The State Board for Community and Technical Colleges recently elected Chelsea Mason-Placek of Puyallup to serve as its new chair.
Mason-Placek has worked in the public policy and workforce development field for more than 20 years and is currently a workforce development director for the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO. She previously served as legislative director for the International Association of Machinists (IAM) District 751 and, before that, as the legislative director for the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA)/IFPTE 2001. She also served in several roles in the office of United States Congressman Adam Smith.
The nine-member, governor-appointed State Board oversees Washington’s community and technical college system, which is made of 34 colleges that collectively serve about 262,000 students each year. Among other things, the State Board creates the college system’s strategic plan, sets policies, approves single operating and capital budget requests for the Legislature on behalf of the college system, and allocates state funds to the colleges.
“Community and technical colleges provide education and training in local communities so people can secure quality jobs, move up in their careers, or transfer to other colleges or universities,” said Mason-Placek. “No matter how old you are, where you’re from, or what your past experience has been, you can find an educational home at one of our open door colleges. I’m so proud to help lead a college system that uplifts lives and communities.”
Mason-Placek has served as a member of the State Board for the past four years and will continue in her role as chair until the next leadership elections in June 2024.