STR0NG PARTNERSHIPS EXPAND OUR SERVICES AND CAPABILITIES

ECONOMIC

ADVANCEMENT

Build a pathway to a strong middle class through skill building programs that level the economic playing field for low income families and through financing small business and entrepreneurial ventures in Sonoma Valley.

 

ESL - ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE

La Luz Center provides English as a Second Language (ESL) classes to improve English language skills for non-native speakers, increasing their opportunities for community engagement and employment.

Focus:

• English language lessons

• Small classes in an inclusive environment

• Individual attention and support

• Participation in the cultural and social activities of the community

Impact:

La Luz ESL Classes provide community members with an opportunity to advance their English skills and build the confidence to pursue new opportunities and increase connections and participation in the broader Sonoma Valley community.

Jim Galindo
ESL Teacher

After attending San Francisco State and Sonoma State Universities, Jim carries a BA in English Literature (minoring in both Communications Studies and Latin American History). He is trained as a technical writer, but he found teaching too much fun to resist. He taught Spanish and History at a private school in Santa Rosa. In 1995 he began volunteering as a seasonal ESL tutor with Vineyard Workers Services (VWS). Later, as a member of the VWS Board of Directors, he oversaw the expansion of English classes to run throughout the year. In 2002, he was employed and funded by SRJC’s Older Adult Program to teach classes at VWS that combined ESL, literacy training, and discussion of current events. Jim studied for an Adult Education Credential and was hired by SVUSD to teach all the courses for high school diplomas and GED’s at the Sonoma Valley Adult School. He was there from 2005 until the school’s closure and his retirement in 2012. Jim has been presenting the ESL courses for La Luz since 2016. He is very serious about education and ESL, but he aims to have students and tutors enjoy the instruction as much as he does.

For more information, contact:

Amanda Hernandez, Economic Advancement Program Manager, or by calling La Luz Center.

 

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT:

JOB BOARD

Facilitating employee and employer relationships

La Luz Center recognized an employment gap in our community: linking those needing work with those needing workers. The Community Job Board was developed to help connect job seekers and job opportunities. If you are interested in posting a job or looking for a worker, this is the right place to look.

"Thanks to the employment services program of La Luz Center, I got a job.

After finishing that job the employer recommended me to the construction company where I currently work."

Jose Paz

Employment Services Recipient

Focus:

Job Board, updated monthly

            • Employers or community members can find a local worker

            • Workers can advertise their skills and availability for current work

            • Touchpoint for workers to learn about La Luz programs that can aid with

              economic advancement

Impact:

The La Luz job board enables clients to find work and community members and employers to get work done.  Although La Luz does not play a role in the posting or hiring decision, the job board is a means to contribute to keeping jobs in the Valley and providing local workers with a means to advertise their capabilities.

Looking for a job?

Job seekers please click on button bellow and complete job form

Would you like to post a job?

Employers please click on button below and complete job post

Current worker availability & job postings

DISCLAIMER: La Luz Center provides job seekers and job posters with mutual contact information. We do not interview or investigate those who post on the job board; we do not complete background checks, reference checks or internet searches on those seeking jobs or those posting jobs for hire. La Luz makes no representation about the suitability of potential employees or employers or compensation for the postings on the job board. It is your responsibility to assess and determine the suitability of employee-employer relationships. La Luz is not responsible for any issue that may arise from an employment relationship that is created or not created between those using the job board.  

For more information, contact:

Amanda Hernandez, Technology and Employment Navigator, or by calling La Luz Center.

 

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT:

BUILDING TRADES TRAINING PROGRAM(BTTP)

Providing basic construction certification for the community

In partnership with Santa Rosa Junior College and the Sonoma County Office of Education, La Luz now conducts an eight-week Building Trades Training Program (BTTP) in basic construction skills. The 2017 North Bay wildfires exacerbated the existing housing supply crisis in Sonoma Valley when over 5,000 homes were lost in the fires county-wide. La Luz responded to the crisis by helping train displaced and low income clients to fill the need for entry level construction workers to assist with the re-building.

"I participated in this program to be able to improve my construction skills and knowledge so I can expand my employment possibilities"

Jose Urbano Rojas

First Class Graduate

Focus:

• Three-Four courses annually/20 students per course

• Evening construction classes at the Hanna Boys Center workshop/ 60 hours of

   hands on training

• English teachers with Spanish language teaching assistant

• Santa Rosa Junior College vocational instructor

• La Luz Employment Navigator for Individual attention and language translation

• Speakers from the construction industry

• Assistance with job applications

• Touchpoint with other La Luz programs to further economic advancement

• Graduation certificate and tool belts upon successful course completion

Impact:

Graduates of the program are equipped with a knowledge of basic construction skills and are certified to operate selected construction equipment. The program enables low income and displaced workers to acquire skills and knowledge for entry level construction work and higher paying work. BTTP graduates gain new skills and confidence that can lead to longer term economic advancement through job growth in the construction industry.

First Graduating Class
May, 2018

Gabriel completed the 8 weeks training of our BTTP program. He built a shed at home as a personal project. He states, “Taking these classes help me to improve my construction and carpentry skills and learned new tips when I work with woods. I built a shed for a family member, that took me less than 1 week to completed it and I finished it before graduating of the this program.”

Claudia and Sotero got a job in construction building a deck and storage for a local family who lost it during the wildfire. She says “I’ve been cleaning a house for a local family in Sonoma Valley for long time. One day, that family came out with the idea to rebuild a deck and storage which burned in the past wildfire. I mentioned to them that my husband Sotero and I were taking basic construction classes through La Luz Center. Immediately, they offered that job to us and of course we said YES. We finished the project in 3 weeks. Thanks to this the BTTP program I learned some new skills in construction sector that allowed us to increase our incomes.”

For more information, contact:

Amanda Hernandez, Technology and Employment Navigator, or by calling La Luz Center.

 
 

COMPUTER LITERACY

Computer Literacy classes are taught at multiple levels, from the basics of turning on a computer to learning how to perform troubleshooting. The program equips students with improved computer skills that increase access to information and opportunities at work and home.

Focus:

• Entry level to Advanced computer courses

• Small classes in an inclusive environment

• Individual attention and support

• One-on-one computer tutoring

Impact:

The La Luz Computer Literacy program decreases the digital gap for community members who have had limited access to computer equipment and training. Though computer literacy, La Luz empowers students with technology and tools that increase skills, knowledge and opportunities.

For more information, contact:

Jerardo Martinez, Technology and Employment Navigator, or by calling La Luz Center.

Jerardo Martinez
Computer Literacy Teacher

Jerardo was born in El Salvador.  He moved with his family to Nicaragua when he was a few months old to escape the violence of the Civil War. After living in Nicaragua for ten years, Jerardo, his mother, and two brothers moved back to El Salvador. In 2007, he earned a B.A. in Computer Science from the Universidad de Monseñor Arnulfo Romero in Chalatenango—the first in his family to graduate from college. He worked for five years at the nonprofit FUSALMO in San Salvador, where his duties included teaching computer classes, providing IT support, and coordinating a number of technology programs. He moved to Sonoma in 2013 and immediately volunteered at La Luz Center. Jerardo loves having the opportunity to share his passion and knowledge of technology with others. In his spare time, he enjoys volunteering with other organizations, coaching youth sports teams, spending time with his family and his son Diego, and fixing computers..

 

MICROLOAN - SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Encoraging new business espansion and growth

The La Luz Microloan program provides low cost loans to businesses that would not be eligible for traditional bank loans. La Luz Microloans help aid in economic recovery from the 2017 fires by supporting existing businesses with expansion and by providing funding for new entrepreneurial ventures.  Microloans promote a thriving business community in Sonoma Valley.

"La Luz Microloans are business friendly and helped my business succeed"

Cliff Casolla

Marshall's Body Shop Owner

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Focus:

• Microloan Funding levels based on the merits of proposed business plans

• Business Development Workshops taught by Napa-Sonoma Small Business

   Development Center – currently offered in Spanish

• Mentoring from Business Professionals

• La Luz Microloan Committee of Local Business Executives

Impact:

The Microloan program provides members of the community with the opportunity to own their own business, supporting community members who otherwise may not be have this opportunity.  La Luz Center boosts Sonoma Valley business growth and furthers economic advancement through support to local entrepreneurs and business owners.

Need a business loan? -

please click on button bellow and complete loan application

For more information, contact:

Mayra Mizrachi, Microloan Relationship Manager, or by calling La Luz Center.

 

VITA - VOLUNTEER INCOME TAX ASSISTANCE

The VITA program is hosted each year in collaboration with United Way of the Wine Country.  Through volunteers, it provides tax preparation at no cost to those community members in need of support.

Focus:

• Tax preparation

• Certified tax preparers

• A touchpoint to introduce new clients to La Luz community resources and services

Impact:

The La Luz VITA program is the only free of charge, bilingual tax service in Sonoma Valley. It enables community members with limited resources to file accurate and on-time tax returns and to benefit from available tax credits.

For more information, contact:

Amanda Hernandez, Economic Advancement Program Manager, or by calling La Luz Center.

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About Us

What We Do

What's Happening

La Luz Center is a 501 (c) (3) Nonprofit organization
​Tax ID #68-0228235

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Web Design by Marcelo Defreitas

Principal Photography by Erik Castro

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