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Updated: May 2, 2022 / The Power 50 for 2022

2022 Power 50: Luis Pedraja

Photo | Courtesy of Quinsigamond Community College Luis Pedraja, president of Quinsigamond Community College, in Worcester
Luis Pedraja Title President Organization Quinsigamond Community College, in Worcester Residence Worcester Colleges Stetson University, University of Virginia Read all the 2020 Power 50 profiles here
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In influencing the future of the workforce, Luis Pedraja is one of the most powerful stakeholders.

QCC serves more than 10,000 students annually, most of whom move quickly into the workforce in health care, manufacturing, technology, and emergency response. The school has been a leader in workforce development, particularly for people who historically have faced barriers to higher education, and is working on a $25-million manufacturing and robotics center, announced in June.

As the coronavirus pandemic tested higher education in new ways, Pedraja was unwavering in his support and response. QCC offered a debt forgiveness program, which eliminated $2.6 million in student debt owed to the college, and provided free workforce development training to community members to help address labor shortages.

QCC was the only Mass. community college whose freshman enrollment did not fall from 2019 to 2021, seeing a 9% increase in the second year. Pedraja is chair of the Higher Education Consortium of Central Massachusetts, influencing infrastructure, transportation, workforce training, and mental health resources for the higher education industry.

What sets the Central Mass. business community apart from the rest of the world? Central Massachusetts has a rich history of innovation and leadership, from abolition, to the industrial revolution, to space flight, and, more recently, biotechnology. Our community takes pride in our history, but doesn’t stop there, looking to the future and for new opportunities to innovate and lead.

Emergency training: I was a first responder, serving as the head of the Red Cross Disaster Action Team in Dallas and later as reserve officer for emergency management in Memphis-Shelby County, Tenn.

Read all the 2020 Power 50 profiles here

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