Our History

Founded by San Jose City Council members Susan Hammer and Shirley Lewis in 1987, the San Jose Conservation Corps was one of the first urban conservation corps in the country. With strong support from the City of San Jose, SJCC+CS began operations with over 20 Corpsmembers in January 1988. Since then SJCC+CS has grown, opening its charter school in 2002 and expanded to two campuses in 2010.


In 2001, SJCC+CS established a YouthBuild program, in partnership with the Department of Labor and AmeriCorps, helping to build affordable housing in San Jose while training students in the construction trades. While SJCC+CS no longer has a YouthBuild program, it continues to receive AmeriCorps funding, enabling current students to earn scholarships that can be used toward post-secondary education or vocational training.

Over the past thirty years, SJCC+CS has grown and modified its programs to meet the needs of the over 10,000 young adults who have benefited from our services. Each SJCC+CS graduate graduates with the potential to earn $400,000 over the course of their lifetime.


Since 2002, 3,134 youth have earned their high school diploma at SJCC+CS, creating a combined increased

lifetime earnings of $1.25 billion.

On Right: Founding member Shirley Lewis

On Left: Founding member Susan Hammer

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San Jose Conservation Corps + Charter School

1560 Berger Dr, San Jose, CA 95112

2650 Senter Rd, San Jose, CA 95111

T: 408-283-7171 

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