California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office logo

December 17, 2014

Contact: Paige Marlatt Dorr
Office: 916.327.5356
Cell: 916.601.8005
Office email:

Business and Labor Leaders Join Educators to Serve on California Community Colleges Task Force on

Jobs and Workforce Education

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Chancellor Brice W. Harris today announced he has appointed 24 individuals to a task force charged with developing policies to prepare more students for existing high value jobs and promote job creation with workforce training that sparks small business development and lures out-of-state business investment in key industry sectors.

The individuals will serve on the Task Force on Workforce, Job Creation, and a Strong Economy and represent the California Community Colleges, business community, labor groups, public agencies involved in workforce training, K-12 policy, and community-based organizations.
“The men and women I have appointed to the task force will collaborate with California’s business and educational leaders to determine what needs to be done to help the California Community Colleges craft educational programs that provide our students with relevant job skills,” Harris said. “The members have an impressive and unique blend of qualifications that will give the task force an informed understanding of the needs, experiences, and capabilities of the business community, academia, and labor organizations.”
Two more individuals remain to be appointed to the task force, which was commissioned in November by the California
Community Colleges Board of Governors.
Dr. Sunita V. Cooke, superintendent/president of MiraCosta College in Oceanside, Calif., will chair the task force. Cooke was recently selected by the MiraCosta Community College District Board of Trustees to lead the college. She served as president of Grossmont College in El Cajon, Calif. before becoming president/superintendent of MiraCosta.
Tim Rainey, executive director of the California Workforce Investment Board, and Dr. Lynn Shaw, president of the Community College Association of Long Beach City College will serve as co-chairs. California Gov. Jerry Brown appointed Rainey to his position in November 2011. Shaw is an electrical technology professor at Long Beach City College.
Members of the task force hail from a diverse array of organizations and professions, including the president and CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce, a counselor at Pasadena City College, an executive director at JPMorgan Chase, and a representative of the California Labor Federation.
The task force will conduct its work in three separate phases. The first phase, which began this month, involves holding meetings with community college practitioners. They will develop strategies and prioritize workforce training policies and practices that engender flexibility to respond to the changing labor market, regional responsiveness, partnership with industry, and ensure student degrees, certificates, credentials, and coursework are universally honored by colleges and have value to employers.
The second phase will start in February 2015 and involves town hall meetings in regions across the state with elected officials and leaders from business, economic development agencies, K-12, labor, and other community organizations to vet and build on ideas and practices that bring stronger alignment between community colleges and key industry sectors. The town hall meetings will include interactive discussions focused on how the community college system can act as a catalyst for growth in California’s regional economies.
Some organizations participating in the town halls include the Bay Area Council, California Business Roundtable Center for Jobs, Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, SEIU United Healthcare West, and Valley Vision.
The final phase involves meetings of the full task force itself. Members will deliberate over information and issues identified at the regional meetings and develop a set of recommendations by the end of summer 2015, which will be proposed for adoption by the Board of Governors. These deliberations will be held at the California Chamber of Commerce office in Sacramento.
Throughout the spring, the broader community would be invited to respond to the draft recommendations via the task force’s website.

The task force is the next phase among a series of initiatives that the Chancellor’s Office has established to improve the state’s workforce and economic competitiveness. Others include the Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy framework that outlines a strategy to close the job-skills gap and the Student Success Initiative that seeks to increase student access to the college system and successful completions.

These measures are necessary in light of statistics indicating that there will be 6.3 million job openings in California through 2020, of which 2 million jobs will require a post-secondary certificate or associate degree.
Furthermore, studies show that the labor market is increasingly demanding a more skilled workforce. Whereas in the
1970s 28 percent of jobs required more than a high school education, by 2020 it is estimated that 65 percent of job openings in the United States will require some postsecondary education or training.
To see the calendar of events for the task force, go to: A list of the appointed members is attached.

The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation composed of 72 districts and 112 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year. Community colleges supply workforce training, basic skills education and prepare students for transfer to four-year institutions. The Chancellor’s Office provides leadership, advocacy and support under the direction of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges. For more information about the community colleges, please visit,, or


Task Force on Workforce, Job Creation, and a Strong Economy Members

Sunita V. Cooke (Chair)
MiraCosta Community College

Tim Rainey (Co-Chair)
Executive Director
California Workforce Investment Board

Lynn Shaw (Co-Chair)
Community College Association LBCC

Barbara Baran
California EDGE Coalition

John Brauer
Executive Director, Workforce & Economic Development
California Labor Federation

Julie Bruno
Vice President, Academic Senate CC
Professor of Communications Studies
Sierra College

Brian Burrell
California Policy & Organizing Manager
Young Invincibles

Darin Chidsey
Director of Strategy, Policy & Public Affairs
Southern California Association of Governments

Patricia de Cos
Deputy Executive Director
California State Board of Education

Kari Decker
Executive Director for Corporate Responsibility
JPMorgan Chase

Mike Dozier
Executive Director
Office of Community and Economic Development

Carole Goldsmith
West Hills College District

Craig Justice
President, CCCCIO & Vice President for Instruction
Irvine Valley College

Kuldeep Kaur
Chief Business Officer
Yuba Community College District

Cathy A. Martin
Vice President, Workforce
California Hospital Association

James Mayer
President and CEO
California Forward

Ricardo Navarrette
Vice President for Student Services
Santa Rosa Junior College

Toni Parsons
Curriculum Committee Chair
San Diego Mesa College

Nicole Rice
Policy Director
California Manufacturing and Technology Association

William (Bill) Scroggins
President & CEO
Mount San Antonio College

Mollie Smith
Director, Occupational & Noncredit Programs
Palomar Community College

Linda S. Wah
PACCD Board of Trustees

Lynell Wiggins
Pasadena City College

Allan Zaremberg
President and CEO
California Chamber of Commerce