We’re thrilled to announce our first WLN cohort!
Construction Trades Workforce Initiative
Beli is the Founder and Executive Director of Construction Trades Workforce Initiative. As the former Workforce Development Director for the Alameda Building Trades Council, she helped strengthen pre-apprenticeship programs across the Bay Area and partnered with unions and regional organizations to expand access to skills-training programs for disadvantaged communities. Beli’s background is rooted in designing education programs, having worked as an educator in inner-city schools of Oakland, Washington, DC, and New York City over the last decade. She began her career on Wall Street helping S&P 500 businesses develop programs that sustain revenue growth. Beli graduated from the George Washington University with a degree in Business Administration and earned her Masters of Science in Education from St. John’s University. Beli hopes to gain tangible, research based leadership strategies to help her organization approach workforce systems and challenges more effectively. She is also excited to connect with and work along side a network of leaders in the workforce space.
Ricardo Alfaro is a Senior Employment Specialist who has worked at Chrysalis for over 5 years. A strong believer in the power of positive thinking in the workplace and waking up with a sense of purpose every morning, Ricardo brings these qualities to work each day. Ricardo can be seen at work mentoring and coaching teammates and clients. Occasionally, Ricardo likes a good binge show on streaming platforms and can also be found taking long walks with his rescue dog, Zoey.
Inés C. Barbosa is the Assistant Dean of Advising, Career & Global Learning at Mills College. Inés has dedicated her career to supporting historically marginalized individuals on their journey to post-secondary success. Inés was a founding staff member at First Graduate, a San Francisco college success organization, where she led the design and implementation of a comprehensive, culturally sustaining program that serves students and their families, from middle school to college graduation. In her role as Assistant Dean, Inés leads a team which creates programs that empower students to build a culturally sustaining network, for life-long achievement and positive contribution to society. Inés is the proud daughter of Mexican immigrants and a first-generation college graduate. She holds a BA in International Relations and an MA in Sociology focused on stratification & inequality from Stanford University. Inés also served as a Youth Development Peace Corps Volunteer in Costa Rica.
Bay Area Council
Henry Bartholomay is a Policy Manager at Bay Area Council, focusing on the Workforce of the Future initiative. He is inspired and fascinated by the way cities develop, and driven towards more equity-oriented policy around workforce development, housing, and transportation. Originally from Minneapolis, he has gained a diverse perspective on the economics of urban development, having studied International Political Economy and Spanish at Fordham University in New York. Henry looks forward to strengthening his leadership skills, learning from peers across the workforce development space, and coming away with new strategies to enact positive change for job seekers in the Bay Area.
Downtown Women’s Center
Kindalle Brown is the Director of Workforce Development for the Downtown Women’s Center. Kindalle has over 10 years of experience in the workforce development field. Kindalle devotes her free time to providing leadership training and professional development to participants interested in expanding their own leadership skills and has successfully mentored almost 200 people. What she hopes to gain from this program. Kindalle hopes to gain a powerful and diverse network of people, all interested in collaborating and creating projects designed to impact the workforce.
George spent 17 years working in Tech at various start-ups. Starting as a Customer Service Rep., he craved more experience and responsibility. He quickly rose through the ranks, becoming a lead, then a supervisor, performing quality assurance, writing phone/email scripts and training manuals, eventually performing hiring & training duties, account managing, and business advising. Two and a half years ago, after much disenchantment with start-ups, George found his passion working for an Oakland non-profit, assisting the Reentry population in connecting with meaningful employment opportunities. At SFmade, George has the opportunity to influence an entire employment sector, manufacturing employers to local workforce organizations throughout the Bay Area. Through his participation in the CORO WLN program, George hopes to learn new and effective ways to communicate to employers. He also hopes to learn how to highlight local CBO’s and bring them the attention they deserve for the important work they do.
Gina Del Carlo
Earn & Learn
Gina Del Carlo, Founding Director of Earn & Learn is the proud daughter of community organizers and originally from the Mission District in San Francisco. Gina earned her BA in Humanities and Education from New College of California. Prior to becoming the Founder and Director of Earn & Learn, Gina worked for several years in varying positions most recently with the Contra Costa County Workforce Development Board where she applied her commitment to serving the community. Before that Gina worked as a teacher committed to equipping the most vulnerable students with the tools to thrive. Gina is leading Earn & Learn into bold, new and innovative spaces while expanding statewide. Gina is thrilled to join the Coro Workforce Leadership Network and looks forward to building relationships with other leaders and growing together both personally and professionally.
Community Development Technologies
Kaylin Dickerson is passionate about making South LA communities stronger. As the Senior Program Manager at Community Development Technologies (CDTech), Kaylin works to build awareness and job readiness and develop career and education plans with Opportunity Youth. Kaylin joins the Workforce Leadership Network with hopes of learning new skills to facilitate workforce development in marginalized communities, particularly South LA. She is dedicated to empowering youth, particularly those affected by poverty, homelessness, poor education, and trauma. Kaylin hopes to create an environment of growth, compassion, and innovation to create real change in her community.
California Resources Corp
Shawnna Edmond is a fierce, protective mother and advocate for the employees/managers that she supports in her role as a People Operations Manager at California Resources Corporation. Shawnna has been working in the HR field for a little over 20 years and prior to that worked for her local church for several years. This has offered her the opportunity to truly encounter people at their best, their worst and everything in between. Shawnna belongs to Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., a public service organization, as well as the local SHRM chapter, PIHRA. As a member of these organizations, her goal is to obtain as much knowledge as she can to reach out and lift up others. Shawnna’s life’s mission is to help others reach their highest potential. She hopes to enrich her leadership skills and develop a strong network of like-minded individuals in the Coro WLN program.
Job Skills Institute
Over a span of 30 years, Celia Garcia has provided strong leadership and vision to tens of thousands of participants in over 40 programs. The programs have focused on delivering custom workforce development training, bridging the gap in services available to underserved minority communities, and the needs of an aging workforce by improving job skills for Adult Learners and providing business training to Small Business Owners. She brings with her wisdom and vast experience in serving the unique needs of employers and their surrounding communities that face ongoing workforce development challenges. She has dedicated her career to establishing workplace literacy and job training programs which have delivered direct bilingual training services to generations of workers to improve the critical language skills and job skills required to improve performance on the job, identify potential career paths, and move low wage workers to qualify for and attain higher wages. She has also been instrumental in creating national partnerships with like-minded organizations dedicated to improving families’ economic conditions by promoting self-sufficiency through workforce development initiatives and by teaching financial literacy to families struggling to get ahead in establishing and stabilizing their lives in the US.
A3Ventures | GIG Car Share (Parent company AAA NCNU)
Gina Garcia is the Talent Acquisition Lead for A3Ventures, the innovation lab of AAA. Prior to this role, Gina was the Recruitment Manager for a non-profit, dual immersion charter school network that serves the Hispanic and Latino communities. Gina was born and raised in San Francisco and is a first-generation college student. Her alma maters include Mills College where she graduated with an M.B.A. in Socially Responsible Business, ESC Pau Business School in Pau, France, and the University of San Francisco where she holds a B.S. Degree in Business. Gina is passionate about giving her time and has partnered with organizations such as Girls Who Code, Girls Inc., the Princess Project and 109 World where she volunteered in Latvia and Ecuador. Gina is appreciative of the opportunity to join the Coro WLN program to connect with other mission-driven leaders with shared values, eager to create sustainable solutions to workplace challenges.
OnPoint Legal Counsel, PC
Beth Hodess is a solo tax attorney/mediator working at the intersection of tax resolution and tax policy. Weaving together a deep understanding of tax law with a commitment to social justice, comfort with ambiguity, fearless curiosity, a talent for finding connections between seemingly disparate phenomena, and the ability to serve as a bridgebuilder for parties that at first glance are adversarial, she engages with a wide range of stakeholders to develop transparent and equitable tax policy. The War on Drugs had disastrous impacts on communities of color. Ensuring that previously criminalized groups have access to the wealth and opportunity generated by the legal cannabis industry is a critical component of cannabis equity. State and municipalities developing regulatory & tax structure for the cannabis industry must enact policies that undue racist past practices. To this end, Beth is investigating the success of the City of Oakland’s cannabis regulations and tax scheme.
Evolve Community Partners
David Jackson is a father, thought leader, and connector of people. His passions are developing young leaders, strategic planning, and building community. On a good day David is caring for himself, assisting those most vulnerable in the community, and loving on his children. He believes that in every obstacle there is an opportunity to bare fruit, so stop being stuck.
Rising Sun Center for Opportunity
Marlin Jeffreys was born and raised in Richmond, CA. In 1986 Crack Cocaine spread into urban areas creating a new urban lifestyle. Marlin embraced this new urban lifestyle and in 1986 Marlin became a 14 year old Crack Dealer. Marlin is an alumni of Rising Sun Center for Opportunity and Insight Garden Program (IGP) both programs have helped him transform his life. Marlin is also a formerly incarcerated individual who has transitioned back into society. Marlin is the Program Manager for the Opportunity Build team at Rising Sun Center for Opportunity. Marlin is a social and environmental justice activist who supports Black Lives Matters, solutions to Climate Change, prison reform, education, and living wage career opportunities. This program is an educational experience that will increase my knowledge and provide me with skills that improve my ability to work within the community and deliver quality service.
Desire Johnson-Forte is the Executive Director of BIZ Stoop, an Oakland, CA based social enterprise. Launched in 2015, with her vision to exponentially increase Black/BIPOC expectancy – beyond the age of 25 by way of equitable access. BIZ Stoop has served beyond its home county of Alameda to conduct resource access to youth across the state. Desire’s civic interest include: social-historical awareness; self determination & sovereignty; ending youth homelessness; economic justice; equitable access to culturally relevant wellness services; and advocacy for survivors. What Desire hopes to gain from this program is deeper awareness on sustainable workforce development for the the near future, maximizing professional network, and attracting adequate resources to scale and charter. Ultimately, Desire wants to continue to support the youth leaders of today to build their own community institutions that serve the needs of the people.
Michael is an impact and mission-driven professional with over 20 years of experience in program design, management, and leadership in the fields of education, community development, public policy and workforce development. Currently, he serves as the Regional Organizer for the CA Workforce Development Board-designated, East Bay Regional Planning unit where he manages regional planning, strategies and cross-systems partnerships for a partnership of four public workforce development agencies. His civic interests include equitable economic development, climate resilience and adaptation, public policy to address equity, economy and environment, effective collaborations for community-impacting innovation, innovative financial tools and city and regional planning. From the Coro Workforce Leadership Network experience Michael hopes to deepen his professional network, learn from thought leaders in the workforce development field, develop tools and insights to deepen impact and to be inspired.
Workforce Development Contractor
Annette Kelly-Whittle is a workforce development professional and grant writer. She holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s degree in business. Annette has worked in public services in various leadership capacities for over 16 years providing workforce development services to job seekers and businesses. She is a passionate advocate for economic opportunity for underserved populations and vitality in economically distressed communities. Throughout her public service career, she has addressed difficult social problems facing community’s low-income residents, including the challenges of incarceration, youth and adult unemployment, and poverty. She has personally been engaged in policy development, program development and program implementation of several community intervention programs. Annette oversaw the workforce programs and business services divisions at the City of San Bernardino Employment and Training Agency for 10 years before transitioning to workforce development consulting. Annette provides workforce development services in Los Angeles County, Orange County, and San Bernardino County.
Anthony (Chang) Kim
City of Los Angeles – Economic and Workforce Development Department
Anthony (Chang) Kim works for City of Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department as Management Analyst. He enjoys his current assignment working with his community building partnerships to assist opportunity youth needed support and resources and working with employers to connect job-seekers to various employment opportunities. He hopes to learn from the network for workforce development professionals and provide necessary leadership in the efforts to establish economic growth for the residents of City of Los Angeles.
Los Angeles Valley College, Los Angeles Community College District
Dr. Douglas Marriott is the Dean of Adult/Community Education & Workforce Development at Los Angeles Valley College (LAVC). He has taught in both the Psychology and English Departments at LAVC and directed projects for the LAVC Workforce Training Program. While continuing the advancement Workforce and Adult Education initiatives on campus, Dr. Marriott also oversees the and Family Resource Center, and works directly with the CalWORKs/GAIN department where he has aligned programs under the heading of “Strengthening Working Families” to add holistic supportive services for the community. He holds Bachelor’s Degrees from the University of Washington, a Master’s in Education from Chapman University, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from UCLA. He served in the Peace Corps as a Community Education Volunteer in the 1990s. He views the Fall 2020 CORO Workforce Leadership Network as a great avenue of continued growth and innovation in the field of Workforce Development.
Pacific Gateway Workforce Innovation Board (City of Long Beach-Economic Development-Workforce Development Department)
Lucius Martin is the Manager of Business Engagement for the Pacific Gateway Workforce Innovation Network which is administered by the City of Long Beach, CA. He is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles and has completed graduate-level coursework at Rutgers University’s School of Public Affairs and Administration. He has over a decade of workforce and economic development experience serving tribal nations, non-profit organizations, local municipalities and state governments. Lucius is humbled to have been selected to join the Coro WLN where he hopes to further explore innovative solutions to the new challenges emerging from the global pandemic and the economic impact it is having on our region.
Janeth Medina Larios
Bank of the West
Janeth Medina is a Vice President at Bank of the West, where she serves as the annual Community Ambassador within the Bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) group. In her current role, she has the unique opportunity to provide nonprofit consulting and critical organizational support to Earth Island Institute. Before entering the CSR space, Janeth spent most of her career developing strategic business cases for business lines to improve the growth and profitability of their businesses and also supported major bank-wide transformation initiatives. Janeth is also on the Executive Board of Latinos in Finance (LIF) and was the organization’s past President. She currently serves as LIF’s Treasurer and CFO. She has an MBA and a BA in Political, Legal and Economic Analysis from Mills College.
Alameda County Workforce Development Board
Samantha Miller is the Business Services Coordinator at the Alameda County Workforce Development Board where she has spent the last 5 years helping local businesses grow and thrive. A native of the Bay Area, Samantha has spent a significant part of her life and career living on the East Coast as well as in Southeast Asia, where she worked for several international organizations serving the needs of rural communities. She has a great passion for cultures and languages, and has learned several in her life. In the Bay Area, she worked closely with several non-profit organizations dedicated to improving the lives of refugee communities in the U.S. She has also worked for Fortune 500 companies in a marketing capacity Samantha has always demonstrated leadership skills in her life and is looking forward to the training to further develop these skills in the scope of workforce. She is excited to learn from peers and professionals in the field, build strong relationships and identify ways she can be a greater, more effective leader in her work and in impacting others.
Vietnamese American Community Center of the East Bay (VACCEB)
Hanna Morris has +5 years of experience delivering workforce development services to diverse job seeker populations in the Oakland area. She is passionate about using career counseling as a tool to empower clients to embrace their own strengths, skills, and brilliance to achieve better lives, and believes that workforce development is an essential piece of creating more equitable and just societies. For the last 4.5 years, she has worked as an Employment Program Manager at the Vietnamese American Community Center of the East Bay (VACCEB) in Oakland, where she has supported +200 refugee/immigrant community members in securing jobs and advancing their career/educational goals. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from UC Davis, and is currently pursuing her Certified Career Services Provider (CCSP) credential. She is excited to participate in Coro’s Workforce Leadership Network to build her own leadership skills and collaborate with others to pilot new solutions.
Bay Area native Peter Ortiz is a Manager of Provider Strategy for Year Up. As a proud alum of the Year Up program, Peter holds a deep commitment to expanding opportunities and pipelines to careers within communities of color. This commitment was the motivation behind his run for public office. Winning his race, he became the youngest in history (29 years old) to be elected to the Santa Clara County Board of Education. During his short tenure, Peter has passed legislation to expand ethnic studies curriculum countywide, advocated for police free schools in communities of color, pushed for parent representation on charter school boards. Peter is excited to participate in the Workforce Leadership Network to expand my capacity to identify and solve real workforce barriers by collaborating across organizations, communities, and industries to benefit a project.
City of Los Angeles, Department on Disability
Jaime H. Pacheco-Orozco is the Assistant Executive Director of City of Los Angeles Department on Disability, overseeing the department’s day-to-day operations and budgetary, legislative, and strategic planning processes. He has been active in in the workforce development arena for two decades, previously serving as the Division Chief of the City’s Workforce Development System and the Vice-Chair of the California’s Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities (PWD). Recognizing that PWD have the right to be productive and contributing members of society, Jaime champions initiatives that address and ensure physical and programmatic accessibility of the public workforce development and educational systems. As a PWD and as father of teenage sons with disabilities, Jaime understands not only the myths and stereotypes associated with PWD but also the struggles that parents face when seeking a Fair and Appropriate Public Education for their children. Jaime earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Yale University and has worked in the private, public, and educational sectors.
Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH)
Dara Papel-Weinger is a seasoned homeless services professional with over 12 years’ experience in direct services, social policy and economic justice. Currently a Senior Program Manager at Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH), Dara is responsible for advising public agencies on needed systems change and policy reform to prevent and end homelessness in Los Angeles County and western regional CSH initiatives. Dara’s primary focus is to integrate access to income and employment into the existing homeless coordinated entry system in Los Angeles County.
Los Angeles Job Corps
Eboney Pearson is a Business & Community Liaison for Los Angeles Job Corps in downtown L.A. In addition to public relations and civic programming, she establishes partnerships to gain access to resources to support workforce development for at-promise youth. Outside of work, Eboney serves as a Commissioner for the Homeless Services Advisory Committee for the City of Long Beach, helping assess needs and allocating funds for those facing homelessness. Eboney has also invested her time having served as a board member of the Korean American Federation of Los Angeles and later received a 40 Under 40 Emerging Leader Award through Empowerment Congress and the Office of Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. Through Coro’s WLN Fellowship, Eboney is intent on making a greater impact in her community by collectively working with others to think more critically and seek solutions with innovation to improve conditions impacting our future workforce and economy.
Yuritzy Peraza is the Director of Community Engagement at UCLA Extension, overseeing efforts to provide adults in diverse communities across Los Angeles access to educational programs. Since starting the role in September of 2016, she has created partnerships with community organizations, government agencies and elected officials, in order to, provide educational programs at no-cost to adults in Boyle Heights, Pico-Union, as well as, veterans. She is currently the Chair of UCLA Extension’s Workforce Investment Board Taskforce which is responsible for overseeing efforts to provide educational opportunities to unemployed adults through partnerships with local-area workforce investment boards. Yuritzy has dedicated her career to helping students gain access to educational opportunities and looks forward to learning from others, in workforce development, best practices and exploring opportunities to collaborate. She holds a certificate of Non-profit Management from CSU Northridge and a BA in Latin American Studies and Political Science from UC Berkeley.
Cristina is a San Francisco native, born to Mexican immigrants. She developed resiliency early on which led her to become the first to graduate college and then a 22-year career dedicated to fighting against social and economic inequities. During the past 18 years at the non-profit Summer Search Bay Area, Cristina has advocated for unrepresentative students through socio-emotional mentoring and innovative programming. As the Director of Post-Secondary and Alumni Relations, she built and launched their first post-secondary program that created access for students to advising, financial literacy, and career opportunities: internship, jobs and career coach programs with networking built in to connect with professionals and companies. In addition, Cristina fuels her passion for diversity and inclusion initiatives as a Talent Consultant for social impact organizations supporting their recruiting needs and creating diverse sourcing pipelines. Cristina has a BA in Psychology and Ethnic Studies Certificate from the University of San Francisco, and a Masters in Social Work and PPS credential from San Jose State University. Prior to Summer Search, Cristina worked at La Clinica de la Raza, Instituto Familiar de la Raza and at Santa Clara’s Kaiser Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She was also a board member of Pacific Primary Preschool.
Stephanie has extensive experience working in the non-profit sector, specializing in strength-based and trauma-informed services to help homeless families achieve employment, education, and financial goals. She is an analytical policy-oriented professional graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from San Jose State University. As a San Francisco native, she has deep interest in ending the cycle of homelessness through enhancing equity in marginalized communities. My hope is that through this experience, I can collaborate with different workforce leaders to assess barriers to employment, increase engagement, and create metrics that represent the soft skill development within workforce development that is critical to sustainable development.
Earn & Learn
Carmen’s lifelong desire to help others was born out of witnessing and personally experiencing educational inequalities during her K-12 years. Carmen has over 15 years of experience in K-12 School Districts, Charter Schools, Universities, and Non Profits holding various operational roles in, Human Resources, Enrollment & Admissions, Finance, and Student Services. Prior to joining Earn & Learn Carmen was working as an independent HR consultant working on diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives in K-12 school Districts aiding them in operationalizing diversity and inclusion efforts. Before that Carmen worked as an HR Director in a K-12 School District. At Earn & Learn Carmen leads the day-to-day Operations as well as guides the design and strategy of the ELENA platform as it expands into growing communities. Carmen hopes to gain from this program a deeper understanding of how she shows up as a leader as well as explore the workforce problems she aims to solve.
The Unity Council
Gabriela Pingarron is the Employment Service Manager in The Unity Council. She began her career with The Unity Council as a participant in their work experience program and soon after became a receptionist for the company. Eventually, she began moving up the ladder until she reached her current position of Employment Service Manager. Her roles consist of overseeing adult employment services for the Career Center and supervising the industry-specific trainings offered. One of Gabriela’s greatest satisfactions from her work is her ability to help the community, especially when seeing clients succeed in both their financial stability and their careers. A couple of her civic interests are volunteering and emergency preparedness. From this program, Gabriela hopes to gain skills that she can incorporate in her career and attain knowledge to be able to bring back to her community.
County of Los Angeles Workforce Development, Aging, & Community Services
Ali Raisdanai serves as the Deputy Director of Strategic Planning and Partnership Development for the Los Angeles County Workforce Development Board, part of the executive-level advisory staff to Board Commissioners and Executive Management of the Board and County Agency (Workforce Development, Aging, & Community Services). Mr. Raisdanai is a twenty-two year professional with private sector and public service experience. As a public steward, Mr. Raisdanai is vested in the future of work, strategically aligning workforce and economic development framework to problem-solve critical societal issues and effecting more equitable and inclusive educational and career opportunities for historically disproportionately-impacted populations to ensure social mobility and prosperity for generations. As a lifelong learner, Ali is eager to learn and be enriched from the diverse knowledge, experiences and voices of his Coro facilitators and cohort.
Center for International Trade and Transportation at California State University
Tyler Reeb leads research and workforce development teams that address challenges and opportunities related to automation, transformational technology, institutional change, and organizational management. He serves on the METRANS Executive Committee and directs research, education, and community engagement efforts across the consortium’s affiliated centers of excellence, including The Center for International Trade and Transportation, National Center for Sustainable Transportation, MetroFreight, Southwest Transportation Workforce Center, and Pacific Southwest University Transportation Center. Those centers represent a $28-million research portfolio. He is the principal author and editor of the book Empowering the New Mobility Workforce (Elsevier 2019). He was also the lead author for a successful $1.5 million Federal Highway Administration grant application to fund deployment of the National Transportation Career Pathway Initiative. He is a member of two National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine standing committees focused on Education & Training and Native American mobility issues.
Karla Salazar is a political and labor consultant. For the past 15 years, Karla has assisted labor unions, political candidates, nonprofits, and social enterprises with strategy, community outreach, lobbying, coaching, and leadership development. Karla has worked for organizations like Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE), People Organized for Westside Renewal (POWER), AFSCME International, the California Democratic Party (CDP), and L.A. County Federation of Labor, AFL CIO. She launched her political consulting firm in 2018, Pink Wave Campaigns, specializing in campaign management, social media marketing, public affairs, and grassroots organizing for highly targeted and individualized field programs for women candidates and allies, she also works with small businesses in the Los Angeles area.She holds a B.A. in Political Science from California State University, Los Angeles, and an M.S. in Social Entrepreneurship from USC Marshall School of Business.
Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI)
Sharon Segado is the Training Coordinator at the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI). She helps develop workforce development programs that prepare individuals with job-readiness skills for careers in clean technology. Her interests include reading, discovering different coffee shops around Los Angeles, and riding her bike. She’s excited to network with like-minded individuals, gain industry knowledge, and contribute to the overall mission of creating jobs in Southern California.
Youth Employment Partnership (YEP)
DeAndre has worked at Youth Employment Partnership (YEP) since 2018, starting his journey with the organization as in-school counselor serving the high school population age 14-18. After just a few months, he was approached with the opportunity to work with the young adults age 18-24 in the role of senior counselor. He then became the lead and now is the coordinator. He has previously held roles working with underserved populations at homeless shelters and children centers, but this is his first role in a primarily workforce centered environment. Being a native from San Francisco, working in Oakland has brought a new perspective to how I see the town. From competition and misunderstandings to mutual love and respect. He see himself in the youth he works with and while he is on his own path to healing and building, he just wants to do his part to help them win too. We all we got! This program will give back to DeAndre whatever he puts into it and he is looking forward to taking full advantage of whatever this program has to offer.
San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development, TechSF
Krysti Specht is a senior workforce developer and policy analyst for a Mayoral Initiative called TechSF, within the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development. Krysti hopes to learn from the incredible group- how to be better, smarter, and drive meaningful change with creativity. Her civic interests include women’s equal rights, access to education and high wage work, and breaking the cycle.
County of Los Angeles
Christian Villanueva is a workforce development administrator for the County of Los Angeles Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS), focusing primarily on performance, data, technology, and communications. He has worked in this specific capacity since June 2018 but has been a part of the County’s economic and workforce development scene for almost seven years. Christian prides himself on creating opportunities for the community and feels that our society functions best when all residents are supported economically, connected socially, and engaged politically. He is looking to establish lifelong relationships with his Coro Workforce Leadership Network trainers and colleagues. As a former victim of a layoff, Christian hopes to work with everyone in the program to develop an infrastructure that can support all disconnected and disenfranchised individuals. Despite the many problems we face, he is relentlessly optimistic about our ability to solve anything collectively, which drives him personally and professionally.
UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs
Aditya Voleti is an MPP candidate at UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs with an extensive background in education and policy experience. He was a Teach for America Corps member in Kansas City, on the founding team of a startup incubator investing in education ventures, and a fellow at the Mayor’s Office of Kansas City – where he created a regional plan to build a teacher pipeline to bring early childhood educators to the area. Most recently, Aditya was at the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), working as a Special Advisor to the Secretary in Workforce Development. At Luskin, Aditya continues to work at the intersection or workforce development and equity. He is currently a Graduate Student Researcher at the Luskin Center for Innovation, working on two workforce development reports (for CalEPA and LADWP) with an emphasis on workforce diversification and just transition. Aditya graduated from Brown University in 2011 with a degree in Mathematics and Sanskrit.
City of Oakland – Economic & Workforce Development Department
Tamara Walker has over 24 years of experience in workforce development. She is currently a Program Analyst for the City of Oakland’s Economic and Workforce Development Department and oversees business engagement and services where she has been instrumental in implementing several workforce initiatives. Prior to the City of Oakland, Ms. Walker worked as a Youth Program Manager for the City of Richmond’s Employment & Training Department and Fund Developer for the Richmond Police Activities League (RPAL). Through her tenure in Richmond, she authored several grants that total over $20M to support youth and adult workforce development programs. She is currently the secretary of the San Francisco/Bay Area Chapter of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators. Her purpose for joining the Workforce Leadership Network is to hone her leadership skills and development the necessary knowledge, tools and abilities to inspire and impact her team, collaborative partners and the community.
San Francisco’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development
Orrian’s parents met and married in Jamaica in 1982. They then moved to Austin, TX where Orrian was born in 1983. In 1984, their family moved to the Bay Area. Neither of Orrian’s parents graduated from high school, so Orrian was never pushed toward school nor did he have much interest in it. After Berkeley High School, Orrian worked full time for a few years. That made him realize the power of education and workforce development. He attended SF State as an Urban Planning major and graduated just after the 2008 recession. After a few odd jobs, Orrian landed a gig as a job coach. He has not looked back since. Orrian lives with his wife and their two daughters in Richmond, CA, where they like to spend time outdoors. Orrian enjoys surfing in his free time.
KRA / Leadership Long Beach
Shawna Wright is the Principal of Growing Big Ideas, a consultancy focused on designing customer-focused experiences, thriving ecosystems, and successful and sustainable outcomes for workforce development agencies and their stakeholders. Prior, she adeptly developed workers and strengthened communities at KRA Corporation while starting-up and rebuilding workforce development programs in DC, Miami, Southern California and Nevada. Shawna serves on the Executive Board of Leadership Long Beach as their first Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Officer and lends her experience to the Southern California Cannabis Council where she aids the Council in the areas of education and training, business support, workforce development, and social justice. Believing communities thrive when all sectors work together ensure its members have access to opportunities that lead to self-sustaining and meaningful careers that support economic and community development, Shawna is excited to listen, learn, and collaborate with other change-makers in the Coro Workforce Leadership Network.