James Jacobs Joins Ralph C. Wilson Foundation as Senior Advisor


After spending 50 years at Macomb Community College in Warren, and serving as president since 2008, James Jacobs has recently been appointed as senior advisor to the president and chief executive officer of the Ralph C. Wilson Foundation. The foundation is a grant-making organization dedicated to sustained investment in the quality of life of people in Southeast Michigan and Western New York.

In his new part-time role, Jacobs will advise on strategic decisions and investments under consideration for young adults and working class families. This includes finding opportunities and programs that provide skills training and education that can lead to pathways to good-paying jobs, and increased independence in both Southeastern Michigan and Western New York.

“Jim’s impressive experience and understanding of workforce development will serve as an excellent resource for our staff, and help to inform future investments the Foundation will make in that sector,” says David O. Egner, president and CEO of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. “Additionally,  Jim brings a strong connectivity to employers and organized labor throughout the region. He’s a recognized economist who understands the future of the workforce, and we’re fortunate to have him join the team as a senior advisor.”

Prior to his appointment as president of Macomb Community College, Jacobs served as director for the Center for Workforce Development and Policy and as associate director of the Community College Research Center at Columbia University’s Teachers College. Jacobs was also president of the National Council for Workforce Education.

Jacobs earned a doctorate from Princeton University and has since specialized in workforce skills and technology, economic development, worker retraining, and community college workforce development. He will formally join the foundation following his retirement from MCC in July.