Sierra College Hosts California State Leaders to Highlight Successful Programs, Business Partnerships that Prepare Students for Well-Paying Jobs

April 3, 2024
Ca First Partner Siebel Newsom College Visit
First Partner of California Siebel Newsom (far left) receives a tour of the mechatronics lab at Sierra College.

Event Spotlighted Mechatronics Program, Student Innovation

On Tuesday April 2, 2024, Sierra College hosted leaders from across California to highlight the success of higher education programs that empower community members with training and access to well-paying regional jobs through business partnerships. Visitors to Sierra College included the First Partner of California Jennifer Siebel Newsom and the Governor’s Council for Career Education, which includes members from state government leadership, higher education, and the business community. 

During the visit, First Partner Siebel Newsom and members of the Council and Governor’s Office visited with students from the Sierra College Mechatronics program (created to meet regional industry needs) and experienced examples of student innovation in the Makerspace. 

“The Sierra College Mechatronics program is a great example of the commitment the Governor and I share to provide Californians with pathways to well-compensated careers so they have the resources to provide for themselves and their families,” said First Partner Siebel Newsom. “The focus on recruiting more women into STEM fields like mechatronics also furthers our goal to close the wage, wealth, and opportunity gaps by uplifting women in industries that traditionally exclude us.”

Among those speaking with the First Partner was Sara Lausmann, the Line Maintenance Manager at Bosch Semiconductors, a soon-to-be 200mm silicon carbide (SiC) Fab plant in Roseville. Prior to moving into management, Sara worked as a Line Maintenance Technician for eight years with TSI in the Dry Etch Area. During this time, she went back to school to earn a Mechatronics Certificate at Sierra College. This enabled her to build a great relationship with the Mechatronics Program and onboard many of their graduates. 

“It was a pleasure welcoming California leaders to Sierra College to see the results of the hard work of faculty, staff, and students in changing lives,” said Willy Duncan, Sierra College Superintendent/President. “Working closely with the local business community and with the support of our community and the State of California we are helping students find new opportunities.” 

Mechatronics provides life-changing career opportunities for many, and unfortunately, it is not being taken advantage of due to not enough women being aware of the potential in these industries or thinking that it may not be for them. Sierra College has increased coordinated enrollment outreach for this program so more can learn about these opportunities, see themselves here, and broaden the pipeline to success. 

Along with First Partner Siebel Newsom, visitors included the following members of the Governor’s Council for Career Education: 

  • Ben Chida, Chief Deputy Cabinet Secretary, Office of the Governor 
  • Michael Drake, President, University of California 
  • Sonya Christian, Chancellor, California Community Colleges 
  • Kristen Soares, President, Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities 
  • Tony Thurmond, Superintendent of Public Instruction, California Department of Education 
  • Joe Stephenshaw, Director, California Department of Finance 
  • Dee Dee Myers, Senior Advisor and Director, Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development 
  • Jennifer Barrera, President and CEO, California Chamber of Commerce 
  • Jeff Freitas, President, California Federation of Teachers 
  • Stewart Knox, Secretary, California Labor and Workforce Development Agency 
  • Josh Fryday, Chief Service Officer, California Volunteers 

About Sierra College  

Sierra College District is rising to the needs of our community. Sierra College serves 3,200 square miles of Northern California with campuses in Roseville, Rocklin, Grass Valley, and Truckee. With approximately 125 degree and certificate programs, Sierra College is ranked first in Northern California (Sacramento north) for transfers to four-year universities, offers career/technical training, and classes for upgrading job skills. Sierra graduates can be found in businesses and industries throughout the region. More information at