Obama Pick Shows Focus on Training Work Force

A community-college president is tapped for No. 2 education post

In the latest sign of the growing national prominence of community colleges, President Obama has named the chancellor of a two-year-college district in California to the government's top postsecondary-education position.

The nominee for under secretary of education, Martha J. Kanter, is head of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District, in Silicon Valley. If confirmed by the Senate, Ms. Kanter would become the first community-college leader to hold the Education Department's No.