James 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 the associate director of the Community College Research Center (CCRC)
at Teachers College, Columbia University.
Jacobs has more than 40 years experience at Macomb, joining the college as a professor of economics in 1967.
He has specialized in the areas of occupational change and technology, suburban economic development,
occupational education, retraining of displaced workers, and needs assessment of occupational programs,
and has widely published in these areas of expertise.
Jacobs has conducted research, developed programs, and consulted on workforce development and community college
issues at the national, state, and local levels. During his seven years with the CCRC, he was responsible for
some of the organization’s fieldwork, including a major study for the National Science Foundation on the
ATE Regional Center Program. He is the past president of the National Council for Workforce Education,
a national postsecondary organization of occupational education and workforce development specialists,
and a member of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership Advisory Board of the National Institute of Standards
and Technology. Jacobs served on the Lt. Governor’s Commission on Higher Education and Economic Growth as
part of the research staff and a report writer for the Cherry Commission report, and was a member of the Visioning
Task Force for Macomb County, a group convened by the board of commissioners to proactively plan for the future of
Jacobs earned his Ph.D from Princeton University and has served on a number of community boards,
including Peoples State Bank, Macomb Inter-Faith Action Center, United Way, and St. John Hospital.
He is also a member of the board of directors of the Community College Research Center in New York.