California State University and Entertainment Industry Leaders Examine Challenges of Workforce Preparation

Contact: Clara Potes-Fellow, 562-951-4806, cpotes-fellow@calstate.edu

(April 29, 2005) — California State University Chancellor Charles B. Reed asked entertainment industry decision makers Friday what the CSU’s 23 university campuses can do to better prepare students for careers in the entertainment industry.

Some 150 representatives from the entertainment industry, academia and elected officials attended a forum titled “From Real Education to Reel Careers,” at Cal State L.A.’s Luckman Fine Arts Complex.

“A goal of ours is to educate diverse talent and help them on their way to success in the entertainment industry,” said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed. “We look to you for suggestions on how we can better prepare our students for success in the industry and how we can facilitate their transition from college to work.

“We recognize that sustaining today's workforce and creating a workforce for the future depend both on our institutional commitment and on our understanding of the forces shaping this vital sector,” Reed said.

CSU campuses and alumni have contributed significantly over the years to the continuing growth of the Film-TV-Entertainment industry in California. The CSU grants 88 percent of the radio and television broadcasting degrees in the state; 66 percent of the state’s journalism and mass communications degrees; 59 percent of the visual and performing arts degrees; and 58 percent of the fine arts and arts studies degrees.

“This forum is designed to facilitate an ongoing conversation with the entertainment-media industry about steps we can take together to reach such goals as the preparation of a diverse workforce,” said Cal State L.A. President James M. Rosser.

“We have chosen Cal State L.A. as the site for this discussion because it is at the crossroads of the populations that will continue the dynamic growth of California. The Cal State L.A. campus is a microcosm of our common future: it demonstrates the unique ways the CSU benefits all Californians, and the leading role it plays in meeting the needs of this iconic California industry,” Rosser said.

The forum precedes Cal State L.A.'s second annual U.S. Latino film festival-"Reel Rasquache 2005"-to be held on Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1.

Speakers included Jalezza Hazzard, executive director of Workplace Hollywood, who delivered the keynote address.

Barry Gordon, former president of the Screen Actors Guild, and a Cal State L.A. alumnus, moderated the panel with the following speakers:

  • Lizzy Moore, West Coast Director, The Recording Academy
  • Dan Quarnstrom, Creative Director, Rhythm and Hues
  • Rick Rice, Undersecretary California Labor and Workforce Development Agency
  • Kathy Dossett, Director, Human Resources, Walt Disney Company
  • Gerald Alcantar, Vice President, Diversity Development, FOX Entertainment Group
  • Gavin Koon, International Representative, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (I.A.T.S.E.)

Chancellor Reed and President Rosser spoke on behalf of the California State University.

The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, approximately 400,000 students and 42,000 faculty and staff. Since the system was created in 1961, it has awarded about 2 million degrees, about 82,000 annually. The CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces. Its mission is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of the people of California. With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California. See www.calstate.edu

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Last Updated: May 2, 2005

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