College of Alameda President's Report

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College of Alameda’s Career Center Is Going Above and Beyond

Even while CoA’s Career and Employment Center campus location has been closed these past months during the pandemic, Career Center staff have made extraordinary efforts to continue to support clients by providing important resources and services to many in our community who were affected by the pandemic.

The Career Center is staffed by a team of nine dedicated and talented consultants led by Director of Workforce Systems Stefanie Bradshaw. Ms. Bradshaw hires her highly qualified team members each year through her professional network.

“I’m honored to work with each and every one of them and our success is due to the hard work of our team," Bradshaw said.

The Alameda County Workforce Development Board funds the Career Center’s operations. This funding allows the operation to provide a range of free services to students and Alameda County residents (excluding Oakland) who are on unemployment benefits, have recently exhausted their unemployment benefits, have been recently laid off, and who are underemployed or unemployed.

The Career Center experienced an unprecedented increase in requests for services this past year due to the pandemic. Despite the many operational challenges related to providing services during the Covid-19 shelter in place period, the County continued to hold the Career Center accountable for all required outcomes. The team rose to the occasion and Director Bradshaw is pleased to announce that, notwithstanding a number of logistical and operational challenges, they have met or exceeded all established goals.

The CoA Career Center was able to successfully pivot from in-person services to a remote based service delivery model and serve the community (including students) with a full range of career services. It is a testament to their hard work and tenacity that they were successful in meeting all goals. The following are a few highlights of their accomplishments from last year:

  • The Center exceeded the County goal for the number of clients served by registering a total of 139 eligible clients in their program. They are required to enroll a minimum of 108 clients annually who are considered Dislocated Workers (those who are receiving unemployment benefits or have been recently laid off) or adults in the community who are unemployed or underemployed.
  • During the pandemic, the Career Center team also successfully worked with training providers across the state to enroll clients in both in-person and virtual job training programs. The Center is required to spend $100k in training funds annually and pays training providers up to $5,000 per client (on a first-come, first-served basis) to enroll in industry recognized certificate programs.
  • The Center is also required to place four clients in On the Job Training (OJT) programs. During the 20-21 program year, the Center successfully placed four clients in full-time positions that include full medical benefits.

In addition to achieving the required County outcomes/goals, the Career Center team went above and beyond in serving clients by helping them pay their expenses and more.

  • The Career Center assisted clients with one-time reimbursement of their bills for up to $800 per client using Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) funding to support those who were financially impacted by Covid-19. The amount of $50k was spent to assist Covid-19 affected clients with their mortgage payments, rent, utility bills, and other expenses.
  • Also, in an effort to address the digital divide that was so prevalent this past year, the Career Center team volunteered to work with the Alameda Workforce Development Board to deliver refurbished laptops to Alameda County residents. Director Bradshaw partnered with the County for the campus to be a delivery site. Ms. Bradshaw drove around the county to pick up equipment and worked with her team of consultants to personally deliver 40 laptops to community members and students.
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Career Center Plans for the 21-22 Program Year

The Career Center team will continue to offer free career services, workshops, and employer hiring events throughout the upcoming year. Most recently, on June 15, 2021, the team participated in an in-person City of Alameda Job Fair providing resources to area residents while networking with over 30 regional employers.

Director Bradshaw also will serve as the project lead in implementing a new online education application for the District. Handshake is an online platform that will provide students with direct access to over 50k employers within a 50-mile radius of Peralta District Offices. This innovative application will help students directly connect with hiring recruiters, and has some potential for improving Student-Centered Funding Formula outcomes. The application will be available starting in the Fall 2021 semester.

With so many new clients to support, the Career Center team also will be growing and expanding their services through innovative partnerships and opportunities, including:

Career Center staff will work with the CoA Workability Program to serve adults with disabilities referred by the Department of Rehabilitation.

The County has asked the Career Center to serve as the lead for providing career services for Santa Rita jail in Dublin.

In addition, Director Bradshaw has partnered with agencies on two regional grants that, if awarded, will allow the Career Center to provide Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and U.S. Small Business Administration services for the District and the community.

Meet the Career and Employment Center Team:

CoA Career Center Director of Workforce Systems Stefanie Bradshaw is a member of the CoA Student Services management team under the leadership of Vice President Dr. Tina Vasconcellos and Dean Dr. Shalamon Duke. Stefanie is a workforce development professional and very passionate about providing career services to the hardest to serve and the underserved in Alameda County. In 2019, she partnered on a probation grant with a non-profit to provide increased career services to the justice involved. She is a seasoned educator with over 20 years of experience in education and workforce development. Prior to joining Peralta in 2018, Stefanie served as the Assistant Director of Adult Programs for the Eden Area Regional Occupational Program in Hayward. Stefanie also worked in K-12 having started her teaching career right out of college in Oakland, where she was born and raised. Stefanie moved into school administration in 2008 serving as the Assistant Principal for Montera Middle School. From there, Stefanie went on to serve as a Principal for the School for Integrated Academics and Technologies (SIATech). Stefanie holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and an Administrative Services Credential.

Intake Specialist Tiffany Ghoddoucy has been with the Center for three years and previously worked with Director Bradshaw at the Eden Area Regional Occupation Programs (ROP).

Career Coach Dr. Miesha Clipper Willis has been with the Center for two years and previously worked with Director Bradshaw at the Oakland Unified School District. Willis has a doctorate in counseling and over 20 years’ experience. She was recently recruited by PCCD to serve as an adjunct counselor at Merritt College.

Career Coach Kimari Williams has been with the Career Center for three years and also serves as an adjunct community college counselor with neighboring districts. Williams has a Master of Arts in Counseling and over 20 years of experience in counseling.

Career Center Support Staff Anthony Patrick joined the Career Center in 2020 to help provide services to clients remotely and in-person by creating a mobile office to reach clients that were impacted due to the digital divide. He has a Master of Science degree in Forensic Psychology and experience working with priority populations, including those impacted by the justice system.

Career Center Support Staff Hoai An Phan joined the team in 2020 during the pandemic to ensure phones were answered and clients served using Google Voice and Zoom technologies. An Phan took in over 100 calls per week and worked with prospective clients to address their concerns with how to access our services and how to get help contacting Employment Development Department (EDD). It is significant to note that An Phan is a graduate of CoA, previously worked in the Career Center as a student worker, graduated from CSU East Bay with a baccalaureate degree, and upon graduation returned to the Career Center as a consultant to serve the community.

Job Developer Bonnie Black has over 30 years of experience in career services. With her efforts and professional connections, the Career Center successfully linked many clients to employment opportunities during the pandemic.

CoA Career and Employment Center Client Testimonial

“I was presented with a challenge when I learned that the company I worked for was relocating out of state. I had just begun to blossom into my role but this change pushed me to look deeper into what I wanted to do going forward. The program helped me to look at my loss of employment, as an opportunity for growth. I was able to take time to re-evaluate what I enjoyed and did not enjoy about my role. I was also reminded not to forget my value and not to sell myself short. The College of Alameda Career Service team was instrumental in helping me map out a strategy and identify stackable courses. I want to personally thank Lisa Wilson and Stephanie Bradshaw who were instrumental in my success. As a result of the continued education I have received through the program, I have become an asset to my current and prospective employers. I am comfortable and confident in the skills I have learned. I began putting them to use as I learned. I am currently employed as a contractor and I am excited for the opportunities my new skills will lead to.” – Pamela Shropshire, Career Center Client

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SEM Update: CoA Participates in the Enrollment Management Academy

College of Alameda was represented by a robust team of classified professionals, faculty, faculty leaders, curriculum committee chair, instruction and student services deans, vice presidents, and Director of Research & Planning in the four-day Seventh Enrollment Management Academy (14-member team).

More than 160 participants across different community colleges participated in this informative and productive academy that took place virtually from July 12, 2021, to July 15, 2021.

The College of Alameda team participated in several team exercises, and CoA was recognized for its innovative scheduling model that incorporates Student Center Funding Formula student success and equity matrix with other important enrollment related measures.

Glamour Magazine Selected CoA Student Sabrina Valadez-Rios As One of Their College Women of the Year

Glamour Magazine selected community college students from around the country for their College Women of the Year annual feature. The list includes CoA Student Sabrina Valadez-Rios, who has also taken classes at BCC, where her father attended. Sabrina Valadez-Rio is an aspiring nurse, a public health advocate, and has aspirations to become the future mayor of Oakland. For more than 60 years, Glamour has honored exceptional college women across the U.S. This year, with the help of First-Lady Dr. Jill Biden, the magazine turned its focus to students enrolled in community college.

To read the full article click here: Glamour Magazine or go to: https://bit.ly/2VSCpI5.

 

This article is taken from the President’s Report, written by Dr. Nathaniel Jones III, College of Alameda President, that was presented to the PCCD Board of Trustees during their regular meeting on Tuesday, July 27, 2021.

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