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Ana Luz Gonzalez-Vasquez appointed to California’s Cradle-to-Career Data System Governing Board

A leader in workforce development research, she’s poised to help create the nation’s most inclusive data system about education and employment.

By Citlalli Chávez-Nava and Emily Jo Wharry

Ana Luz González-Vásquez, project director at the UCLA Labor Center, has been appointed a Governing Board Member of the California Cradle-to-Career Data System (C2C), a data system that will compile reliable tools and information about Californians’ journey through early education, K-12 schools, higher education and employment in an effort to close equity gaps across the state.

Appointed by California Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas (D-Hollister), González-Vásquez brings over 17 years of experience in qualitative and quantitative research on workforce development, low-wage workers and informal labor markets. Throughout her career, González-Vásquez has engaged research participants using a participatory and popular education approach. 

“The California Cradle-to-Career Data System is delighted by Dr. González-Vásquez’s Governing Board appointment. Her deep knowledge of California’s workforce development sector and workplace conditions adds a crucial element as we work to build the most inclusive data system in the nation,” said Mary Ann Bates, executive director of the Office of Cradle-to-Career Data. “We look forward to having Dr. González-Vásquez’s support and guidance.”

Commissioned by the California Legislature in 2019, the ambitious project is part-database, part-toolbox: Researchers and advocates will gain access to a library of trusted data about education and workforce outcomes, while students, families and educators will obtain a variety of data-informed resources and services for college and employment readiness.

Ana Luz González-Vásquez being sworn into her role as Governing Board Member of the California Cradle-to-Career Data System (C2C) on Feb. 28, 2024. Photo courtesy of C2C.

As a board member, González-Vásquez will guide the strategic direction and implementation of the data system and provide operational oversight. She will attend quarterly meetings and provide recommendations for additional data and improvements to ensure the data system is meeting its intended purpose.  

“I am honored to serve on this board because it breaks barriers and makes data easily accessible to all at a crucial moment for policy making around workforce development,” she said. “The project’s mission is closely aligned with the values of the UCLA Labor Center in advancing education and worker equity.”

In 2006, González-Vásquez was the project manager for the National Day Labor Project, the first comprehensive study of day laborers and day labor worker centers across the nation.  In 2010, she co-authored a ground-breaking report on the prevalence of wage theft and workplace violations among low-wage workers in Los Angeles. She also co-authored the first comprehensive study on transportation network companies in Los Angeles. 

Presently, she is leading work focused on building a high-road economy and prosperity for all through research, education, evaluation and movement building. Her most recent study, released in 2022, considered how worker centers created by and for BIPOC and immigrant job seekers and workers in low-wage industries provide a comprehensive alternative to the status quo of workforce development by fostering leadership development and systemic change. 

“Ana Luz is a pioneering force in workforce equity and development, shaping policies and pathways for those too often left behind in our economy,” said UCLA Labor Center director Saba Waheed. “As a strategic thinker and thought partner on this board, we are confident she will bring the same passion for justice and eye for data-driven solutions to build more inclusive prosperity for all Californians.”