Shawna J. Forbes

Shawna J. Forbes

Detroit Workforce System Leadership Development Academy, Class of 2017, Economic Opportunities Program

Vice Chancellor of the School of Continuing Education and Workforce Development, Wayne County Community College District, Detroit, MI

Shawna J. Forbes serves as the Vice Chancellor for the School of Continuing Education and Workforce Development at Wayne County Community College District (WCCCD). Serving over 60,000 students annually, the District has five campuses and a University Center which serves 32 cities and townships throughout Wayne County. Ms. Forbes champions the notion of WCCCD being a resource to be utilized by individuals, community organizations, and business/industries in meeting their workforce and training needs.

A native of Detroit Michigan, Ms. Forbes has more than 20 years of experience in higher education. She completed her graduate work in Clinical Psychology from the University of Detroit-Mercy and is currently working on her Doctoral degree at the University of Toledo focused on Higher Education Administration.

As Vice Chancellor for the School of Continuing Education and Workforce Development, Ms. Forbes provides leadership for the implementation and execution of the District’s Strategic Plan by providing quality programming and services throughout the District. Managing a budget of approximately $17 million, servicing more than 30,000 non-credit students in short-term certificate programs, workforce training, grants/contract management, and community outreach that is aligned with current and future trends.

Ms. Forbes is currently a member or has formerly served on the following boards, councils and organizations:

  • Detroit Workforce Development Board
  • Detroit Workforce Development Advisory Council
  • Detroit Workforce Development Department (DWDD) Education and Youth Advisory Council, Appointed Co-Chair
  • Southeast Michigan Community Alliance (SEMCA), Member
  • Southeast Michigan Council on Governments (SEMCOG), Member
  • Michigan Occupational Deans Administrative Council (MODAC), Member
  • Eastern Michigan University – Detroit, Board Member
  • Michigan Association Continuing Education and Training Committee Member

Shawna Forbes is a member of the Detroit Workforce System Leadership Development Academy Class of 2017, one of several Workforce Leadership Academies in localities across North America.

The Workforce Leadership Academies are part of the Economic Opportunity Fellows Network, a network of leadership and fellowship programs run by the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program. Within this Network, EOP connects national and local leaders from across sectors — nonprofit, government, business, philanthropy, academia, and more — to advance policies and practices with the potential to help low- and moderate-income Americans thrive in today’s economy. Learn more at