Kate KinderState Strategies Director (West)
Kate Kinder is the State Strategies Director, Western States, where she leads efforts to develop broad based coalitions in Western states to advocate for workforce development and higher education policies and practices that advance an inclusive economy and elevate the voices of students, workers, and employers.
Kate brings more than 15 years of workforce development and community college leadership, where she has led local, state, and national initiatives that advance career and education equity, such as career pathways, SNAP E & T, benefit access, corrections education, work-based learning, two-gen projects, integrated education and training, and collaborative workforce development grants. Most recently, she served as the dean of Career Pathways and Skills Training at Portland Community College where she led the development and expansion of the nationally-recognized Community College STEP (SNAP 50/50) Consortia amongst all 17 Oregon community colleges, in collaboration with Oregon’s Department of Human Services (ODHS). Kate also spearheaded and led Oregon’s Pathways to Opportunity and SkillSPAN coalitions to close opportunity gaps and increase economic mobility through developing policy and programs that connect individuals to the benefits and supportive services they need to access skills training, complete college credentials, and move into careers.
In recent years, her work has focused on building coalitions amongst community colleges, human service agencies, employers, community-based organizations, and workforce partners to advance racial equity and rural opportunity by transforming policy, partnerships, and programs. She has provided strategic guidance, helped develop policy agendas, and provided technical assistance to numerous local, state and national entities to replicate and scale effective models that center the needs of adult learners, workers, and those most marginalized.
Kate holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from the Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon. She is based in Portland, Oregon.