The Learning Centers (TLC) at Fairplex, the education arm of the long-standing Pomona institution, announced the appointment of Roberto Viramontes as its new Executive Director. Viramontes’ post began on March 14.
The Learning Centers (TLC) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization transforming lives through life-long learning experiences in partnership with Fairplex and the community. For nearly 100 years, Fairplex, home of the LA County Fair, has demonstrated its commitment to the community. Beginning with the first Fair in 1922, Fairplex has a historic reputation of building stronger communities throughout Southern California using fun, educational and collaborative efforts.
Viramontes will oversee the educational arm of Fairplex, including its two non-profits, The Learning Centers at Fairplex and Fairplex Child Development Center (CDC), from CDC’s early education programming to TLC’s Career and Technical Education Center (CTEC), and year-round learning opportunities through Fairplex’s field trip program and the Millard Sheets Art Center.
“I am thrilled to have Roberto join the Fairplex team,” said Walter Marquez, President and CEO of Fairplex. “Roberto has an impressive background in education, as a teacher and a strong proponent for equal opportunities for all students. He will be an asset as TLC and all its programs forge ahead.”
Mike Beckman, chair of The Learning Centers’ Board of Directors, agreed. “Talking to Roberto, I got the sense he wants to understand the culture and the relationships of TLC and Fairplex, to begin to understand who we are and how we got to where we are,” Beckman said. “He really wants to be a part of the discussion – he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, particularly in the policy arena, which is something TLC hasn’t had. Roberto’s roots are in being an educator but he has traveled into some areas that could be really helpful to us.”
Viramontes joins Fairplex after more than 20 years as a policy manager and advocate for children and youth, most recently as Director of College Access and Success with UNITE-LA, a nonprofit organization that leads collaborative education reform efforts, promotes business-education partnerships, expands college access and provides workforce development opportunities for underserved youth in the Los Angeles area. He is also a former high school teacher.
Viramontes also served as the Children’s Deputy for Los Angeles County First District Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, as a policy analyst for First 5 LA and as Senior Director, Education Policy with First Focus in Washington, D.C. A graduate of California State University, Fullerton, Viramontes also earned two Master’s degrees, in General Education from Loyola Marymount University and Public Policy from the University of Southern California respectively, and is currently working on a Master’s in history at California State University, Los Angeles.
“I look forward to leveraging my experience across the cradle of learning so that we may continue offering quality opportunities for learning and development for children and youth. The Learning Centers are in a position to accomplish so much with early education and career pathways, and I’m excited to be part of the process,” said Viramontes.
Throughout the pandemic, TLC’s CTEC program continued its mission to help fulfill unmet educational needs by educating and preparing students for real-world careers and professional success by utilizing technology to create a safe environment for students to learn. It has gradually returned to hands-on classroom instruction as it provides innovative learning experiences that give students the necessary skills to enter the workforce or continue on the pathway of higher education. While the CDC continued to offer in-person early education throughout the pandemic, it also offered free tuition to first responders during the peak of the pandemic.
For more information about TLC, visit www.fairplex.com/tlcfairplex.