Our History

Founded by then 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 began operations with over 20 Corpsmembers in January 1988. Since then SJCC has grown and improved our services to corpsmembers.


  • Student population increases to 85
  • Receive first major grant of $900,000 from the Department of Conservation to establish the recycling program.
  • SJCC responds to Loma Prieta earthquake and completes 33,900 hours of emergency work in the Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties.


  • Student population increases to 102
  • Establishment of summer program for at-risk high school students, which provides education and job opportunities.
  • Grand opening of additional administration building and classrooms.
  • Receive first Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to provide project work in crackdown areas of San Jose.
  • Advisory Board created to help advance corpsmembers objectives.
  • Start of AmeriCorps after school tutoring program at SJCC. Launched at Westmont High School.


  • Student population increases to 130.
  • More than 3,000 young adults have received training thru SJCC programs.
  • Two Corpsmembers are the first to complete high school graduation requirements through Wilson High School.
  • More than 190 Corpsmembers have earned their GED.
  • Establishment of Youth Corps program at Andrew Hill High School.
  • Students successfully install 25,000 ultra low flush toilets in low-income housing in San Jose. Project is instrumental in reducing the flow of fresh water effluent to the Bay by more than 5 million gallons each day. SJCC wins the Project of the Year award from National Association of Service and Conservation Corps.


  • Establishment of YouthBuild Program, which trains over 150 students in all aspects of construction.
  • Establishment of charter school through California Charter Academy with three teachers.Students are now able to obtain their high school diploma through SJCC.
  • Filled over 1 million sandbags in response to "El Nino" storms.
  • SJCC holds its first High School Graduation of 46 students through California Charter Academy.
  • Grand opening of additional YouthBuild Vocational Classroom constructed by students of the YouthBuild Program
  • YouthBuild program students help build 135 affordable housing units.
  • SJCC Celebrates its 15th Anniversary


  • SJCC holds its second High School Graduation through California Charter Academy
  • Establishment of San Jose Conservation Corps Charter School under the sponsorship of the East Side Union High School District.Students are now able to obtain their high school diploma through our program.
  • Student's population increases to 280.
  • 80 Students received Education Award Scholarships through the NASCC AmeriCorps Program.
  • SJCC holds its first graduation for 42 students through its' on-site Charter School.
  • Receives first major grant "Implementation Grant" from the Department of Education.
  • Receives Youth Employment grant for case management for its students
  • Receives National PepNet '03 Promising Program Award for Best Practices from US Department of Labor.
  • Receives a grant from the California Department of Parks & Recreation (PROP 40) to purchase a new Recycling facility at 1534 Berger Drive in San Jose CA.
  • YouthBuild program builds the "Meredith House", a beautiful 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath Victorian-style home.


  • More than 16,000 young adults have received training through SJCC programs.
  • Emphasis shifted from GED to high school diploma.
  • 5 new classrooms were added to 1534 Berger Drive which piloted the "Academy".
  • Purchased 1560 Berger Drive, a 72,000 square foot building located next door to our latest acquisition of 1534 Berger Drive.
  • YouthBuild completed 3rdsolo construction project - the Summer Street house in east San Jose, a 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath low-income home.
  • YouthCorps programs serve of 80 high school students.
  • Selma-Olinder Park built by YouthBuild crew with State Park Bond funding.
  • Completion of "Hennessy Place", a 7 house project on Blossom Hill Road in South San Jose.
  • Capital Campaign reaches half its goal and raises $3 million dollars.
  • Academy enrollment at 140 students.


  • More than 18,000 young adults have received training through SJCC programs.
  • Charter School in its 8th year of operation under East Side Union High School District.
  • Enrollment at the Charter Academy grows to 380 students.
  • Construction completed of new Charter Academy at 1560 Berger Drive with 17 classrooms, offices, and community


  • Daycare at 1560 Berger Drive opens to serve 85 infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.
  • Graduation rate is now over 400 students per year.
  • Received first funding reserved for current and former gang members (CalGRIP) aimed to help transition them from gang life to productive citizen.


  • Enrollment grows to 420 students.
  • New funding awarded to work with incarcerated youth "behind the walls" (CalYOR) and transition them to SJCC once they are released from custody to reach a variety of goals.
  • Charter School renewal granted by East Side Union High School District in 2012 for an additional 5 years by unanimous vote.
  • Contracted with CalTrans, a $2 million dollar project to assist with highway cleanups.


  • SJCC&CS in 26th year of operation
  • Enrollment grows to 450 students
  • Charter School expands to a staff of 30 people (included added position "Dean of Students")
  • Charter School completes 6thyear of operation under East Side Union High School District
  • Completed construction and permitting of SJCC Cafeteria at Berger Drive Campus
  • Start-up of Construction Skills Training Class
  • Leo M Shortino Foundation awards fund for Technology and Construction Training


  • Charter School adds 3 additional teachers (15 teachers total)
  • Received $255,463 in new technology from Universal Service Admin. Co. (e-Rate)
  • Charter School receives $126,806 by East Side Union HS District for new technology funded by Measure E & I bonds
  • Received $164,836 in new technology donated by the Cisco Foundation
  • Grading periods increase to 8 weeks in duration
  • Charter School begins process of WASC accreditation
  • Charter School applies to be direct funded under National School Lunch Program
  • Addition of Foothill Health Clinic at 1560 Berger Campus
  • Partnership with Santa Clara Valley Health & Hospital System to bring drug and alcohol counselor on site
  • Awarded Knight Foundation Grant to fund YouthBuild LEAP initiative
  • Awarded BEST grant funding from City of San Jose for gang reduction
  • Starbucks Foundation funds to develop community service partners
  • YouthBuild USA/AmeriCorps awards 50 Segal Education Award Scholarships