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Career Technical Education: Promising Practices from the Field

Friday, October 4, 2019
10:00am - 12:00pm PDT
Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce Bank of America Room A&B
350 S Bixel St. Los Angeles, CA 90017
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Career Technical Education: Promising Practices from the Field

While California is enjoying resurgent economic growth, benefits are not accruing equally across different demographic groups and geographic regions.  Some of this inequality stems from differences in educational attainment and the sectoral composition of varying regional labor markets where educational opportunities are not aligned to the jobs available. A recent report by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) revealed that a majority of students who complete career education credentials at California community colleges earn middle-income wages within one year of finishing their first career education program. Increasingly, effective Career Technical Education programming is becoming a viable pathway for our most underserved students to access middle-skilled, family-sustaining jobs. This session will highlight several career technical education approaches within key industry sectors like manufacturing, information communications technology, and early childhood education that target high school and community college students and also serve as effective strategies for upskilling existing workers.  Panelists will discuss effective learn and earn strategies and pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship models that demonstrate the value of combining education with technical training to ensure students are equipped with the in-demand skills needed to remain competitive in a swiftly changing labor market.



Alma Salazar 

Senior Vice President, Center for Education and Excellence and Talent Development, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

Dr. Alma Salazar is the Senior Vice President, Center for Education Excellence and Talent Development at the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce. She oversees the Chamber’s education and workforce development initiatives and directs its higher education and workforce development policies. In 2012, Salazar was appointed by Governor Brown to serve on the California Workforce Development Board. Since 2000, Salazar has worked to build business/education partnerships to improve the academic achievement and economic mobility of California’s students. Salazar has demonstrated success at convening diverse stakeholders to promote systems-change and strengthen the region’s workforce development systems to improve career pathways to high demand, industries, and sustainable careers.


Luis Barrera Castañó

Director of Strategic Operations, Goodwill Southern California

Luis leads regional portfolios in Advanced Manufacturing, Veteran services, as well as oversee quality assurance, data systems, and programmatic performance. Before Goodwill Luis was President & CEO of LBC+Creative&Consulting, his area of expertise is in public policy and programmatic initiatives in adult education and job training, with a focus on career pathway models, bridge programming, Linked Learning, sector strategies, regional partnerships, and integrated service delivery models.

Before founding LBC+, Luis was the manager of education policy and programs for the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce. Luis managed K-12 policy initiatives and developed the L.A. Chamber’s Smart Justice portfolio, which sought to engage private and public sectors to collectively find public policy or programmatic solutions to increase outcomes for formerly incarcerated populations. Luis has also served as senior coordinator for K-16 education and workforce development at the National Council of La Raza (now UnidosUS), the largest Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in America. Luis is a graduate of Santa Monica College (A.A.), the University of California, Berkeley (B.A), California State University, Northridge (M.P.A), and is currently pursuing an Educational Doctorate Degree at California State University, Northridge (Ed.D).


Lindsey Heisser

Director, Bixel Exchange-Tech Talent Pipeline


Lindsey Heisser is the Director of the LA Tech Talent Pipeline at Bixel Exchange, the Center for Innovation and Technology at the LA Area Chamber of Commerce. From Heisser’s prior experience as Co-Founder and Managing Director of branding and marketing agency, Tribemint, which hyper-focused on LA tech start-ups and her 10+ years in the private sector, she brings Bixel Exchange a non-traditional approach to program design and strategy, deep tech employer relationships, and an unparalleled resilience for underrepresented young people to thrive in the technology sector.

As a recognized diversity and inclusion strategist, Heisser pushes employers to evaluate and shift systemic barriers and connects with talent to alleviate imposter syndrome with the goal to create inroads and change that serve the whole LA Tech Talent Pipeline ecosystem.

Outside of the Bixel Exchange, Heisser is an active advisor to LA-based startups and mentors women and entrepreneurs of color. She is also a co-founder of nonprofit, We Are Enough, a pitch coach for Women Founders Network and contributor to the US of Women Summit all supporting the education and economic mobility for women.

Randi Wolfe, Ph.D.

President, Early Care & Education Pathways to Success (ECEPTS)

Randi Wolfe, Ph.D., is President of Early Care & Education Pathways to Success (ECEPTS), an organization dedicated to developing, expanding and replicating Early Educator Apprenticeships in California and nationally. ECEPTS reflects and extends Wolfe's work over the past 12 years that focused on designing and implementing large-scale ECE workforce development initiatives, engaging diverse stakeholder groups (e.g., ECE employers, workforce development agencies, institutions of higher education, labor), and advancing systemic efforts to strengthen the delivery and impact of child care and early education. Before moving to California in 2007, Wolfe was an Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education at Northern Illinois University for 10 years. She has an Ed.M. from the University of Illinois and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University.


No cost to participate
Current SCG, NCG, and SDG Members: $
Eligible Non-members: $

Who May Attend
Current Education Funders, SCG, NCG, and SDG members and eligible non-members 

SCG members: Register online (you must log in to your SCG account to register).
NCG & SDG members: Please contact [email protected] to register.
Non-members: Register online. If you do not have an SCG account, contact us.
If you have additional questions regarding these sessions, please contact us at [email protected]

Accommodations for People with Disabilities
If you have a disability and require an accommodation to fully participate in this activity, please contact our programs team at [email protected] or (213) 680-8866. You will be contacted by someone from our staff to discuss your specific needs.

About this Location
This location is ADA compliant, has dedicated nursing rooms, and gender-neutral restrooms available.

Funding Issue Area & Geographic Regions
Funding Area