Lt. Governor John Garamendi Visits Cerritos College
Discussed Issues Facing Career Technical Education
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 28, 2008
Media Contact: Aya Abelon Public Affairs; (562) 860-2451, ext. 2287
NORWALK, CA – January 28, 2008 - Lieutenant Governor and Chair of the Economic Development Commission of California John Garamendi visited Cerritos College on Wednesday to discuss issues around future workforce training.
The afternoon began with a warm welcome by Cerritos College President/Superintendent Dr. Noelia Vela, followed by tours of the career technical education programs including the Nursing and Pharmacy programs, led by Nursing Department Chair Dr. Charlene Fobi; Automotive Technology programs, Woodworking and Metal/Welding programs led by Dean of the Business and Technology Divisions Dr. Randy Peebles; and Child Development Center. The tour was also accompanied by Construction Trades Council's Southern California Regional Director Eddie Barnes, South County Labor Committee Chair Ray Cordova, and a business owner Kelli Johnson. As Garamendi actively interacted with students in each classroom, he emphasized that their skills are demanded in future workforce.
A panel discussion following the tour was joined by specialists in each area. Cerritos College and its partners were represented by Director of Economic Development Jose Anaya, Associate Professor of Mathematics and Director of Teacher TRAC Sue Parsons, Dr. Fobi, Dr. Peebles, Southeast Regional ROP Superintendent Gil Montano and Southland Motor Car Dealers Association Executive Director Todd Leutheuser. Commissioners of Economic Development Commission Hector Barreto and Demos Vardiabasis also joined the panel.
The panel acknowledged Cerritos College’s critical role in career technical education such as automotive technology, health occupations and teacher training and the unique partnerships the college has with businesses, regional occupational programs and high schools. The discussion included the challenges in career technical education and the need for an integrated educational system across different levels of education.
Garamendi was very impressed by the college’s unyielding efforts to directly involve business community and regional occupation programs and outreach high schools. “I haven’t seen (a regional occupation center involved in community college education) before. We must try to replicate this model.”
At the end of the visit, Garamendi was presented with a plaque, a souvenir jacket and a gift bag by Dr. Vela, Cerritos College Board Trustees Dr. Bob Hughlett and Tom Jackson.
“I’m most impressed. I’ve been to several campuses in the last few months,” Garamendi commended, “and this is one of the most impressive colleges that I have seen thus far. “
“We are delighted that you have chosen to come and learn more about Cerritos College.” stated Dr. Vela. “Cerritos College has had for a long time a great history and image of having strong academic and career technical education programs. We are delighted that you had an opportunity to tour the programs and have seen first-hand the quality of work we do.”
Cerritos College serves as a comprehensive community college for southeastern Los Angeles County. Communities within the college’s district include Artesia, Bellflower, Cerritos, Downey, Hawaiian Gardens, La Mirada, Norwalk, and portions of Bell Gardens, Lakewood, Long Beach, Santa Fe Springs and South Gate. Cerritos College offers degrees and certificates in more than 200 areas of study in nine divisions. Annually, more than 1,200 students successfully complete their course of studies, and enrollment currently nears 20,000 students. Visit Cerritos College online at www.cerritos.edu.