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Task Force Members

James Mayer

James P. Mayer

President & CEO, California Forward

Jim Mayer is President and CEO of California Forward, a bipartisan public interest effort to bolster democracy and improve the performance of government in California. Jim was part of the team that developed and launched California Forward in 2008.

Previously, Jim was the founding executive director of the New California Network, a nonpartisan project to improve the state's fiscal decision-making.

Prior to joining NCN, Jim was the executive director of the Little Hoover Commission, an independent and bipartisan state panel that reviews state programs and policies for efficiency and effectiveness. Jim joined the Commission's staff in 1994 as a project manager and served as deputy executive director prior to being appointed executive director in January 1999.

For more than a dozen years, Jim was a daily newspaper journalist. He was a senior writer with the Sacramento Bee, and was a staff writer for the Bakersfield Californian and the Press Tribune in Placer County. During his career as a journalist, he was recognized statewide for his coverage of education and public resource issues.

Jim has an associate of arts degree from Diablo Valley College, a bachelor’s degree in journalism from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and a master's degree from the graduate program in public policy administration at California State University, Sacramento. He was a mid-career fellow at the schools of Communications and Natural Resources at the University of Michigan.

Jim serves on the board of the Yolo County Flood Control and Water Conservation District and is an associate director of the Yolo County Resource Conservation District.

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The Opportunity
For community colleges to become essential catalysts to California’s economic recovery and jobs creation at the local, regional and state levels.

The Strategy
Doing What MATTERS for jobs and the economy is a four-pronged framework to respond to the call of our nation, state, and regions to close the skills gap. The four prongs are:

  • Give Priority for Jobs and the Economy
  • Make Room for Jobs and the Economy
  • Promote Student Success
  • Innovate for Jobs and the Economy
California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office