President - Dr. Craig Follins
Dr. Craig Follins is a workforce development expert with extensive experience in leadership at progressive urban community colleges across the United States.
Most recently, Dr. Follins served as Executive Vice President of Workforce & Economic Development at Cuyahoga Community College (OH), a League for Innovation in the Community College Vanguard College, where he oversaw a staff of 465 full and part-time employees and a $20 million operating budget.
At Cuyahoga, he launched S.T.A.R.T (Strategic Transition and Retention Team), a cross-discipline team composed of faculty, developmental educators, success coaches, counselors, adult education staff, high school counselors and financial aid counselors, to assist GED students with the transition into college courses, and succeeded in doubling the number of students graduating from the college’s GED program. He also established innovative partnerships with local employers and the K-12 system, including a pre-apprenticeship construction program between area trade unions and minority students from the Cleveland Municipal School District, as well as transportation and truck driving programs that consistently placed students in living wage employment. His transportation programs attracted federal grant dollars to serve non-traditional students (females, seniors, low-income, ex-offender, and unemployed students.)
Previously, Dr. Follins was Vice President of Workforce & Economic Development and Interim Vice President of Arts & Sciences at Victoria College (TX) where he was responsible for workforce education, adult education, allied health, and continuing education programs. While at Victoria, Dr. Follins had a newspaper column and wrote extensively about workforce and economic development issues. He also spent six years at the Houston Community Colleges, a 6-college system serving 110,000 students annually, as a System Director of Business Development & Outreach Services, Business Liaison and Job Developer where he developed a process to provide job training for many of the 250,000 people that annually visit the 36 area Workforce Solutions One Stop centers in the college’s service area, contributing to the college’s 30% overall increase in enrollment.
Dr. Follins grew up in inner city New York City in a one bedroom apartment with his single mother, brother and sister. He dropped out of high school and later earned his GED while serving in the U.S. Army. His mother’s determination to earn a Master’s degree and teach for thirty years in NYC schools was the inspiration for his own educational pursuits. He has earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Brooklyn College, a Master of Arts in Clinical Sociology from Texas Southern University and a Ph.D. in Community College Leadership from the University of Texas at Austin. He also runs his own workforce strategy consulting firm.