Jim Torrens, Program Manager at the Insight Center for Community Economic Development, works primarily on workforce development projects and in advancing the goals of the National Network of Sector Partners (NNSP), a nation-wide membership organization dedicated to promoting and increasing support for sector initiatives. Jim’s responsibilities include: fostering communication and peer learning among NNSP members; providing updates and other electronic publications that keep NNSP members informed and build knowledge in the sector field; developing NNSP’s website; engaging sector initiatives in learning communities, advocacy efforts, and participation in the direction of NNSP; and supporting the Accelerating Adoption of State Sector Strategies project, offered in partnership with the National Governors Association and Corporation for a Skilled Workforce.
Prior to joining the Insight Center, Jim managed community-based education and training programs for more than ten years. During his seven-year tenure at Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) in San Francisco, Jim oversaw implementation of the agency's sectoral training strategies in health care, information technology, and legal services, and guided the development of new training programs, including environmental services for healthcare, computer systems administration, bank services, home care, and retail customer service. Jim also played a lead role in the agency’s restructuring along industry sector lines and development of a new model for engagement of employer partners.
A former teacher who received his training and secondary single subject credential as an undergraduate at Harvard University, Jim has provided education and skills training throughout his career to homeless youth and adults, immigrant and refugee youth, and adults making the transition from welfare-to-work. Among other community involvement, Jim has co-chaired the Steering Committee of the Committee of Community Agencies, a coalition of San Francisco training and employment service providers, and served on the Steering Committee of the San Francisco IT Consortium. Jim is also a Marano Fellow, having completed the Aspen Institute’s Sector Skills Academy.