Sonoma State University’s New Public-Private Partnership Bolsters Classroom-to-Career Pipeline

The School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today announced a strategic partnership and career services pilot program with Star Staffing, a leading regional employment agency with nearly 20 years of experience in employer relations and job search training. Beginning this month, the strategic public-private partnership will provide enhanced career support to business and economics students, alumni, and employers, including the development of existing programs, such as annual career fairs, alumni mixers, and the professional mentor program.

“This pilot program is intended to build on our progress and engage even more companies and create more opportunities for our students nationally and globally,” Dr. William S. Silver, Dean of the School of Business and Economics and Wine Business Institute said. “It allows us to continue creating extraordinary learning experiences for our students, while further developing a portfolio of career services in support of regional economic development and recovery. Our goal and expectation is that these enhancements will help ensure the educational, career, and life success of our students and alumni.”

“We’re excited about the opportunity to help students gain career-readiness skills and employment,” Nicole Smartt, Star Staffing Vice President said. “Employers across all industries are having difficulty finding enough qualified employees. By turning a spotlight on these talented students, we’ll help local employers see the value of hiring from this source and alleviate the hiring headache.”

Star Staffing will oversee the SBE Career Center’s services to students and employers, while working closely with Dr. Kyuho Lee, Professor of Marketing and current Internship Director; Dr. Karen Thompson, SBE Managing Director; and Joe Standridge, Professional Faculty in Accounting and advisor to the Accounting Forum, the largest academic student club at SSU. Currently, the SBE Career Center connects students to approximately 300 internships and nearly 100 professional mentorships each year, and the Accounting Forum helps place more than 100 students in accounting positions annually.

For more information regarding SBE Career Center services, please contact 707-791-5565 or For information regarding the new public-private partnership with Star Staffing, or for information about SBE programs and degrees, please call 707-664-2377 or visit