2003 Inductee - John Solis


2003 Inductee - John Solis

Community Service

John Solis is the executive director of the San Joaquin County Employment and Economic Development Department (EEDD), and the Economic Development Association. But what does he really do?

Since 1989 he has helped lead the EEDD as part of its executive management team, which is responsible for the Employment Preparation Division program operations such as Summer Youth Employment and Training. He oversees the Central Intake, Client Management, Job Search, Contracts Management, GAIN and Fiscal division. He is also administrator of the Welfare to Work Programs, which received $6 million in federal grant money from the Department of Labor.

The Workforce Investment Act created the WorkNet service delivery system, a “one stop service delivery system for employment and training.” It works closely with the Employment Development Department and other service organizations. There are nine WorkNet Centers in the county. During Solis’ tenure, San Joaquin County has received $3.4 million in performance incentive monies because of is effective program and operational management. Seven programs under his guidance have won eight national awards. One award was the Presidential Award for the Summer Youth innovative Theater Arts Project.

The Trade and Commerce Agency awarded him funding to start up a $300,000 micro loan fund for Small Businesses, partnering with the Chamber of Commerce, the city of Stockton and Delta College’s Small Business Development Center. From September 1989 to November 1996 Solis served as deputy director of the agency. He was a division manager from July 1987 to September 1989. His first city job was being a contract analyst from February 1980 to February 1983.

Solis has gone beyond the confines of his job to help the community both locally and statewide. Some of his community involvement includes being a member of the UC Davis Medical Center advisory board, CSU Stanislaus advisory board, Boys Scouts of American, Boys & Girls Club of Stockton, and LULAC. He has been a member of Hispanics for Political Action, Leadership Stockton Alumni and the Cinco de Mayo Parade Committee. He also participates in United Way, UOP’s Upward Bound Program, the Coalition of Mexican American Organization and several other community groups. He started the San Joaquin A+ Spirit of Literacy Awards that singles out “agencies and individuals who take a leadership role in promoting literacy in our community.”

Several groups have recognized his achievements and community involvement. The Leadership Stockton Alumni Association gave him their Professional Development Award. The Concilio gave him the Amigo of the Year in 1997. The Mexican American Chamber of Commerce selected him as the CEO/Manager of the Year in 1998. Political big boys Patrick Johnston, Mike Machado, and Richard Pombo have recognized his efforts with governmental proclamation.

“He is a strong supporter of youth activities and education. He enjoys coaching youth baseball and soccer and spending time in the great outdoors—camping, fishing and just spending time with his family, “said his friend Phil Uribe.