Cindy Chavez, Ro Khanna named to jobs board

A former San Jose councilwoman, a future East Bay congressional candidate and a leading California economist are among the 11 Bay Area residents whom Gov. Jerry Brown named today to the state’s Workforce Investment Board.

Brown named 30 people in all to the “long-neglected” board in order to rebuild and reinvigorate this private-sector body tasked with advising him on job creation and workforce development, according to his news release. They’ll work with his Office of Business and Economic Development “to identify the needs of industry and to create career pathways that provide businesses the skilled workforce they need and while putting unemployed and underemployed Californians back to work.”

Brown also today named his senior jobs advisor, Mike Rossi, to chair the board, which also includes Health and Human Services Secretary Diana Dooley, Employment Development Department Director Pam Harris, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott, Department of Apprenticeship Standards Director Diane Ravnik and Labor & Workforce Development Agency Secretary Marty Morgenstern.

“To meet this skills challenge and ensure a prosperous future, we must do a much better job aligning California’s existing public education and workforce training resources with the needs of key industry sectors,” Rossi said. “This requires a robust analysis of California’s labor markets and regional economies and better coordination among all our education and training programs.”

Brown’s release notes that since he took office, California has added more jobs than any other state in the nation. The Golden State also, however, still had the nation’s third-highest unemployment rate as of July, 10.7 percent (behind Rhode Island at 10.8 percent and Nevada at 12 percent).

Cindy ChavezAmong those named to the board today was Cindy Chavez, 48, a San Jose City Council member from 1999 to 2006 and the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council’s executive officer since 2009. The Democrat also has been executive director at Working Partnerships USA since 2009 and executive director at the 1000 Leaders Project since 2009. Earlier, Chavez was a principal at California Leadership Services from 2007 to 2009 and held multiple positions at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority from 1999 to 2006, including chair, vice chair and board member. Earlier yet, she was the South Bay Labor Council’s education and outreach director from 1994 to 1998; the founding staff director at Working Partnerships USA from 1994 to 1998; lead trainer at AFL-CIO Organizing Institute from 1993 to 1994 and a policy analyst for the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors from 1990 to 1993.

Ro KhannaAlso named to the board was Ro Khanna, 35, of Fremont, an attorney of counsel to the Silicon Valley powerhouse Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati since 2011 who broke records by raising $1.2 million in 2011’s last quarter to run for the 15th Congressional District seat in 2014; the Democrat has refused to challenge incumbent Pete Stark. Khanna, who was a deputy assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Commerce from 2009 to 2011, has just published his first book, “Entrepreneurial Nation: Why Manufacturing Is Still Key to America’s Future.” Also a visiting lecturer at Stanford’s Department of Economics, he was at attorney at O’Melveny and Myers from 2004 to 2009.

Stephen LevyAnd Brown also named Stephen Levy, 70, of Palo Alto to the board. Levy has been director and senior economist at the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy since 1969 and was an economist at the Stanford Research Institute from 1967 to 1969. A Demcorat, Levy has been a member of the NOVA Workforce Board since 2000 and has been a member of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute Board of Trustees since 2010.

These board appointments don’t require state Senate confirmation, and the compensation is $100 per diem. See the other Bay Area appointees, after the jump…

John Brauer, 52, of Berkeley, has been executive director of Workforce and Economic Development at the California Federation of Labor since 2012. He was executive director at the Oakland Army Base Workforce Development Collaborative from 2001 to 2012 and was county planner at the Alameda County Housing and Community Development Department from 1995 to 2001. Brauer was a grant writer and fund developer at Catholic Charities of the East Bay from 1992 to 1995. Brauer is a Democrat.

Allen Fernandez Smith, 33, of Oakland, has been president and chief executive officer at Urban Habitat since 2011. He was executive director at the California School Age Consortium from 2009 to 2011 and senior community development specialist at the San Francisco Mayor’s Office from 2007 to 2009. Fernandez Smith was a manager at the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth and Their Families from 2005 to 2007. Fernandez Smith is a Democrat.

Pamela Kan, 47, of Walnut Creek, has held multiple positions at the Bishop Wisecarver Corporation since 1991, including president, corporate programs director and assistant general manager. She served in multiple positions at Carter Hawley Hale from 1987 to 1991, including department manager and buyer. Kan has been a member of the Seven Hills School Board since 2011 and a member of the National Association of Manufacturers Board of Directors since 2004. She has been a member of Women Impacting Public Policy since 2010 and a member of the Industrial Association of Contra Costa County since 2007. Kan has been a member of the Womens’ President Organization since 2007 and is chair of the California Manufacturers and Technology Association, where she has been a member since 2007. Kan has been a member of the Power Transmission Distributor Association since 2004 and a member of the Association of High Technology Distributors since 2004. Kan is a Republican.

Nathan Nayman, 59, of San Francisco, has been head of state and local relations in California for Visa Inc. since 2008. He was executive director at the Committee on Jobs from 2000 to 2008 and was regional vice president at the Hospital Council of Northern and Central California from 1992 to 2000. Nayman is a Democrat.

Robert Redlo, 59, of Hercules, has been vice president of patient relations, labor relations and workforce development at Doctors Medical Center since earlier this year. He held various positions at Kaiser Permanente from 1997 to 2012, including director of national workforce planning and development and director of human resources. He was chair of the University of California, Berkeley Institute for Research on Labor and Education from 1996 to 1997 and was director of workforce planning at the University of Albany, Rockefeller College from 1993 to 1996. Redlo has been a member of the California Hospital Association since 2009 and a member of the Hercules Middle/High School Site Council since 2008. He has been a member of the Hercules Chamber of Commerce since 2011 and a member of the Hercules Education Foundation since 2010. Redlo is a Democrat.

Richard Rubin, 72, of Mill Valley, has been re-appointed to the board, where he has served since 2007. He has been president at the Richard A. Rubin Associates Inc. lobbying firm since 1987. He was director of government relations and strategic planning at AC Transit from 1984 to 1986 and was president at Strategic Communication Services Inc. from 1981 to 1984. Rubin was director of government and public relations at J. Walter Thompson Advertising from 1976 to 1979 and director at the Navajo Nation Office of Congressional Affairs from 1974 to 1976. He served as vice chair of the California Small Business Board and vice president of the California State Bar Board of Governors. Rubin served as president of the Berkeley Repertory Theater Board of Trustees and was a member of the Kenyon College Board of Trustees. Rubin is a Democrat.

Hermelinda Sapien, 69, of San Jose, has held multiple positions at the Center for Employment Training since 1968, including president, chief executive office, director and manager. She currently serves as chair of La Cooperativa Campesina de California and is a member of the National Skills Coalition. Sapien is a member of the Association of Farm Worker Opportunity Programs and the American Leadership Forum – Silicon Valley. Sapien is a Democrat.

Abby Snay, 61, of San Francisco, has held multiple positions at Jewish Vocational Services since 1975, including executive director, assistant director, and part time councilor. She is a member of the Citizens’ Advisory Committee for the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth and their Families and a member of the National Council for Workforce Education Board of Directors. Snay is a member of the California Workforce Development Healthcare Committee and of the National Skills Coalition Board of Directors. Snay is a Democrat.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.