CPTC welcomes Dr. James Neblett, Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Culture

By Jean Borst

Dr James NeblettClover Park Technical College is pleased to welcome Dr. James Neblett as its new Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Culture. Neblett began his new role Jan. 16.

As a key member of CPTC’s executive team, Neblett oversees all HR-related matters, including talent management/acquisition, labor and employee relations, training and development, performance management, benefits and compensation, employee communications and more. He also works with senior leaders to help ensure equity, diversity and inclusion are prioritized and reflected in CPTC’s human resources programs, practice and policies.

Seasoned leader, experienced educator

Neblett brings to CPTC 15 years of experience as a human resources leader with specialized experience in organizational development, strategy, training and employee relations. He has managed and streamlined HR operations for several notable organizations on the East and West coasts, including NantWorks/ImmunityBio, AT&T and Saks Fifth Avenue. Most recently he was a chief people officer (CPO)/HR consultant based in upstate New York.

No stranger to higher education, Neblett also has 14 years’ experience teaching human resources and leadership courses at major universities, including NYU, Chapman University and Mount St. Mary’s University.

“Dr. Neblett’s vast experience as a human resources leader and educator make him perfectly suited for his new role,” CPTC President Dr. Joyce Loveday said. “He will play an important role in building and supporting an environment where all of our students, educators and staff feel welcomed, valued and acknowledged.”

“I am very happy to be back in an academic setting and part of the CPTC community,” Neblett said. “I look forward to working with the college’s leaders and other stakeholders to support CPTC’s mission and strategic plan.”

Neblett is also pleased to be back in the Pacific Northwest. Twenty years ago, he was Department Chair of Human Resources at Chapman University, which was located on what was then McChord Air Force Base (now Joint Base Lewis-McChord.) Since returning, he’s reconnected with former students and has also had a few deja vu moments.

“The college’s graduation ceremonies took place on the CPTC campus,” Neblett said. “I definitely found myself in a familiar setting when I first walked into the McGavick Conference Center.”

It takes a village

As he settles into his new role, Neblett will continue to familiarize himself with CPTC and better understand its current culture and climate. That includes looking at processes already in place, talking with union representatives and meeting one-on-one with his team. Supervisory development will be another immediate priority.

“Culture is at the center of what we do in HR,” Neblett said. “But I can’t do this role by myself. It takes a village of stakeholders to create an environment that we all want to work in. I just happen to be the orchestrator.”

Off the clock

When he’s not poring over compliance issues, staff development strategies and listening to podcasts on the workplace, Neblett devotes a lot of his attention to his chocolate lab, Barton. He’s also an avid traveler and has visited more than 40 U.S. states and around 30 international locales. Amsterdam, Berlin and Vienna are among his favorite destinations.