The Workforce Economic Development Center gains a new Associate Vice President.

The energy sculpture is shown in the foreground with the clocktower building in the background.

San Juan College President Dr. Toni Hopper Pendergrass announced earlier this week, the promotion of Associate Vice President of Workforce and Economic Development, Dr. Lorenzo Reyes to vice president of Workforce and Economic Development, effective January 2, 2023.

“Dr. Reyes is a powerhouse in the College’s initiatives to provide workforce development programs for our region’s employers, craft economic development efforts for the Four Corners region and generate millions of dollars in grant funding,” states Pendergrass.

In a change related to Dr. Reyes’ promotion, he and the areas that report to him – the Workforce Development Center, the Small Business Development Center, the Continuing Education department, the Enterprise Center, the Big Idea Makerspace, the Harvest Food Hub and Grants Development – will be organizationally realigned and report to Executive Vice President Ed DesPlas. Effective date of this change is also January 2, 2023.

Prior to joining San Juan College

In 2016, Dr. Reyes was the Chief Executive Officer for Workforce Solutions Upper Rio Grande and was an adjunct faculty member at the University of New Mexico and El Paso Community College.

Dr. Reyes has wide-ranging involvement in economic development, including participation in Four Corners Economic Development (4CED). He works closely with city, county and tribal agencies. He has formed partnerships with the Navajo Nation Department of Self Reliance and the Ute Tribe, both of which have brought new students to the Center for Workforce Development (CWD). He carefully tracks the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funding, ensuring program eligibility. Dr. Reyes has developed a business model for the Quality Center for Business (QCB), overseeing it and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Both the Enterprise Center and the QCB were instrumental in helping businesses receive federal funding through the COVID pandemic, saving jobs.

Dr. Reyes received his Associate of Arts degree from El Paso Community College. He earned a Bachelor of Arts and Business Administration from the University of Texas El Paso. He received his Master of Arts in Education from Sul Ross State University and Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Administration from New Mexico State University. Dr. Reyes is a 2021 National Community College Hispanic Leadership Fellow graduate. This program aims to prepare educational leaders who meet rigorous standards of essential competencies identified by the American Association of Community Colleges.