Hudson County Community College President Invited to Participate in Roundtable with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo

September 19, 2023

Dr. Christopher Reber joined Hispanic-Serving Institution leaders in a Washington, D.C. discussion with Secretary Raimondo.


September 19, 2023, Jersey City, NJ – Dr. Christopher M. Reber, Hudson County Community College President, was one of a select group of Hispanic-Serving Institution leaders to meet recently with United States Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. The roundtable discussion was held at the National Center for Higher Education in Washington, D.C. and was hosted by Dr. Antonio R. Flores, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) President and Chief Executive Officer, and Dr. Lena T. Rodriguez, HACU Senior Vice President for Policy and Government Relations.

Joining Dr. Reber at the event was Dr. Irma Becerra, President of Marymount University; Dr. Angelica Varela Llavona, Rector of the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras; Dr. Marie Lynn Miranda, Chancellor of University of Illinois-Chicago; Dr. Brad L. Mortensen, President of Weber State University; Diana Z. Rodriguez, Chancellor of San Bernadino Community College District; Juan Salgado, Chancellor of City Colleges of Chicago; Dr. Dennis Tyner, President of Ottawa University;  Guillermo Diaz, Jr., Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Conectado, Inc.; Maria Pia Tamburri, Dominion Energy Vice President of Intergovernmental Affairs; and Xiomara Santos, HACU Director of Government Affairs.


Hudson County Community College President Dr. Christopher Reber (fourth from left) is pictured here with other participants of the HACU “Capitol Hill & Cabinet Conversations” event in Washington, D.C.

Hudson County Community College President Dr. Christopher Reber (fourth from left) is pictured here with other participants of the HACU “Capitol Hill & Cabinet Conversations” event in Washington, D.C.

In his remarks to the Secretary and HACU’s honored guests, Dr. Reber discussed how HCCC utilizes data, best practices, and public-private partnerships to offer opportunities for those in traditionally underrepresented and marginalized communities.

“We are doing this work in partnership with corporate America; with manufacturing organizations through registered apprenticeship programs; with unions through articulation of union apprenticeship training into postsecondary educational pathways that lead to credentials; with other educational partners to align noncredit and credit credentials including our work with the national Noncredit and Credit Alignment Lab; and so many others,” Dr. Reber stated. 

Dr. Reber revealed that the semiconductor manufacturing sector is an area of focus for the College as industry leaders forecast global semiconductor spending to reach $1 trillion annually by 2030. “We want to use our expertise and partnerships to create customized workforce development programs that align with industry needs, address the skills needed to work in semiconductor manufacturing plants, and produce a stable pipeline of qualified workers,” he said. Dr. Reber added that HCCC’s goal is to create a semiconductor manufacturing center at the College that can be replicated at other institutions, and will help move traditionally underrepresented and underserved populations into well-paying jobs and family-sustaining careers.

The HACU “Capitol Hill & Cabinet Conversations” program coincided with the observance of Hispanic-Serving Institutions Week, September 11-17, 2023. In addition to the roundtable, the participants also toured the FBI; had a working lunch with Dr. Jon B. Gant, Director, Office of Minority Broadband Initiatives, National Telecommunications and Information Administration; participated in a panel discussion with Jessica G. Gavazos, Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Minority Business Development, and Robert Santos, Director of the United States Census Bureau; and attended a White House meeting with the Domestic Policy Council.