BROOKINGS, Ore. – Southwestern is pleased to introduce Jill te Velde as the new leader of Southwestern Oregon Community College’s Curry Campus.

As Dean of Instruction and Workforce Development, te Velde brings 25 years of career and technical skill development experience from jobs at Pacific Northwest colleges and workforce entities. Most recently, she served four years as workforce development director with the Rogue Workforce Partnership in Medford. Prior to that, she worked with colleges in Northern California and Washington developing apprenticeship and worker re-training programs.

te Velde has been quick to join in discussions with the community, students and business partners. She is working with the college’s apprenticeship coordinator to develop a partnership between the College and Brookings-Harbor High and Pacific High Schools to create a program for simulator trainings in heavy equipment operation for Curry County residents. The College will be placing this equipment at the Curry Campus.

Together with Curry Health Network representatives, te Velde is exploring health care industry trends, and ways Southwestern can support the hospital in hiring needs and specialized training for future employees. Just before moving to Brookings, te Velde worked with senior health care facilities in the Rogue Valley to help address the worker shortage as a result of the COVID pandemic. Through the project, they developed a “Caregivers School of Learning” entry-level training for high school students.

“When the College and industry partners sit down together, we can come up with creative ways to address training needs. We are better able to help people who want to work get the training they need for these high-demand jobs,” she said.

In 2023, te Velde’s top priorities will be to listen to the community and find ways to meet their needs by developing a Curry Campus advisory council; increasing in-person classes to pre-pandemic levels; and revitalizing the very popular SWOCC & Beyond community classes.

“We are your community college. Our goal is to meet you where you are and take you where you want to go. These community classes keep our residents involved in healthy activities and learning throughout life. They also are a great opportunity for community members to share their knowledge through teaching,” she said.

Jill grew up in rural Battleground, Washington on a 105-acre dairy farm. While her career has afforded her opportunities in large, metropolitan cities, she feels most at home in small, rural areas which is one reason she was drawn to Curry County.

Jill is a long-time advocate of the community college system because of its open door and equal access policies. Jill’s Master’s Degree is in adult learning, development, and continuing education. Her educational focus was on the development, leadership, and role of the community college. Jill’s specific area of interest included the lessor discussed civic mission of the community college to serve as a center of learning for the community, providing space for the community to engage in social and civic dialogue.

Jill is passionate about connecting people with opportunity and training, and employers with a well-trained workforce. The opportunity to redefine the Curry Campus relationship with the community is one aspect of the job she is most eager to develop.

“I have been watching Brookings for several years, looking for an opportunity to work with the college. I am excited to finally be here,” te Velde said.

To learn more about the Curry Campus and our programs and classes click here.


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