On July 1, 2008, James Jacobs became the fifth president of Macomb Community College in Michigan. Jacobs earned a BA from Harpur College, Binghamton University, part of the State University of New York system, and an MA and PhD in politics from Princeton University. He previously served as the associate director for community college operations at CCRC and as the director of the Center for Workforce Development and Policy at Macomb Community College.
Jacobs is a national expert on workforce development and community colleges. He specializes in occupational change and technology, suburban economic development, occupational education, retraining displaced workers, and conducting needs assessments for occupational programs.
He is the vice president for partnerships and collaborations for the National Council for Workforce Education (NCWE), a national postsecondary organization of occupational education and workforce development specialists. He has also been an advisor to several national foundations and community colleges on workforce development issues. He served on the advisory board of the congressionally mandated National Assessment of Vocational Education (NAVE).