Who We Are

Peter Simon

Peter Simon has developed, administered, and provided support to workforce development and basic skills programs in California for over 35 years.  In the role of consultant, community college dean, project director, and instructor, his work has been consistently focused on providing educational and career-related opportunities for people who have been traditionally excluded from pathways to advancement.  His particular expertise is in the area of developing and supporting complex, multi-organization partnerships (community colleges, K-12 districts, employers, labor unions, community organizations, and government agencies) that provide integrated basic skills and job training leading to living wage employment and career progression.

Prior to forming High Road Alliance, he provided consulting services via the Career Ladders Project, the High Road Training Partnership, California Transit Works, and as Peter Simon Consulting. Included in the areas in which he provided technical and strategic assistance are: apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship development, career pathways, partnership formation, designing bridges and boot camps, partnering between community colleges and adult schools, and contextualized teaching and learning.

As the Dean of Science and Vocational Programs at the College of Alameda, Peter fostered the creation of a number of innovative programs including: the ATLAS Program, a very successful sector-based initiative in logistics and transportation involving a wide range of partners; the Alameda Science and Technology Institute, an early college high school with a focus on technical careers; Oakland Aviation High School, a partnership with Oakland Unified School District that prepares at-risk youth for jobs or further training in aviation-related areas; a low-income dental clinic for Alameda residents and internship site for Dental Assisting students; and the Career Advancement Program, in conjunction with the Alameda County Workforce Investment Board and Building Trades Council, designed to move youth (18-21) with multiple barriers into construction apprenticeships.

Previously, Peter worked at Laney College as a basic skills English instructor and as the Director of the Workforce Development/CalWORKs Program, during which time he also served as a member of the Oakland Workforce Investment Board. Peter also served as the Director of the SEIU Worker Education Program, a joint labor-management program project focused on providing basic skills classes to healthcare employees to assist them in moving up the career ladders.  Prior to working for SEIU, he was the Director of Adult Education Programs at the Center for Working Life in Oakland where he developed a range of educational programs for dislocated workers with local unions.

In addition to his work in education, Peter was, in an earlier life, an apprentice and journey-level carpenter with the Carpenters Union in Seattle and Oakland for a number of years. Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Adult Education from San Francisco State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Illinois.

Jennie Mollica

Jennie Mollica has over twenty years of practitioner and leadership experience in the fields of workforce development, adult education, and community development.  She has particular expertise in the collaborative design and sustainability of career education programs that are equitably accessible to worker-learners with barriers, such as limited English or basic skills. Since February 2012, her consulting services have included program and partnership development, fund development, strategic planning, qualitative research, writing, and evaluation for public and non-profit agencies.  

Jennie has consulted independently for the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development, Oakland Workforce Development Board, Peralta Community College District, City College of San Francisco, San Mateo Community College District, Contra Costa County Office of Education, Oakland Unified School District, SEIU-UHW West & Joint Employer Education Fund, and others.  As a consultant with the Career Ladders Project, she conducted research and documentation for initiatives of the California Workforce Development Board, California Career Pathways Trust, Career Advancement Academies, Advanced Manufacturing and Transportation Apprenticeships of California, California Community Colleges Linked Learning Initiative, and the Latino Institute for Corporate Inclusion.  As a consultant with Social Policy Research Associates, she conducted an evaluation of California’s Workforce Accelerator Fund.

In her prior role as Director of Planning and Program Development at Jewish Vocational Service in San Francisco, a $7 million workforce development non-profit, Jennie oversaw performance outcomes measurement and analysis, strategic and annual planning, and the design of innovative education and training programs, with a special emphasis on the healthcare sector and the nursing profession.  Previously, as staff to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Making Connections Oakland initiative, she oversaw grant making, planning, evaluation and capacity-building technical assistance in the areas of workforce development, education, asset development, and resident engagement.  As Associate Director of Lao Family Community Development, a multi-site immigrant and refugee services agency, she established workforce development and adult education programs for limited-English speaking immigrants and refugees.  

Jennie holds a Master of Arts in Education – Teaching English as a Second Language degree from the University of Nottingham, U.K.; a Master of Public Administration degree from California State University, East Bay, with a concentration in Nonprofit Administration and Administration of the Metropolitan Region; and a Bachelor of Arts degree in French and African Studies from Amherst College.