Learn about ETP’s leadership team, bios and more information is available below. 

Jessica Grimes

Executive Director

Jessica Grimes was appointed by Governor Newsom as the Executive Director in November 2023. Prior to her appointment, she served as the Regional Chair of the Central Valley Mother Lode Regional Consortium (CVML) and as the Associate Vice Chancellor of Career Education and Workforce Development at the Kern Community College District. Instrumental in strengthening and developing intersegmental partnerships among industry, K12 Local Education Agencies (LEAs), Workforce Development Agencies, and community-based organizations, Dr. Grimes oversaw a number of workforce and career education initiatives, including the Strong Workforce and the K12 Strong Workforce Programs, career education grants that serve K-16 students from diverse backgrounds. Additionally, she served on the Kern Coalition, a five-entity partnership, that functioned as the regional convener for California Jobs First, formerly CERF, to advance inclusive, economic development in Kern County. Before working on regional initiatives, Grimes deepened her workforce development experience as a Dean of Instruction and CTE at Taft College. Grimes earned her PhD from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Literature and Criticism and a Master’s degree in Religion and the Arts from Yale Divinity School.

Peter Cooper

Assistant Director

Peter Cooper was appointed as Assistant Executive Director by Governor Brown in 2012 and reappointed by Governor Gavin Newsom in 2020. He has thirty years of experience working on labor, workforce and environmental policy at the international, national, state, and local levels. He served both as Senior Workforce Program Manager and as Legislative Advocate at the California Labor Federation from 2000 to 2012 and has worked for the Service Employees International Union, the AFL-CIO, and Public Citizen in Washington, DC. He earned a Master of Arts degree in International Affairs from Sacramento State University, holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees from CSU, Chico, and studied at Eberhard-Karls Universitaet, Tuebingen, Germany.

Assistant Director/Chief Counsel

Pending Appointee


Tara Armstrong

Deputy Director of Technical Branch/CIO

Tara Armstrong has been working at the Employment Training Panel, supporting its mission, since 2007 and is the ETP, Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Deputy Director of the Technical Operation Branch. Click here to read the full bio.

Jaime Gutierrez

Chief Deputy Director