Affordable Living

Avoid the inflated rents and home prices that currently saturate the market. The cost of living in Sonoma County is lower than the rest of the Bay Area. Compared to Santa Rosa, Sonoma County’s central city, housing is 92% more expensive in Marin City, 124% more in San Francisco, 65% more in San Jose, 64% more in Walnut Creek, and 332% more in Palo Alto.

Recreation

Sonoma County is home to over 400 wineries and 25 craft breweries. The culture of food and beverage go hand and hand as Sonoma County is ranked #1 on the list of America’s Best Cities for Foodies by Sperling’s BestPlaces. To burn those calories you can enjoy some of the outdoor recreation available. Cycling, hiking, even zip lining will keep the adrenaline pumping during the day while Sonoma County’s night life will keep you going through the night.

Climate

Sonoma County is a part of one of only five Mediterranean climates in the world. This means we avoid the extreme temperatures seen around most of the world. With warm dry summers, no freezing winters and mild rain, (and no giant bugs) one can enjoy the area year-round in Sonoma County. This temperature also gives a unique benefit to the vegetation and plant life, making it a great place for farming or gardening.

Education

Sonoma County places a strong emphasis on education. Sonoma State University is ranked within the top 10 Public Schools in the nation according to the U.S. News and World Report. Santa Rosa Junior College is typically ranked as one of the top 100 community colleges in the nation by the U.S. Department of Education. Plus, Sonoma County is home to 10 top ten National Board of Education Blue Ribbon K-12 schools.

Where can I find a career in Sonoma County?

Click on a company below to view their job opportunities.

Housing

There are nearly limitless options when it comes to finding a place to live in Sonoma County. From charming apartments to sprawling estates, the region has all of the amenities necessary for a happy life.

Resources

Housing

Housing Overview – As Sonoma County’s business community grows, there has been an influx in people relocating their businesses and families to the area.  To accommodate this influx, cities are working to increase the number of housing units, opening up the ability for folks to make the move to Sonoma County with less worry and hassle.  Each city offers all types of residency from apartments or lofts in the heart of downtown to houses and vistas overlooking a vineyard or beach.  But Sonoma County’s famous “Quality of Life” stems from unique culture and living experience you will notice the moment you visit.  The link above gives housing overview information for Santa Rosa, Sonoma County’s central city, but to truly feel the quality and uniqueness of Sonoma County, you have to visit!

Affordable Living – Avoid the inflated rents and home prices that currently saturate the market. The cost of living in Sonoma County is lower than the rest of the Bay Area. Compared to Santa Rosa, Sonoma County’s central city, housing is 92% more expensive in Marin City, 124% more in San Francisco, 65% more in San Jose, 64% more in Walnut Creek, and 332% more in Palo Alto.

Neighborhood Scout – Neighborhood Scout offers enterprise-grade data for each neighborhood in any particular city in the U.S.  The link above shows information about schools, home prices, crime rate and more for each neighborhood within Santa Rosa, Sonoma County’s central city.

Recreation

Sonoma County is home to over 400 wineries and 25 craft breweries. The culture of food and beverage go hand and hand as Sonoma County is ranked #1 on the list of America’s Best Cities for Foodies by Sperling’s BestPlaces. To burn those calories you can enjoy some of the outdoor recreation available. Cycling, hiking, even zip lining will keep the adrenaline pumping during the day while Sonoma County’s night life will keep you going through the night.

Regional ParksSurrounded by redwood forests and rolling hills, Sonoma County is ideal for nature lovers.  The Regional park system includes more than 50 parks and trails, 140 miles of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding and 268 campsites throughout the Sonoma Coast and in the heart of Wine Country.

State ParksSee the famous lands, now named Jack London State Park, that inspired Jack London to write so many of his best writing.

“The grapes on a score of rolling hills are red with autumn flame. Across Sonoma Mountain wisps of sea fog are stealing. The afternoon sun smoulders in the drowsy sky. I have everything to make me glad I am alive. I am filled with dreams and mysteries. I am all sun and air and sparkle. I am vitalized, organic.” – Jack London.

Sonoma County is home to 11 state parks, each with its own unique style.  Experience the history of Sonoma through Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park or Fort Ross State Historic Park.  Take a hike through the breathtaking views of Sugarloaf Ridge State Park or Annadel State Park.  Or have a romantic picnic in the sand and watch the sun set over the water at Sonoma Coast State Park.

Things to do Experience arts and culture, outdoor activities in the redwoods, whale watching along the coast, or take a hike in the magnificent state and regional parks of the San Francisco North Bay area.  Sonoma County offers something for everyone: from wine lovers to nature enthusiasts, from families to couples on a romantic getaway, you will find lots of fun things to do.

Community Organizations

The goal of local Chambers of Commerce is to further the interests of businesses by advocating on behalf of the business community.  These organizations provide a structure to encourage business growth and economic development through events, networking and advertising opportunities, and leadership and workforce programs.  Local Chambers include: Santa Rosa | Rohnert Park | Healdsburg | Petaluma | Sonoma Valley | Windsor | North Bay Black Chamber | Hispanic Chamber | Russian River | Sebastopol | Bodega Bay

GO LOCAL Sonoma County – GO LOCAL is a network of locally-owned businesses, residents, non-profit organizations, and government agencies working together to build a resilient, thriving, local economy by supporting local, independently owned businesses and promoting sustainable practices.

Sonoma County Alliance – The Sonoma County Alliance is a coalition of business, agriculture, labor and individuals incorporated to encourage a healthy economy, maintain a sound environment, protect private property rights and promote a responsive political process.

North Bay Leadership Council – Over twenty years ago, business leaders founded the North Bay Leadership Council (NBLC) on a simple premise:  We can accomplish more by working together.

PASCO – Professional Association of Sonoma County for Human Resources is a group of professionals within Human Resources and to companies who support human resources in a consulting capacity.  PASCO has workshops, provides up-to-date information and resources, facilitates connections and networking opportunities, and is involved in the community through schools and mentorship programs.

WIMP – (Web and Interactive Media Professionals) WIMP is a community of designers, programmers, marketing specialists, search engine optimization experts, social media gurus and just about anyone having to do with the evolving technological world.

Education

The Sonoma County places a strong emphasis on education.  This high standard of quality and workforce readiness has been shown by numerous awards throughout every grade from kindergarten through college.  This can also be seen thought the county’s average SAT score of 1608 versus the state average of 1492.

Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE) – SCOE is a strategic partner to the county’s public schools, providing service and support to help them meet legal mandates, operate cost-effectively, and raise student achievement. SCOE’s career technical education (CTE) programs are offered as elective classes at every comprehensive high school as part of the county’s commitment to graduate college- and career-ready students.  SCOE facilitates and successfully implements the Common Core State Standards, pre-kindergarten to grade 12, builds college and career pathways, and provides financial and economic stability to all schools and districts.

K-12 Schools– Sonoma County has 40 school districts and 182 public schools, and employs nearly 8,300 dedicated staff. 78 of these schools have been recognized as California Distinguish Schools and ten have been recognized as National Blue Ribbon Schools. Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Cotati, Petaluma, Healdsburg, Windsor, Sebastopol, Sonoma, Guerneville,

Higher Education – Sonoma State University is ranked within the top 10 Public Schools in the nation according to the U.S. News and World Report. The Santa Rosa Junior College is typically ranked as one of the top 100 community colleges in the nation by the U.S. Department of Education. Sonoma State University, Santa Rosa Junior College, Empire College

Workforce Development

Sonoma County Labor Market Statistics & Data –  Profile of Sonoma County labor market as provided by the CA State Department of Employment Development.

Wheel Program – The Worksite Held Employee English Learning provides English language and financial literacy classes for employees and their families at their pace of employment. The program is customizable based on a business’ needs.

Young Professionals Networks – Young Professional Networking organizations are designed to engaged and introduce young professionals to the regions resources and opportunities while providing networking and relationship building opportunities. Local groups include: Santa Rosa | Petaluma | Healdsburg | Windsor |

Affordable Care Act – Assistance with complying with the ACA in Sonoma County.

Sonoma County EDB iWork Well Program –  The Sonoma County Health Services Department offers free assistance to businesses to ensure compliance in the new healthcare laws.

Leadership Programs – Educational curriculum designed to develop and equip effective community leaders via exposure to pertinent issues within the region and community leaders.  Local programs include the Leadership Petaluma | Leadership Santa Rosa | Leadership Sonoma Valley.

Transportation

Sonoma County is located just 40 miles away from San Francisco and Oakland. Residents and business owners are a 45 minute drive to these major cities, but get to enjoy a significantly lower cost of living and a much higher quality of life.

Air travel –   One does not need to go far to travel by air.  Santa Rosa’s Schulz Airport (STS) may be the 4th largest airport in the Bay Area, but offers easy and less expensive parking, a surprisingly short walk to the terminals, and short lines, making it one of the best most stress-free airports you will ever experience.

Train – The SMART Train project began planning in 2008 and is currently expected to be carrying passengers and cargo by 2016.  It will serve a 70 mile corridor from the northern tip of Sonoma County to the bay’s edge at Larkspur where ferries are waiting to take you across the waters to San Francisco.

General Information

SONOMA COUNTY – Just 30 minutes from San Francisco, the region provides the perfect balance between living and working.  Sonoma County offers many choices for lifestyle and recreation, and is rated as a premier tourism destination for that reason.  Once you are here, you will not want to leave. Sonoma County offers the opportunity to work at a Fortune 500 company, take a hike during lunch and go wine tasting in the evening.

In a survey released in 2010 by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, Sonoma County residents are happier and healthier than anywhere else in California – and are rated 5th overall in the entire nation.

PORTRAIT OF SONOMA – This document gives an in-depth look at how residents of Sonoma County are faring in three fundamental areas of life: health, access to knowledge, and living standards. While these metrics do not measure the county’s breathtaking vistas, the rich diversity of its population, or the vibrant web of community organizations engaged in making it a better place, they capture outcomes in areas essential to well-being and opportunity. 

CLIMATE – Sonoma County is a part of one of only five Mediterranean climates in the world. This means we avoid the extreme temperatures seen around most of the world. With warm dry summers, no freezing winters and mild rain, (and no giant bugs) one can enjoy the area year-round in Sonoma County. This temperature also gives a unique benefit to the vegetation and plant life, making it a great place for farming or gardening.

Career Assistance

Workforce Investment Board – partnership of innovative business and community leaders to provide information about numerous workforce issues and resources, including job training, employment, economic development, and Job Link, Sonoma County’s One-Stop career center.

Sonoma County JobLink –  Job Link is Sonoma County’s One-Stop career center that helps job seekers meet with job counselors, training scholarships, classes on resume writing and online job search, access to a computer lab and disability tools.  Job Link also assists businesses when hiring and planning on-site job fairs.

Nelson Staffing – Nelson is one of largest staffing agency in the Bay Area.  Headquartered in Santa Rosa, Nelson offers specialized help to both candidates and clients with dedicated teams to help place Administrative, Manufacturing, Human Resources, and Wine & Beverage talent.

Leap Solutions – Leap Solutions is full solution-based company that looks at improving all aspects of a business like organizational development, recruiting, training, and much more.  Since so much of the success of a business matters on the talent that drives it, Leap Solutions helps find the perfect fit for its needs.

Sonoma County is ready for you! We have prepared a relocation package for you to assist in your move.

 The following guides list numerous resources for individuals or businesses relocating to the region. Find info about business resources, funding options, incentives, housing, education, recreation and more.

Guide to Living in Sonoma County

Business Resource Guide