New Mexico Department Of Workforce Solutions Expands Apprenticeship Career Pathways Across State

NMDWS News:

ALBUQUERQUE — As one of Gov.r Lujan Grisham’s initiatives, the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (NMDWS) is working to expand apprenticeship opportunities across the state, diversify apprenticeship programs beyond traditional fields, and increase the rate at which apprentices complete their program.

New Mexico’s registered apprenticeship programs and career pathway programs yield benefits for both job seekers and employers. Apprentices earn a sustainable wage while gaining the experience necessary for a career in their field and employers can more easily identify a workforce that meets their needs.  

Last year NMDWS received an Apprenticeship Expansion Grant. The three-year project provides funding to increase apprenticeship department staffing, resources to implement wrap-around services for apprentices, and employer support services.

New Mexico currently has the highest level of registered apprentices from the past 8 years with 1,805. By the summer of 2022, NMDWS plans to expand that number to 2,022. To achieve this, NMDWS will be developing and implementing retention initiatives for current apprenticeship programs and working with employers on creating modern, innovative pathway programs.

Apprenticeship Pathway Programs create an onramp that demonstrates to businesses the incentive to develop their own internal program, resulting in skilled workers through customized training specific to industry needs.

Over the past year, the following pathway and registered programs have emerged as promising models that diversify apprenticeships in New Mexico:

  • N3B
  • Rural Water Association
  • Affordable Solar
  • AerSale Roswell
  • Taos Early Childhood (planning phase)
  • Albuquerque Plumbing
  • San Juan College – CDL
  • Alliance Fire Protection
  • PESCO Manufacturing
  • Partnership with Los Alamos National Laboratory for apprenticeship programs in northern New Mexico (planning phase)

NMDWS is also partnering with high schools around the state to talk to students about career pathways in general. The New Mexico Building & Construction Trades Council is working on implementing several one-week Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) classes for students in the fall. Those students who are interested in going into an apprenticeship program will be one step ahead by having their OSHA certification going in.

Earlier this year, as part of Gov. Lujan Grisham’s initiative to increase youth career and college readiness opportunities, NMDWS and New Mexico Workforce Connection Centers worked with high schools to host mock interviews for students. This experience provided students throughout New Mexico the opportunity to enhance their soft skills, and help to reduce the stress and anxiety that may surround a young person during an interview, whether it’s for a career pathway program, college, or pursuing a job.

NMDWS plans to continue this partnership with public schools to find a way to offer mock interviews safely in a COVID environment and give those students an opportunity to practice their interview skills.

Beginning this summer, all AmeriCorps New Mexico programs will include a career pathway component based on the skills they learn. For example, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps will have a pathway to the U.S. Forest Service; Teach for America will have a pathway to New Mexico public schools; and Seed Corps will have a pathway to Roadrunner Food Bank.

Individuals interested in exploring current career pathway programs offered in a wide variety of trades and occupations can learn more at www.dws.state.nm.us/Apprenticeship.

LOS ALAMOS

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