Laura Coleman is the Statewide Director for the Center of Excellence for Labor Market Research (COE). The COE is a state-funded research initiative advising California’s community college system and helping them to identify opportunities and trends in high growth, emerging, and economically critical industries and occupations. This research gives community colleges a competitive advantage in creating new programs, revising existing programs, and pursuing grants that lead to funding. Under Laura’s leadership, the COE has increased the number of statewide regional offices to nine locations – doubling staff and funding – serving various parts of California.
Laura first joined the COE in 2008 as a research manager. In this role, Laura conducted labor market research, identified training gaps, coordinated marketing campaigns and developed research standards and practices. In 2014, Laura advanced to the statewide director role, becoming responsible for COE operations and research strategies – focusing on ways to improve access and usability of labor market data for effective community college planning. Prior to COE, Laura worked for the California Employment Development Department’s Labor Market Information Division as a research analyst for six years. Laura has a degree in English from California State University, Chico.