February 8, 2021

Oakland native Colette Flood came to Berkeley Lab 11 years ago as an Internship Manager, and is now the Manager of Workforce Development and Education. She holds a B.S. in Public Administration and a Master’s in Public Policy from the University of Southern California. The Workforce Development Office manages Undergraduate, Post-baccalaureate, Graduate, and Faculty Internships, and mentorship programs. Outside of the office, Colette enjoys using her green thumb, and has such a following that she is known among her friends as the “House Plant Lady.”

Colette is the guest speaker for a virtual Black History Month presentation called
"Resilience: A Journey of Fortitude and Faith” on Feb. 11, 2021 at noon.

2020 was a tough year. Any goals you are pursuing in 2021?

If I have a goal for 2021, it is to take time to appreciate the small, daily victories, the tiny seeing plants grow, or when you take a moment for yourself to pause, reflect or breathe.

What makes you come to work every day? What is the most fulfilling part of your job?

One of the most fulfilling things is the team that I work with. I work with some amazing, spectacular people! They allow me to mentor them, but they give back to me and mentor me 10,000-fold and help me grow as a person, and as a manager. My team builds my confidence, my skill set, and I learn from them every day. And the amount of support that we give and receive from each other is phenomenal.

Many people may not understand what workforce development is. Can you give your perspective?

I tell everyone I have the best job in the world because I make dreams come true. I help people professionally develop and achieve their dreams. We assist them with figuring out their career path and help them grow, provide them with tools, resources, research experience, foster a collaborative STEM community, and partner them with mentors in order to prepare them to achieve their career goals. Our office is dedicated to preparing the next generation of a diverse STEM workforce, and it’s extremely rewarding to empower people to achieve their dreams and change the world. When I'm at parties or events, people ask me, what are you doing these days? My answer is always, "I’m making dreams come true."