About Us

Kern Economic Development Foundation was established in 2008 in response to Kern County employers’ calls for a better-prepared workforce.

Kern Economic Development Foundation is a research-based and workforce development-focused organization that links business, education, and the community.

KEDF, a 501(c)(3) organization, focuses on helping to foster a robust talent pipeline in order to fill local jobs, especially in the STEM arena.

Kern County ranks No. 4 in the nation for STEM jobs, thanks to the prevalence of energy, food processing, aerospace and defense, healthcare, and logistics/warehousing industries in the region.

Young people are a natural focus when it comes to “growing our own workforce.”  KEDF connects local professionals with high school students in our STEM-based mentoring programs, focusing largely on soft skills and providing students with a helpful resource and advisor. The organization’s signature event is the Kern County STEMposium which brings students and businesses together for a STEM expo where students showcase their best STEM projects, and businesses demonstrate equipment and skills required to be successful in the workplace.

Workforce development isn’t limited to students, though.  KEDF also offers professional development program for women in STEM careers, giving them a forum for education and networking.

KEDF strives to ensure that Kern County’s STEM industries, the most vital economic drivers in the current and future economy, have the workforce they need to be successful.


Richard Chapman
Executive Director


Mark Wyatt, Chair
Bakersfield Adult School

Jeannie Bertolaccini, Immediate Past Chair
Ordiz- Melby Architects

Karen Zuber, Treasurer
Senior Vice President
Bank of America

Paulina Christensen, Secretary
IT Manager
Aera Energy

Pawan Gill
Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
City of Arvin

Gina Pettit
Community Engagement Advisor

David Franz
Education Partnership
City of Shafter

Paulette Rush
Community Relations Manager
BHE Renewables

Christina Scrivner
Director of Philanthropy
Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley Foundation

Monica Gibbs
External Affairs

Jenifer Pitcher
Jenifer Pitcher Consulting

Michelle Corson
Public Relations Officer
Kern County Public Health

Kristy Greenland
Broker Account Manager
Central Valley, Brand New Day Health Plan