Legislative Public Meetings

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File #: 21-0428   
Type: Report to Council Status: Passed
Meeting Body: City Council
On agenda: 4/20/2021
Title: Appoint Mr. Russell Brunson and Ms. Lori Parris to the NOVA Workforce Board




Appoint Mr. Russell Brunson and Ms. Lori Parris to the NOVA Workforce Board




The federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) stipulates the composition, roles and responsibilities of the local workforce board. The local chief elected official appoints the local workforce board. The Sunnyvale City Council serves as the Local Chief Elected Official for the NOVA consortium. The local workforce board (NOVA Board) determines how many seats are on the board. It is required to have a majority of representatives from business and representation from at least the following stakeholders:

                     Business Executives (majority and chair)

                     Education providers from adult education and higher education

                     Labor and community-based organizations representing the workforce

                     Economic and community development agencies

                     State agencies representing employment development and vocational rehabilitation programs


The roles and responsibilities of NOVA Board members include (but are not limited to):

                     Take a leadership role in forging a strong and vital partnership between business and the workforce development community, resulting in an entrepreneurial, market-driven, accountable and exceptional workforce development system;

                     Contribute specific expertise from key industries and articulate evolving industries’ needs, critical to aligning the workforce with the jobs of the 21st Century;

                     Develop and approve policy for workforce initiatives in NOVA service-delivery area;

                     Help create and provide oversight of a local strategic plan and participate in the development of a regional plan;

                     Evaluate and monitor program performance according to specified outcomes and measures; and,

                     Promote the NOVA Board and workforce through collaboration and relationship building with other businesses, local workforce boards, organizations and groups.



Council Policy 5.1.1: Socio-Economic - Goals and Policies: Education and Training Goal 5.1F: Provide job training and employment services, within constraints of operative Federal regulations and available Federal funding, to address the locally-determined employment and training needs of economically disadvantaged residents and others with special needs.



The action being considered does not constitute a “project” within the meaning of the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) pursuant to CEQA Guidelines section 15378(b)(5) in that it is a governmental, organizational or administrative activity that will not result in direct or indirect changes in the environment.



The NOVA Board Nominating Committee is comprised of Councilmember Gustav Larsson, NOVA Board Co-Chair Andy Switky and Board member Carl Cimino. The committee is charged with the responsibility of recommending candidates for appointment to the NOVA Board, for consideration by the City Council. The Nominating Committee is recommending the appointment of Mr. Russell Brunson and Ms. Lori Parris because of the individual strengths and assets they can bring to the NOVA Board. In addition, their appointments will fill WIOA-mandated seats representing the workforce with barriers to employment and adult education, respectively.


About the Candidates:

Mr. Russell Brunson

Director of Administrative Services, Santa Clara County Housing Authority


The Santa Clara County Housing Authority (SCCHA), through partnerships in the community, develops and subsidizes housing for over 17,000 households, which enables low-income residents achieve financial stability and self-reliance. As part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Moving to Work program, SCCHA also promotes access to education, job-readiness and suitable work for participants who often face barriers to employment. As Director of Administrative Services, Mr. Brunson is responsible for managing human resources, information technology, procurement and customer service operations for the organization. He brings to the Board more than twenty years of experience managing both nonprofit and public sector organizations in a variety of areas, including recruitment and staffing practices, youth services, labor relations, housing/rent stabilization, and mediation. He has a particular interest in youth development, connecting youth to mentors and education and training opportunities that will equip them with the skills to succeed. Mr. Brunson’s contributions will be invaluable to the Board as it seeks to prepare all workers for inclusive, sustainable employment with access to affordable housing, so they may live and work in this region.


Ms. Lori Parris

Assistant Director, San Mateo Adult School


The San Mateo Adult School (SMAS) serves the communities of Burlingame, Foster City, Hillsborough, Millbrae, San Bruno, and San Mateo. It offers programs in career education, adult secondary education, English as a Second Language, classes for mature adults to optimize fitness, courses that promote a healthy lifestyle, and foreign language instruction. As Assistant Director, Ms. Parris oversees the career education, adult secondary education and community-based programs for SMAS and is actively involved in the school-wide equity planning efforts. She also serves as co-director of the Accel Consortium, an alliance of adult schools and community colleges in San Mateo County, spearheading new opportunities for collaboration among education providers. Ms. Parris brings to the Board over twenty years of experience in education, with expertise in career technical education, and the technology industry and can offer diverse customer perspectives. In addition, she can leverage her extensive regional networks to support future partnerships between the education and workforce development communities. Ms. Parris’ contributions will be invaluable to the Board as it seeks innovative models for preparing the future workforce through in-demand, affordable, accessible and superior training programs in an “earn and learn” environment.


These appointments comply with the requirements of the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.



No fiscal impact



Public contact was made by posting the Council agenda on the City's official-notice bulletin board outside City Hall, Sunnyvale Public Library and Department of Public Safety. In addition, the agenda and report are available at the Office of the City Clerk and on the City's website.




Appoint Mr. Russell Brunson and Ms. Lori Parris to the NOVA Workforce Board.




Prepared by: Eileen Stanly, Analyst, NOVA Workforce Services

Reviewed by: Kris Stadelman, Director, NOVA Workforce Services
Reviewed by: Jaqui Guzm
án, Deputy City Manager

Approved by: Kent Steffens, City Manager