Contributor Newsletter September 2023


September 2023

NFN News Center

Road-Ready: Mendocino College Gears Up for the Automotive Revolution

Mendocino College Electrical-Hybrid Vehicles

The future is looking greener… but the coveralls aren’t getting any cleaner.

With electric and hybrid vehicles poised to take over the industry, the job of an automotive technician is becoming increasingly specialized and high-tech. And while there are fewer moving parts – and therefore less day-to-day maintenance – it’s an industry that will always run on elbow grease.

“Sure, there is less regular maintenance, like oil changes, transmission flushes, and the replacement of worn parts,” says Michael Pratt, an instructor in Mendocino College’s Electric and Hybrid Vehicles program. “But with electric, there’s a lot more need for accurate diagnosis. It’s the easier jobs that are going away, and the work will actually become more complex.” 

There’s been a whole lot of buzz about electric vehicles in the past 15 years, and with good reason. S&P Global Mobility predicts that sales of all-electric passenger cars could soar as high as 40 percent by 2030; The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts that percentage even higher. And of course, California has announced that all new vehicles sold in the state must be electric by 2035.  

With 2021’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which allocated $7.5 billion to build charging networks nationwide, one of the causes of consumer reluctance is slowly eroding. Concern for the environment, improved electric battery capacity, and the fluctuating cost of gas are also driving the move toward electric.

As far as vehicle maintenance goes, the current need in the North Far North is for technicians trained in the maintenance of hybrid cars. In any shop, “there’s going to be a Prius coming through the door,” says Pratt. “Electric vehicles are still a little more specialized here, although the need is much greater in the San Francisco area. But in a few years, we’re going to see a lot more non-carbon vehicles needing diagnostics and repair.”

May 2023


Forty and Fired Up: LCC Alum Finds Calling in Firefighting Career

Lassen Community College Alumni

Dawn Mateo never thought she’d ever earn a college degree, let alone be a keynote graduation speaker — while wearing her tassel on her fire helmet.

“Two years ago, I came back a lost and wandering soul trying to pick up the pieces of my life and figure out where I belonged,” says the grad in her speech. “At 40, I finally accomplished what most people do in their 20s. 

“I’m proof that it is never too late.”

Right out of high school, Mateo started as a volunteer for a fire department, an experience that led to her 20-year EMT career and becoming the volunteer medical lieutenant for Janesville Fire District. Two years ago, a search to rediscover her passion for firefighting led her to Lassen Community College. Fire Technology Director and Chief Dan Weaver encouraged Mateo to sign up for the academy, and a spark was rekindled.

“It’s a small community, and I’m really glad we have such an amazing program so close,” says Mateo. “It’s the best fire technology program in the state!”

With her new associate degree, Mateo will be on her way to the competitive National Fire Academy for EMS continuous quality improvement management training this summer. She plans to pursue a bachelor’s in either fire technology or emergency management and one day hopes to return to her alma mater to teach. She says becoming an instructor is a great way to stay in the field as she ages and pass on her knowledge to the next generation. She credits her inspiration to the LCC teachers:

“All the instructors were super knowledgeable and very approachable,” says Mateo. “It’s nice to take bits and pieces that I learned from all of my instructors to help create my teaching style.”

June 2023



College of the Redwoods Career & Leader Mentorship Pilot Program

During the spring 2023 semester, College of the Redwoods coordinated an eight week pilot program that supported a cohort of nine students who are overcoming significant life challenges to complete their community college educations and move towards successful, preferred careers. The CR Career & Leader Mentorship Program offered the students an opportunity to explore career options and to build leadership and job readiness skills in a small group setting. The program included workshops, field trips, job shadows, and community networking opportunities driven by the student's curiosity and interest. The students also earned occupational work experience credit for participating in the class. The students in the cohort were nominated by one of their professors and/or CR Multicultural & Equity Center staff. The program was supported by the Arcata Chamber of Commerce, the College of the Redwoods President's Advisory Council, the Rotary Club of Arcata Sunrise, and the CR Career Center who helped the students connect with our workplace community. CR Director of Employer Partnerships Jim Ritter led the program, with Communications Professor & Associate Dean of Career Education Ruthe Rhodes serving as the faculty advisor. The pilot program was remarkably successful and College of the Redwoods will offer it again during the fall 2023semester under the direction of DEP Jim Ritter, and Business Professor Chris Gaines. In reflecting about the Career & Leader Mentorship Pilot Program, Addiction Studies Professor Carolyn Perkins, who nominated two of her students to participate, shared these comments: 

"As someone who knew two of the students engaged int he mentorship program, I feel compelled to thank all of you who played a role in this opportunity. Both students started the semester motivated, but a bit defeated/lacking self-confidence.  As I am closing out the semester, each of these students is standing about an inch taller and openly talking about the excitement for the future of their careers. This process has been truly transformative. I am happy to hear that it will continue again next fall." Carolyn Perkins, Assistant Professor Social Work & Human Services, Addiction Studies Certificate program.

 For more information about the Career & Leader Mentorship Program, contact College of the Redwoods Director of Employer Partnerships Jim Ritter at

CERF Final Catalyst Framework Update

Dear CERF Partners,

The Interagency CERF Team is excited to share the final Catalyst Framework with you all! The Catalyst Program reserves up to $14 million for each CERF region (totaling$182M statewide) to bridge the gap between planning regional economic development strategies and implementing projects designed to achieve outcomes that align with those strategies.

Catalyst funds will support the Collaboratives to invest in pre-development activities, enabling CERF Regions to develop projects and maximize investment opportunities while reserving Implementation funds for ready-to-go projects.

Thankyou all to those who provided comment or participated in webinars to shape the Catalyst Program. We appreciate all the feedback and are excited to continue this collaboration in this new phase of CERF.

Get in Touch

Signup for our CERF listserv to receive updates on the program and other opportunities, To receive updates and announcements about opportunities for California Native American Tribes, sign up for the CERF Tribal listserv.

Program Background

The CERF Program is a $600 million funding opportunity created by the State to help build an equitable and sustainable economy across California’s diverse regions and foster long-term economic resilience in the overall transition to a carbon-neutral economy. 

People-Powered Data: Designing a Data System for and with All Californians

The California Cradle-to-Career Data System (C2C) has the potential to be a valuable data tool with the capacity to allow more Californians to successfully navigate the pathways from early childhood to career. If designed with Californians at the center, the system can shape more informed policymaking as well as improved practices that directly confront barriers and fortifies a future where all residents can thrive.

However, to bring this vision to fruition, the leaders steering the system’s development must acknowledge and support the multifaceted needs of its diverse stakeholders. Our new brief delves into the crucial role of user-centered design for building a dynamic data infrastructure that advances California’s education and workforce goals. We leverage what we learned from the development of our California Postsecondary to Prosperity Dashboard and share actionable recommendations to ensure the forthcoming data system is not just accessible, but actively utilized and supports its objectives.

California Competes, Higher Education for a Strong Economy

Centered Design Webinar

California Competes’s Analysis of New Executive Order onCareer Education

Governor signed an executive order that advances key California Competes priorities, including coordinated policy implementation and higher education and workforce alignment. The executive order aims to address California’s most urgent policy goals, along with the state’s unmet need for skilled labor across various sectors, especially in trades, green energy, health care, technology, and public administration.

The Governor calls on state leaders across education, labor, rehabilitation, and economic development to develop a new Master Plan for Career Education, which will serve as a roadmap to strengthen career pathways, emphasize hands-on learning, streamline access to benefits programs, and reduce the cost of college for all Californians. The executive order directs the three public higher education segments and five other government entities to work with stakeholders, including students, business, labor, and community groups, to develop and submit the new plan by October 2024. By fostering partnerships across sectors, the Governor seeks to create seamless transitions between education and the workforce.


Live Stream


The CCPHIT Public Event

The California Consortium of Public Health Informatics Technicians (CCPHIT) is inviting you to attend a national Public Health Informatics Workforce 2.0 Event – being held on September 21-22, 2023 at the KCCD District Office in Bakersfield California. The event features an in-person keynote by Lisa Lewis Person, Deputy National Coordinator for Operations and Chief Operating Officer of the US HHS Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. The full event agenda and Registration webpage is located at: (the additional half day is in the process of being added to the agenda!)

Background information: 

CCPHIT is a 10-million-dollar grant project sponsored by the Office of the National Coordinator to address knowledge and skills gaps in the public health workforce. The current administration has taken a particular interest in the need to prepare our national public health workforce in informatics and technology to help support local, state and national health agencies in their public health response capability. The CCPHIT Consortium includes Cal State Long Beach, the project lead, CSU East Bay, UC Berkeley, the Kern Community College District, CAL2CAL, the Institute for International Health and Education and Futuro Health. The educational partners have developed public health informatics certificate and degree programs which are now available.

The CCPHIT project website is:

Feel free to reach out to the project’s Principal Investigators: Gora Datta, Dr. Kamiar Alaei, Craig Hayward, or myself regarding CCPHIT in general or this event in particular.

Dual Enrollment Equity Conference

We are proud to announce the 2nd annual California Dual Enrollment Equity Conference will be February 20-23, 2024 in Long Beach.

Mark your calendars and save the date.  See you in Long Beach!

On behalf of the planning committee – we can’t wait to see you again.

 Dr. Naomi Castro, Senior Director, Career Ladders Project

To join our email list click here!

 Career Ladders Project (CLP)

Chancellor’s Office

2030: A Roadmap for California Community Colleges

Over the summer, the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office introduced Vision2030, a framework for bold and thoughtful action — action for policy reform, fiscal sustainability, systems development and for process and practice reform in the field — to support our students, our communities and our planet.

There are several opportunities scheduled for students, faculty, staff and the public to learn more about Vision 2030 and to provide viewpoints and feedback. A number of convenings will be held on college campuses around the state to take deep dives into areas such as equitable bachelor’s degree attainment, better serving working adult learners and our system’s expanding role in climate change resiliency and adaption.

For colleges hosting a Vision 2030 event, a communications toolkit is available, offering boiler plate language, talking points and social media samples to support leaders and college professionals to talk about Vision 2030 and share opportunities to engage.

For anyone who is unable to attend an event, we welcome your help/input toensure our actions support your communities’ specific needs. We urge everyoneacross the system to provide feedback on Vision 2030, which may further help develop the roadmap.

A big remake is coming to California community college education, new chancellor says

Sonya Christian, California’s newly appointed community college chancellor, faces a significant challenge: She needs to remake how the system attracts students. Between fall 2019 and fall 2022, enrollment across the state’s two-year campuses plummeted to about 1.3 million students — a decline of more than 275,000 seats, state data showed.

The drop-off could have major consequences for campus funding, which by 2025 will be based on graduation rates, low-income student enrollment and overall enrollment. Christian, appointed last June, is crafting ambitious priorities to bring Californians back to community colleges and must also convince increasingly wary students of the value of higher education.


ZTC Professional Development Courses Open for Registration

As the ZTC Grant Program Technical Assistance Provider, I’m please to let you know that our Fall 2023 ZTC professional development courses are available for registration. Thanks to our colleagues with CVC, you can register for our courses via the @ONE catalog of classes: ZTC Professional Development Fall 2023. Completers will earn an @One badge.

 Descriptions of the ZTC courses are below. More details ,including course outcomes and dates, are available in the @One catalog of classes: ZTC Professional Development Fall 2023.

 Making the Case for ZTC: Pathways to Equity

  • This course explores the fundamental connections between equity, Open Educational Resources (OER), Guided Pathways (GP), and Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) pathways. You will employ an equity cognitive frame to examine the impact of textbook costs on student success, and the disproportionate impact on historically underserved students. You will also dig into the growing research on OER efficacy, consider the "what" and "why" of Guided Pathways, and review successful ZTC pathways, across the state and beyond. You will leave this course understanding how OER and ZTC pathways promote student success and reduce equity gaps, supporting the Vision for Success of the California Community Colleges.

  • This data-rich course will help colleagues advocating for OER adoption and ZTC pathway development to make their case.

 Building a Team: Training OER Support Staff

  • This course is tailored for those overseeing OER projects. Anchored in the OER Competency Framework, this course delves into the foundations of OER, including citation, licensing, and technical requirements like accessibility and formatting. Participants will also learn the intricacies of sharing and managing OER effectively.

  • This process focused course will benefit colleagues directing or supporting OER and ZTC projects or establishing an OER support team.

 Teaching with OER and Open Pedagogy for Equity

  • This course explores the connections between equity, Open Educational Resources (OER), open pedagogy, and culturally responsive pedagogy. You will look at a variety of real-world examples (e.g., non-disposable assignments, open student projects, open course design, culturally-relevant OER) and be asked to consider: how might you implement these approaches in your own teaching? What are some concrete actions you can take in your own course to create more culturally responsive spaces for your students and transform your teaching and learning using OER or open pedagogy?

  • This pedagogy-focused course will benefit teaching faculty and those supporting innovation in teaching (e.g., instructional designers and teaching and learning center staff).

James Glapa-Grossklag,

Technical Assistance Provider, CCC ZTC Program, College of the Canyons


'23-'24 K12 Strong Workforce Program RFA

On Friday, 8/25, the Chancellor’s Office released the ’23-’24 K12 Strong Workforce Program RFA (Round 6).  We wanted to re-share the RFA with all of you as there have been a couple of edits to the original release, and the rubric, so we want to make sure you have the most current version of the documents.  The original version did not have a correct link to the North Far North Vision for Success Strategic Plan (Regional Plan)so we have included a direct link here.  There is also a pdf version of our Regional Plan in our folder, but the live version on our website is interactive, so you may find value in reviewing it there.  In addition to these items, the North Far North Regional Consortium gives you access to a K12 SWP Resource Folder that contains information to help you write a successful application.  The resource folder will be continually updated in the next few weeks, as we add in technical assistance presentations we have scheduled through 09/20/23 (attached) and the most current infographics with Labor Market Information for each sector.  We plan to release the new infographics by the week of our North Far North Engagement Sessions, and encourage you to register and attend as this is vital to the success of your application.

We highly encourage you to attend these sessions, as they will help you prepare to submit an eligible application for funding.  Your Pathway Coordinator is also in place to provide technical assistance on submitting your application, and there are links to their contact information on the Technical Assistance document attached.  Please reach out if you have any questions.

23-24 K12 SWP=RFA                        

23-24 NFN K12 SWP Technical Assistance

Tanya Meyer,K14 TAP,