Information Communication Technologies & Digital Media Sector Team

Duane Rinehart hopes to use his experiences in industry and academia to help bridge divides between the two and create better opportunities for ICT-DM students throughout his region.

Rinehart is a seasoned business and IT consultant with more than 15 years experience working with small and large organizations in the areas of strategy formulation, risk assessment, operations, and marketing. He’s also an associate professor for the San Diego Community College District and sees firsthand how business and education often misunderstand each other.

“I have hired interns who were knowledgeable about programming, systems administration or bioinformatics; however many times they did not know how to tie in business objectives with the tasks they were assigned,” Rinehart said. “In academia, many students were confused to see many internship postings with work experience prerequisites.”

The confusion on both sides of the aisle stems from a lack of understanding about what skills community colleges should focus on, and what steps students should be taking to prepare for their future after graduation.

Rinehart said this dynamic will not change overnight, but he’s committed to using his role as Deputy Sector Navigator to increase understanding and chart a path forward.

“As I meet with potential employers, I would like to highlight our local programs and the value a diverse workforce can provide, if adequately respected and supported,” Rinehart said. “Meetings with faculty, deans, and students will focus on maintaining quality instruction in highly relevant areas and augmenting students’ preparation with requisite communication skills and realistic expectations to succeed in their chosen career path.”

Rinehart holds an MBA from the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University and has completed post-graduate work in Information Systems Management at DeVry University’s Keller Graduate School of Management. His business clients include Cisco, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Harvard Medical School, and UC Berkeley.