When Ignacio De La Torre heard about the San Diego Community College District’s Corporate Council, it didn’t take long for him to climb aboard.
"I'm a huge fan of community colleges and the role the District is playing in our region,” said De La Torre, Assistant Vice President of External Affairs for AT&T. “It was an easy decision to make."
De La Torre is not alone in that thinking. Comprising 20 leading professionals from some of the region’s top employers – including AT&T, Time Warner Cable, California Coast Credit Union, Cox Communications, Qualcomm, Nassco, and The San Diego Union-Tribune among others – the District’s Corporate Council provides administrators with insights into industry needs and provides members with updates on District developments.
De La Torre said the council can be a valuable resource.
“The San Diego Community College District provides the education and training that make a difference in building the skills we need for people who are coming to work for us,” De La Torre said. “For members of the Corporate Council, you have a seat at the table. They hear directly from us, and that input can be invaluable.”
Indeed, the San Diego Community College District is the leading provider of education and workforce training in the region and serves approximately 100,000 students annually at San Diego City, Mesa, and Miramar colleges and San Diego Continuing Education.
“I like to think that we’re helping to shape the direction, at least in a small way, of what San Diego County needs from a business and industry perspective,” said De La Torre.
The Corporate Council meets quarterly at the San Diego Community College District’s headquarters in Mission Valley. Meetings include an update on developments in the District from Chancellor Constance M. Carroll, a question-and-answer session, and a presentation from a guest speaker who details a particular program.
De La Torre said he learned about the council while serving with Chancellor Constance M. Carroll on the United Way of San Diego County’s Board of Directors.
“My mom attended Mt. San Antonio College and took Italian and French,” he said. “And when I started working at AT&T 28 years ago, I took a few communications classes because I had a fear of public speaking. So I saw early on what a community college can do and how it can impact your life.”
Added De La Torre: “In San Diego, we have a leader in Constance who is nationally known for what she does and whose leadership qualities filter down throughout the District,” De La Torre continued. “It’s an honor to serve on the Council.”