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January 5, 2015

Dr. Sunita Cooke, President of MiraCosta College, has been tasked with leading the Task Force on Workforce, Job Creation and a Strong Economy, which was established by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors to make community college workforce education more responsive to the state’s economy.

Dr. Cooke serves on SDWP’s Workforce Investment Board as well as on the Board of the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce. She has also served as regional leader for workforce development and on the State Chancellor’s Workforce and Economic Development Advisory Council. Prior to her new role with MiraCosta College, Cooke served seven years as president of Grossmont College in El Cajon.

The Task Force on Workforce, Job Creation, and a Strong Economy will be comprised of representatives from the California Community Colleges, business community, labor groups, public agencies involved in workforce training, K-12 policy, and community-based organizations. Its goal is to develop policies that will 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 task force will conduct its work in three separate phases. The first phase involves holding meetings with community college practitioners to surface strategies and prioritize workforce training policies and practices.

The second phase, which starts in February 2015, involves five town hall meetings, held across the state, to convene leaders from business, economic development, K-12 education policy, labor, electeds and other community organizations to vet and build on ideas and practices that bring stronger alignment between community colleges and key industry sectors.

SDWP and the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (EDC) will host the phase 2 town hall meeting in San Diego on March 18.

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.

Throughout the spring, the broader community will be invited to respond to the draft recommendations via the task force’s website.

The task force will build upon other initiatives that the California Community Colleges has undertaken to increase individual and regional economic competitiveness by providing the state’s workforce with relevant skills and quality credentials that match employer needs and fuel a stronger economy.

To see the calendar of events for the task force, go to:


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