reps. 

Maybe you're posting jobs and not seeing a single resume. Or you're making offers, but candidates are using them to negotiate better deals with their current employer. Or you're hiring and training, only to watch employees leave after a few months.

The workforce challenges you're seeing are the result of some big forces: a booming regional economy, a crackdown on immigration, extremely high housing costs, and the birth of a legal cannabis industry. How these forces will shake out remains to be seen, but we know they are not going away any time soon.

In the meantime, we can help you navigate these challenges. Start with the resources in this newsletter, and then contact us for personalized support. 

By the way...over the next few months, we'll be developing tip sheets and other content about a range of workforce-related issues. Have a successful, out-of-the-box strategy to share? Let us know. We're all in this together. 

The Career & Lifestyle Guide is designed for employers to share with top job prospects.
It started with a request from a Petaluma tech firm. They said, "We need help selling Petaluma to top talent."   A few years and several conversations with many companies later, we have the perfect tool: The Petaluma Career & Lifestyle Guide. 

The Guide is a 35+ page booklet that answers questions a job candidate might have about Petaluma as a place to grow a career and build a life. It blends data and facts with stories and photos of real Petaluma residents, covering topics such as business sectors, housing, schools, neighboring job markets, philanthropy, and fun. 

The Guide is available in print and as a .pdf, and it's designed to be given by employers to top job candidates. Employers can request printed copies (first five free), download the .pdf, or send job-seekers to our website.  

The Sonoma County Economic Development Board offers  FREE ,  customized, and confidential workforce and talent development services to area businesses. That means you can:
  • Get  salary reports , free. 
  • Find state training reimbursements, free. 
  • Participate in special job fairs, free. 
The program manager will even assess your w orkforce strategy and offer advice-- also, free! 

So before you post your next open position...schedule your next employee training...or hire a workforce consultant, contact Heather Lobue, EDB workforce program manager and find out how free adds up to a lot of value!
Industrial Technology is one of the many SRJC CTE fields.
Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) is one of the best community colleges in the country. Nearly 100 years old, this beloved community institution provides general education courses for transfer to a four year college, hands-on training for specific careers, and a wide array of noncredit and enrichment classes. 

Each semester SRJC enrolls about 28,000 students representing different age groups and levels of experience. SRJC students are capable, motivated, and eager to make a difference. 

Here are a few ways SRJC can help you meet your workforce needs: 
  • Career & Technical Education (CTE): CTE courses train students in the technical and soft skills necessary for specific jobs or careers. To access this talent, consider participating in the CTE Internship Program, which helps place CTE students in paid full-time or part-time positions held during the school term. Contact Lauralyn Larsen at SRJC for more info.

  • Job Board: The Job Board allows employers to recruit current students as well as alumni. Post jobs, search resumes, and get on the "list" for virtual and on-campus career fairs. Learn more here.
  • Contract Education Department: Contract Education delivers customized training solutions to employers. The department has worked with many local employers over the years and has gained a reputation for innovation, collaboration, and results. Contact Jeff Rhoades at SRJC for more info.
The EDB has updated its talent attraction website at
Sonoma County developed the nation's first county-based talent attraction website ten years ago. It recently launched an updated version of the site at 

The site showcases what makes Sonoma County such an inspiring place to grow, both professionally and personally. In addition to sharing background info about all the different jurisdictions within the County, the site includes data points, stories, and a job board. 

Employers can use the site both to find employees--by posting on the job board--and to educate those already in their candidate pipeline. 


CTE Foundation

The nonprofit Sonoma County CTE Foundation is working with schools and employers to enhance and expand career technical education programs in K-12 and post-secondary schools.  

CTE Foundation programs include everything from job shadowing to specially-designed high school courses. If you are interested in participating at any level, contact Brandon Jewell, the new director of industry engagement. Be sure to tell him we sent you!
Veterans Programs

Veterans offer employers a winning combination of skills and work ethic. In addition, employers who hire veterans are eligible for wage and training reimbursements.

If you are interested in hiring a vet, please contact Heather Lobue, EDB program manager, who can connect you with the regional Veterans Affairs office. To help us track our efforts, please mention that you read about the program in this newsletter.