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OCtech’s Tobin Among Inaugural Aspen Institute Job Quality Fellows

September 13, 2017

Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College President Dr. Walt Tobin has been named to the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program’s inaugural Job Quality Fellowship Class of 2017-18.

“Now is the time to focus on making better-quality jobs,” said Maureen Conway, vice president for policy programs and executive director of the Institute’s Economic Opportunities Program. “That’s why we’re launching the Job Quality Fellowship. It is our direct engagement with an impressive range of innovators already leading the way toward expanded opportunity and improved job quality.”

With support from The Prudential Foundation and Ford Foundation, the Job Quality Fellowship aims to support and strengthen the work of leaders dedicated to expanding access to and availability of better-quality jobs in our economy. Over the next year, Tobin will join 15 other thought and action leaders from across the U.S. to work together on these crucial issues, including:

  • Emylene Aspilla, Director, Social Responsibility & Community Sustainability, San Francisco International Airport, San Francisco, CA
  • Betsy Biemann, CEO, Coastal Enterprises Inc, Brunswick, ME
  • Laphonza Butler, President, SEIU 2015, Los Angeles, CA
  • Amanda Cage, Chief Program Officer, Chicago-Cook County Workforce Partnership, Chicago, IL
  • Mary Jo Cook, President & CEO, Pacific Community Ventures, San Francisco, CA
  • Jose Corona, Director, Equity & Strategic Partnerships, Office of the Mayor, Oakland, CA
  • Christine Curella, Director, Business Initiatives & Job Quality, Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development, New York, NY
  • Jess Kutch, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director, Coworker.org, Washington, DC
  • J.D. LaRock, President & CEO, Commonwealth Corporation, Boston, MA
  • Sean Daniel Murphy, CEO, ICA Fund Good Jobs, Oakland, CA
  • Jenny Riggenbach, Workforce Director, Incourage, Wisconsin Rapids, WI
  • Liddy Romero, Managing Director, WorkLab Innovation, Denver, CO
  • Anjali Sakaria, Senior Community Development Analyst, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Boston, MA
  • Palak Shah, Social Innovations Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance, New York, NY
  • Lara Shock, Senior Director, Associate Choice Initiatives, Walmart, Bentonville, AR

“People need stable, quality jobs that are safe, pay enough to live on and offer essential benefits. There are not enough of these jobs, particularly for low-income, underserved populations,” said Sarah Keh, director of corporate giving, Prudential Financial Inc., in a webinar discussing the fellowship. “Low-quality jobs can be a core driver of inequality because everything is intertwined in today’s economy. Businesses succeed when individuals, families and communities are thriving, too.”

For more than 25 years, the Economic Opportunities Program has aimed to expand opportunities for people to connect to quality work, build assets and attain a stable economic standing. The new Job Quality Fellowship extends this ongoing mission. Dr. Walt Tobin has served as the President of Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College since June of 2011. He was educated in the public schools of Richland County in South Carolina. He graduated from Clemson University with a bachelor’s degree in math teaching and subsequently attained the M.Ed. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of South Carolina in Education Administration. He completed post-doctoral study at the Harvard Institute for Educational Management.

Tobin has been OCtech’s president since June 2011. He graduated from Clemson University with a bachelor’s degree in math education and received his master’s and doctoral degrees in education administration from the University of South Carolina. He completed post-doctoral study at the Harvard Institute for Educational Management.

Prior to his tenure as OCtech president, Tobin served as interim president/chief executive officer at Denmark Technical College and vice president for academic affairs/chief academic officer at OCtech. He has worked as a math instructor, assistant principal, principal and middle school director in public schools throughout South Carolina. He is an active member of the community and has served on the boards of numerous nonprofit organizations. Currently, he serves as chair of the Orangeburg County Chamber of Commerce and is involved with the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, Orangeburg County Development Commission, South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families, Liberty Fellowship (AGLN) and St. Matthews Rotary. He and his wife Kim Kim Foster-Tobin are the parents of twins, Jack and Bishop.

“OCtech has a record of preparing students for good jobs and great careers. We have to educate our citizens for jobs so they can become globally competitive and financially independent,” Tobin said. “I am excited to be a part of this initiative geared toward expanding the availability of higher-quality jobs in our economy. We need to have the training in place today for the jobs of tomorrow.” 

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. For more information about the Job Quality Fellowship, visit as.pn/jobquality.