from the Spring 2019 issue of Community Vitality, published by The Ford Family Foundation
There was a hubbub of activity at last fall’s career and technical education night at Etna High School. About 80 people, many of whom drove for an hour to get to the remote Northern California town, clustered around industry-specific tables in the school multipurpose room. Lively discussions about job readiness, employment opportunities and hiring needs dotted the room.
Annual business and industry nights are a regular event in Siskiyou County, but this one was special. It marked the public debut of a new initiative that promises to meld several ongoing efforts into one targeted plan for action. SOAR, the Siskiyou Occupational Advancement Roadmap, is a collaborative grant-funded project designed to help increase access to job skills while furthering local employers’ connections to skilled people.
SOAR’s purpose is to build a job readiness strategy for Siskiyou County that will clarify employment pathways for students and identify gaps between classrooms and job opportunities.