Apr 7, 2021
Join the Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce and Think Together for our inaugural Inland Empire Education and Workforce Readiness Summit. We will bring together leaders in the business, education, and nonprofit sectors. Our goal is to foster collaboration between sectors and create a dialogue on how to support our K-12 students in their preparation for future careers.
Our panel of esteemed leaders in K-12 education, business, and nonprofit sectors will discuss the state of education and students' learning loss due to the pandemic. We invite district and school leaders across the region to engage with the business and nonprofit community and discuss how to prepare kids with the necessary academic, technical, and soft skills needed to succeed in today's economy.
Dr. Angelo Farooq, Chairman of the California Workforce Development Board, will provide his perspective on future jobs for the Inland Empire and what skills students will need. Inland Empire Regional Chamber CEO Edward Ornelas will facilitate a panel discussion between K-12 Educators, County Superintendents Ted Alejandre and Edwin Gomez, Think Together CEO Randy Barth, and business leaders.
Founder & CEO of Think Together
CEO of Orenda Education
Superintendent at San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools
Chairman at California Workforce Development Board
Superintendent at Riverside County Superintendent of Schools
President & CEO of Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce
Randy Barth founded Think Together in 1997 after a gang shooting in Costa Mesa, CA to help meet the needs of a specific neighborhood. He invested personal funds and bootstrapped the organization as volunteer Board Chair while tending to his day job as a stockbroker and later as a corporate CEO. After a successful 20-year business career, Randy began to apply his entrepreneurial skills to education as CEO of Think Together in 2004.
Since then has scaled the organization to $85 million in revenue and 3,000 employees serving more than 200,000 students in over 600 programs across CA. He diversified the organization into a variety of direct service programs for students and professional services for teachers and administrators around a specific school turnaround model that is data-driven and people-centric, which produces transformational results for schools (think Moneyball for education). In a little more than two decades, Randy built one of the largest education social enterprises in CA, with a current year growth rate of more than 40%.
Randy, along with former LA Times report Jennifer Delson, is the co-author of the book, Think Together, How YOU Can Play a Role in Improving Education in America. He serves on various boards and as a Senior Fellow at UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs. Randy graduated from UCLA in 1981 with a BA in Economics and studied under Peter Drucker at Claremont Graduate University. Randy lives in Santa Ana, CA with his wife Mary and has two adult daughters, Katie and Emily.
Dr. Robin Avelar La Salle is founder and CEO of Orenda Education, a professional education and technical assistance organization. For more than 20 years, Dr. Avelar La Salle and the Orenda team have been thought partners for districts and schools aspiring to transform their systems and practices to raise student achievement. An equity warrior and an advocate for justice within the educational system, Dr. Avelar La Salle’s mission is to change the odds for the twenty million kids in US schools for whom the current systems of instruction and improvement are not working -- predominantly Latino, African American, and students from under-resourced families.
She received her Ph.D. in Education from Stanford University, and during her career has held the roles of teacher, principal, district administrator, researcher, and university professor. She is the author of many articles on education equity and several books, including her newest work Shattering Inequities: Real World Wisdom for School and District Leaders, written in partnership with Dr. Ruth S. Johnson.
San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools' Ted Alejandre began his first four-year term as the county's 34th superintendent on Jan. 5, 2015. He ran for the county’s lead educational seat unopposed in 2018 and began his second four-year term in Jan. 2019.
With more than 30 years of experience in public education, Mr. Alejandre has been a teacher, vice principal, principal, director of fiscal services and assistant superintendent of Business Services at the district level. He joined the County Superintendent of Schools office in 2008 as the assistant superintendent of Business Services and also served as the deputy superintendent for County Schools prior to his election as county superintendent.
As county superintendent, Mr. Alejandre has fostered a collaborative spirit with the 33 school districts in the county that are home to the more than 406,000 students, while increasing the visibility of educational partnerships in the community. His office oversees a $315 million annual operating budget and employs nearly 2,000 employees.
As part of the Countywide Vision to promote a better quality of life for all residents of the county, Mr. Alejandre has spearheaded efforts to increase countywide literacy rates for preschool-aged children with the adoption of the Footsteps2Brilliance program.
Since taking office, Mr. Alejandre also instituted the award-winning, countywide Student Advisory Panel of high school representatives who explore countywide issues in education, the economy, safety, and health and wellness providing opportunities for active student involvement and leadership.
Mr. Alejandre is a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force Reserves and served 18 years with the 701ST Combat Operations Squadron. Currently, he serves as the deputy director for Air Force liaison officers in Riverside, Inyo, Mono and San Bernardino counties, and is responsible for the recruitment and evaluation of prospective students for the Air Force Academy.
Mr. Alejandre is a 1982 graduate of Aquinas High School. He received his associate degree in Administrative Management from the Community College of the Air Force, his bachelor’s degree in Public Administration and master’s in Educational Administration from Cal State University, San Bernardino.
Dr. Angelo Farooq is appointed as the Chairman of the California Workforce Development Board (CWDB) under Governor Newsom administration. CWDB develops a common policy framework for the +$6 billion statewide workforce system that is the largest in the country. He is appointed by CA Treasurer Fiona Ma as co-chair of her Housing, Economic Development, Job Creation Advisory Council and appointed by Controller Betty Yee on her Council of Economic Advisors. Angelov is an entrepreneur in sustainable development. He is elected on the Board or Education for Riverside Unified School District. Angelov earned his Bachelor’s Degree from UC Berkeley, Executive Master and Doctorate of Policy, Planning & Development degrees from the University of Southern California.
The elected Riverside County Superintendent of Schools serves as both the chief executive officer of the Riverside County Office of Education (RCOE) and the Superintendent of Schools for the county’s preschool through 12th grade segment of that system—the 4th largest in California.
The County Superintendent leads the team of extraordinary employees at the RCOE in working with each of the county’s 430,000 students, almost 18,000 classrooms, 500 schools and 23 school districts to help ensure all students receive a high quality education, graduating from high school academically and socially prepared for college, the workplace, and civic responsibility.
The County Superintendent and staff work to ensure each school district remains in solid financial condition. They advocate at the local, state and national levels for effective public education policy on behalf of the students, families, schools and school districts in the county. And they move forward sound, timely and effective education initiatives at the county level to help ensure all students are well prepared for the future.
Dr. Edwin Gomez serves as the 13th Riverside County Superintendent of Schools.
In his role, Dr. Gomez works with the county’s 23 school districts and the staff at the Riverside County Office of Education to ensure high quality education that invests in all students while developing and sustaining strong collaborative relationships with students, teachers, parents, and the community for student success.
Dr. Gomez began his educational career teaching in grades K-8. He has served as a principal in various social-economical communities, led a school out of program improvement status, subsequently resulting in nomination for a National Blue Ribbon Award. Dr. Gomez has been a district Chief Academic Officer and served as a District Superintendent for Adelanto Elementary School District and Coachella Valley Unified School District.
Prior to his appointment as the Riverside County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Edwin Gomez served as the Riverside County Deputy Superintendent of Schools and as the Chief Administrative Officer of the Riverside County Office of Education, overseeing the day-to-day operations and coordinating the legislative link between the County Office and state and federal government officials.
Dr. Gomez earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Organizational Studies from Pitzer College, his multiple subject teaching credential from the University of Redlands, and Masters of Arts and Doctorate degrees from the California State University, San Bernardino.
Edward is a Los Angeles native, but Inland Empire adopted. Moving from LA to Fontana in 2010, Edward immediately dove head first into the local and regional business community, making a name for himself as someone who 'moves fast' and 'gets things done'.
Reach out to Edward directly:
schedule a call --> https://calendly.com/edwardornelasjr/15min
In 1994, a group of mothers decided they'd had enough. Gangs and drugs in the Shalimar neighborhood of Costa Mesa had created an unsafe environment for their kids. So, they reached out for help.
Community leaders came together to open the doors of Shalimar Learning Center, a safe space for the neighborhood kids to come after school and get help with homework.
Over 100 kids showed up on the first day!
What began as a single neighborhood center has grown into programs in over 400 California schools – from San Diego to San Francisco – serving over 150,000 students. Founded in 1997, Think Together partners with schools to change the odds for kids. Think Together delivers nationally-recognized expanded learning programs and school improvement, offered through affiliate partner Principal's Exchange.
We want a community where all kids get a great education that prepares them for college and career.
The Riverside County Workforce Development Board (WDB) provides oversight for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) programs in the county. The WDB acts as a catalyst to provide seamless services among various workforce programs and provides community leadership around workforce issues.
There are five ways that we can carry out our role:
CONVENER - Bringing together business, labor, education, and economic development to focus on community workforce issues
WORKFORCE ANALYST - Developing, disseminating, and understanding current labor market and economic information and trends
BROKER - Bring together systems to solve common problems or broker new relationships with businesses and workers
COMMUNITY VOICE - Advocating for the importance of workforce policy, providing perspective about the need for skilled workers
CAPACITY BUILDER - Enhancing the region's ability to meet the workforce needs of local employers
We accomplish these tasks through America's Job Centers of California, better known as the Riverside County Workforce Development Centers (WDCs). The WDCs are the hub of the county-wide service delivery vehicle for the workforce, education, and business services. WDCs are located in Riverside, Indio, Hemet, and Murrieta; two satellite offices are located in Blythe and Moreno Valley; and six Youth Opportunity Centers (YOCs) are located in Indio Perris, Lake Elsinore, Moreno Valley, Hemet, and Rubidoux. Workforce funds allocated to the WDB support job training, placement, and business services delivered at these locations.
The Office of the Superintendent is committed to working with school districts, other agencies, families, and the community at large by providing services, information, advocacy, and leadership – always with a focus on students.
With an annual operating budget of $350 million, the County Superintendent oversees the programs and operations of the office and serves as the employer of record for nearly 2,000 employees including teachers, paraprofessionals, and administrative staff.
The Office of the Superintendent provides educational leadership to the school districts in San Bernardino County; advocates locally, statewide and nationally for policies and resources that are in the best interest of students; and serves as a spokesperson for the educational needs of students throughout the county and statewide.
The County Superintendent is an elected position and serves a four-year term. The position also serves as the ex-officio secretary and executive officer to the County Board of Education and provides administrative support services to the County School Boards Association.
Countywide Vision Statement
We envision a complete county that capitalizes on the diversity of its people, its geography, and its economy to create a broad range of choices for its residents in how they live, work, and play.
We envision a vibrant economy with a skilled workforce that attracts employers who seize the opportunities presented by the county's unique advantages and provide the jobs that create countywide prosperity.
We envision a sustainable system of high-quality education, community health, public safety, housing, retail, recreation, arts and culture, and infrastructure, in which development complements our natural resources and environment.
We envision a model community which is governed in an open and ethical manner, where great ideas are replicated and brought to scale, and all sectors work collaboratively to reach shared goals.
From our valleys, across our mountains, and into our deserts, we envision a county that is a destination for visitors and a home for anyone seeking a sense of community and the best life has to offer.
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