Van Ton-Quinlivan led the California Community College’s workforce mission and its technology and data portfolio as the system’s Executive Vice Chancellor of Workforce & Digital Futures. Responsibilities grew from an initial $100M to over $1B in public investment across California’s 115 community colleges, the largest and most complex higher education system in the nation. Initially appointed by the Governor to the California Community Colleges in 2011 as Vice Chancellor of Workforce and Economic Development, her leadership focus on Doing What MATTERS for Jobs and the Economy (doingwhatMATTERS.cccco.edu) turned the system’s workforce mission from an afterthought to a state policy priority, improving workforce outcomes for California’s 2.1 million community college students. The change management is documented in the Stanford Social Innovation Review (“Cross-Sector Collaboration: What the Tipping Point Looks Like”) and the subject of a Stanford Graduate School of Business case study entitled “Van Ton-Quinlivan: Converting a Talent Puddle to a Talent Pool” and Hoover Institute’s “Pathways to Economic Opportunity in the 21st Century: A Case Study on How the California Community Colleges Modernized to Deliver on its Workforce Mission.” Under Ton-Quinlivan’s leadership, the system regionalized the delivery of community college career technical education, integrated California’s adult education systems, consolidated the state’s apprenticeship systems, upgraded the system’s workforce metrics and rolled out new data tools for better campus-level decision making.
In 2013, she was named a White House Champion of Change for her transformative work in higher education; in 2017, received the statewide California Steward Leader Award for making significant contributions to align public-, private- and civic-sector leaders to promote economic and social progress in all regions of the state; and in 2018, named Sacramento Magazine’s “Powered by Women” as a leader who inspires positive change. During the fall of 2018, Ton-Quinlivan was selected to be executive-in-residence in Silicon Valley’s Institute for the Future to examine issues influencing the future of work — how technology impacts learners, learning institutions, employment and social cohesion.
Starting the fall of 2019, she will be the Chief Learning Officer of SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (UHW) and launch a worker co-op that brings the next generation into the industry.