Experienced California Education Advocate Joins LTCC
May 15, 2020
LTCC has selected a seasoned professional with two decades of experience in California state policy and politics to fill a critical role during unprecedented and uncertain times. LTCC announced the hiring of Laura Metune as Senior Director of Government Relations and Grant Development, a key position responsible for identifying and securing grants and funding, and establishing state-level relationships that can make big projects and ambitious plans take shape at LTCC. With the state of California community colleges’ funding expected to be in some peril due to COVID-19, LTCC will need to invest time and expertise to cultivate additional resources.
“LTCC's Board and leadership aspires to transform campus facilities, expand student support, meet the basic needs and provide services to all and especially our most vulnerable students, and bring world-class education to the community, all of which requires funding,” said LTCC Superintendent/President Jeff DeFranco. “The world of grant development is highly competitive, and state funding is expected to fall due to COVID-19. Now more than ever, LTCC needs to be aggressive and creative in how we chase down and secure funding to serve our community in this crisis and beyond.”
In her new role starting on June 1, Metune will advocate on behalf of LTCC’s goals; assist with the formation of partnerships with cities, community organizations, nonprofits, and other state and local entities; and identify grant funding and alternative resources that address the college’s mission and goals. A top priority for Metune’s will be to focus on using these techniques to bring the Tahoe Basin Public Safety Training Center to LTCC’s campus.
Some of the funding for this proposed training and educational center is provided for by Measure F funding. However, the completed project depends on securing matching state dollars and other funding in order to move ahead with the project.
“As California enters a time of unprecedented budget challenges, our state leaders have rightly prioritized public health and safety and wildfire prevention and response,” said Metune. “A core component of meeting these state goals is ensuring California has a sufficient and highly trained workforce. LTCC is well positioned to partner with the state and deliver on the promise of creating a world-class public safety training center for our community.”
Until recently, Metune served as Vice Chancellor of External Relations with the California Community Colleges (CCC) Chancellor’s Office, where she and her team represented the CCCs before the legislative and executive branches of the state and federal governments. She developed the agency’s policy and advocacy direction, supported budget advocacy and negotiations, and secured grant resources for specific projects including monies to support research for DACA students and to support the California Promise Program.
Metune currently works with the California Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development. Prior to working with the CCCCO, she served as the chief consultant for the Assembly Committee on Higher Education, helping to write and win passage of numerous landmark pieces of education-related legislation. She has worked with a number of legislators as legislative director and consultant since 2001. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Government from CSU Sacramento.
A strong enthusiast of the Tahoe region and of LTCC, Metune said, “I credit my community college experience with launching my professional journey. I am honored to have the opportunity to represent LTCC and ensure future generations of Californians have a path to college attainment. Growing up in Sacramento, my family has long maintained a connection to the Lake Tahoe Basin. For the past year, we've split our time equally between Sacramento and South Lake Tahoe. We couldn't be more excited to make this community our full-time home.”
“Given Laura’s wealth of experience and the relationships she has developed with the Chancellor’s Office, members of the State Legislature, and staff and members in Congress,” Superintendent DeFranco noted, “I am confident that she will be able to effectively navigate the halls of government in both Sacramento and Washington, D.C., helping shine a light on LTCC’s substantial student successes and assisting us with identifying additional political and financial resources. This will be especially crucial to our success in the next few, likely difficult years.”