James Jacobs

Senior Advisor

James Jacobs started partnering with ESG in 2022 as a coach for the Non-Credit and Credit Alignment Lab. Jacobs assumed the presidency of Macomb Community College on July 1, 2008. Prior to his appointment, he concurrently served as director for the Center for Workforce Development and Policy at the college, and as associate director, Community College Research Center (CCRC), Teachers College, Columbia University, where he currently serves as a research affiliate.

Jacobs earned his Ph.D. from Princeton University and has more than 40 years experience at Macomb. He has taught social science, political science and economics. He specializes in the areas of workforce skills and technology, economic development, worker retraining and community college workforce development, and is widely published in these areas of expertise. In addition, Jacobs has conducted research, developed programs and consulted on workforce development and community college issues at the national, state and local levels.

Jacobs is a past president of the National Council for Workforce Education, a national post-secondary organization of occupational education and workforce development specialists. He was also a member of the Community College Advisory Panel to the Educational Testing Service in Princeton, New Jersey, and on the board of the Global Corporate College, which provided consistent, just-in-time employee development to support business priorities across multiple time zones, locations and languages through a network of U.S. community colleges and universities.

Jacobs serves on several local boards, including the Center for Automotive Research, Metropolitan Affairs Council, Detroit Institute of Arts, United Way for Southeastern Michigan and Advancing Macomb. He is widely known for the Macomb County Economic Forecast, which he has presented annually for more than 30 years for the coalition of county’s chambers of commerce. Currently Dr. Jacobs is a senior advisor to the Ralph Wilson Foundation, and lecturer at the University of Michigan School of Education.