The Center for a Competitive Workforce (CCW) is a Strong Workforce Program regional project focused on institutionalizing the regular engagement of and partnerships between our 19 community colleges in the L.A. region and employers from high-growth industry sectors (i.e. those in which our region has productive advantages, deep labor concentrations and projected growth of middle skill jobs). It is through the development, institutionalization and activation of these productive partnerships and real-time “feedback loops” that our region’s community colleges will be able to adaptively attune their programs, courses and curricula to the workforce needs of these high-growth industries in a way that this truly responsive, demand-driven and future-forward, while also providing students with the very important real-world experiences that come from work-based learning opportunities such as internships.
CCW has several work streams:
- Labor Market Analysis
- Industry Councils
- Regional Program Advisory Meetings
- Work-Based Learning Partnerships
- Company Visits and Career Videos
- Workforce and Education Partners Portal
- Bioscience Industry Portal
The CCW Executive Committee and Advisory Council meet monthly and quarterly and are represented and led by thirteen CTE, Workforce and Economic Development, and Business Division Deans, Associate Deans, and Strong Workforce Program Managers from 9 of the 11 Community College Districts in the Los Angeles region who oversee and direct the strategic planning, college and external partnerships, project outcomes and financial management for this Strong Workforce Program regional project.
The Executive Committee and Advisory Council are Chaired by Virginia Rapp from El Camino College, with Co-Chairs from Patricia Ramos from Santa Monica College and Jennifer Galbraith from Mt. San Antonio College.
CCW Advisory Council
CHAIR: Virginia Rapp, Dean, Business Division, El Camino College
PROJECT LEAD: Patricia Ramos, Ed.D., Dean, Workforce and Economic Development, Santa Monica College
PROJECT CO-LEAD: Jennifer Galbraith, Dean, Business Division, Mt. San Antonio College
Salvatrice Cummo, Executive Director,Economic and Workforce Development, Pasadena City College
Lyla Eddington, K-14 Pathways Coordinator, Rio Hondo College
Margaret Fernandez, Strong Workforce Coordinator, Rio Hondo College
Kendra Madrid, Dean, Continuing Education and Workforce Development, East Los Angeles College
Freddy Saucedo, Associate Dean (Interim), Career Education and Workforce Development, Glendale Community College
Dr. Lucia Robles, J.D., M.A., Dean, CTE, Strong Workforce and Workforce Development, Los Angeles Community College District
Jan Swinton, Dean, Workforce Development, Glendale Community College
Michael Wangler, Dean of Career, Technical & Continuing Education, Citrus College
Lynell R. Wiggins, Director of Adult Education and Workforce Development, Compton College
Mercy Yanez, Dean of Student Services, Los Angeles Harbor College
Center for a Competitive Workforce
In his role as Executive Director, Richard Verches supports regional employer-engagement strategies for and with the 19 community colleges in the L.A. region to increase work-based learning and employment opportunities for students in highest growth occupations and industry sectors/clusters, consistent with the California Community College Chancellor’s Office Strong Workforce Program
Jessica Ku Kim
Senior Director of Workforce Development
Los Angels County Economic Development Corp (LAEDC)
In her role as Senior Director of Workforce Development, Jessica provides strategic direction and leads collaborative efforts to strengthen the alignment of LA County’s workforce and education systems to industry workforce needs, as LAEDC looks towards the future of work in the region and develops strategies to help LA’s workforce navigate a rapidly changing economy. She is LAEDC’s lead for CCW.
Senior Director of Communications
Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp (LAEDC)
Lawren develops content for CCW, serving in a communications and media relations role, which is parallel to his role at LAEDC. He welcomes feedback on the website and related content. In addition to working at LAEDC, Lawren also serves on the board of Innovate Pasadena and as an advisor for the Net Zero Accelerator run by USGBC-LA.
CCW reports are authored by a multi-organizational team of economists with deep research and analysis experience in regional labor markets and industries. The team is comprised of economists from both the Center of Excellence for Labor Market Research, and LAEDC’s Institute for Applied Economics.
The 19 Community Colleges in the LA County region, who together serve half a million students each year: Cerritos College, Citrus College, Compton College, East Los Angeles College, El Camino College, Glendale Community College, Long Beach City College, Los Angeles City College, Los Angeles Harbor College, Los Angeles Mission College, Los Angeles Pierce College, Los Angeles Southwest College, Los Angeles Trade-Technology College, Los Angeles Valley College, Mt. San Antonio College, Pasadena City College, Rio Hondo College, Santa Monica College, West Los Angeles College, and including leadership from Los Angeles Community College District.
As grant-funded technical assistance providers, the seven Centers of Excellence for Labor Market Research across the state, located strategically within the California Community College system to study the regional economies of California, support the community colleges by providing customized data on high growth, emerging, and economically-critical industries and occupations and their related workforce needs.
The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) was founded in 1981 as a nonprofit, public-benefit organization to harness the power of private sector in collaboration with L.A. County, to guide economic development and create more widely shared prosperity. LAEDC collaborates with all stakeholders in the region including education, business, and government.
CCW is also a strong partner with the region’s seven Workforce Development Boards.