Accelerate: Northern New Mexico Technical Training and Job Placement Program

Six northern New Mexico colleges, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), and the New Mexico Regional Development Corporation (RDC) are collaborating to graduate more technical career students, place them in jobs, and better prepare them for career and educational advancement.

The Technical Training and Job Placement program, known as Accelerate, focuses on transitional workers with retraining needs and non-traditional students enrolled in technical certificate and 2-year degree programs.  Accelerate offers an innovative approach to increase technical degree completion, professional readiness, and job placement.

Partners

Accelerate is sponsored by the US Department of Energy, Office of Environmental Management and by contributions from colleges, the RDC, and regional employers. Participating colleges include Luna Community College, New Mexico Highlands University, Northern New Mexico College, Santa Fe Community College, the University of New Mexico – Los Alamos, and the University of New Mexico – Taos.

Increasing Graduation Rates, Professional Readiness, and Job Placement

Substantial workforce training is needed to prepare workers for existing and future jobs in technology industries.  Northern New Mexico’s two and four-year colleges represent the vanguard of this type of training in the area.  They recruit, serve, enroll, and graduate a majority of non-traditional students and transitional workers, many through certificate and associate degree programs.  Yet, graduation rates remain low and northern New Mexico’s technology companies often have difficulty finding skilled workers.  As a result, jobs often go unfilled or are offered to out-of-state residents.

An Effective New Infrastructure

Accelerate is a new infrastructure, not a curriculum, assisting educational programs to be more effective in working with non-traditional students and in preparing those students for jobs.  Designed around the needs of non-traditional students and northern New Mexico’s employers, the components of the program include:

  • A specially designed summer Math Experience to accelerate student’s progress in developmental math courses so they can quickly begin degree-related coursework.
  • Assigned Career Technical Advisors who pro-actively touch base with students to make sure they are progressing and to help them with problem solving on issues that might  impact school work.
  • Professional Readiness events that facilitate employer and student interaction.  These events range from workshops on resume writing, to mock interviews with employers, career fairs, panel discussions with respected community members, and presentations from business leaders about hiring and expectations.
  • Internships with regional employers that provide students with valuable real-world experience and offer employers an opportunity to work with students before they graduate.

For additional information on Accelerate, please send an email to carla@rdcnm.org.