Building Bridges: Creating Higher Education-Employer Partnerships that Work for Students



Given the complexity of California’s higher education and workforce ecosystem, decision makers must understand the barriers that keep meaningful higher education-employer partnerships from occurring. These relationships are central to boosting student employment outcomes, ensuring workforce needs are met, and sustaining the state’s economic strength and competitiveness.

On Monday, July 11, California Competes and a panel of stakeholders from across the education-to-work continuum convened to discuss the main factors that impede the creation of meaningful engagement and what practices can create better alignment and effective collaborations for all parties involved. California Competes Executive Director Dr. Su Jin Jez shared insights from a newly released research brief, and attendees heard from the following panelists:

  • Sandra Sanchez, Interim Vice Chancellor of Workforce and Economic Development at California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office
  • James DeKloe, Professor of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology and Director and Founder of the Industrial Biotechnology program at Solano Community College
  • Christopher Esch, Senior Manager, Security Operations at Cue Health
  • Coleton Matics, Sacramento State Nursing Alum and Former Director of Health and Human Services at Associated Students, Inc.

For those interested in the Industrial Biotechnology program at Solano Community College, click here. The materials were shared by James DeKloe, one of the panelists on this webinar, as follow-up to the discussion.

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