Regional Development Corporation received a Gold Excellence in Economic Development Award for their Accelerate – Technical Training and Job Placement program in the category of Partnerships with Educational Institutions for communities with populations of 200,000 – 500,000 from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).
The honor was presented at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, October 2, during the IEDC Annual Conference, which is being held Sept. 30 – Oct. 3 in Houston, Texas.
“We recognize Regional Development Corporation for creating innovative and successful strategies to promote economic development in this period of global recovery,” said Jay Moon, IEDC chair. “Our awards honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in communities. Regional Development Corporation demonstrates that they are at the forefront of the economic development profession and are using cutting-edge, effective practices that can be replicated in other communities.”
Accelerate is a joint initiative of the Regional Development Corporation (RDC) and six community colleges with the goal to increase the graduation rates of students in two year technical degree programs.
The initiative was launched in 2011 after identifying lack of trained technical workers as a weakness. The partnership serves a largely rural population located in five adjacent counties.
Accelerate currently serves 200 non-traditional students (working parents, veterans, minority) who participate in a specially designed Math Camp to accelerate them through remedial math courses, are assigned a Career Technical Advisor at their school who provides frequent, intensive academic coaching and support, and attend jobs fairs, mock interviews with employers, and a rigorous two day professional readiness event.
In May 2012, the first 36 students from the program walked across the stage to receive diplomas in their given technical degree areas. Of this year’s graduates, 36 precent have been placed in jobs relevant to their field of study and 53 percent are transferring to other colleges or universities or continuing at the same university to pursue four year degrees.
Strategic direction for the program is provided by a board made up of the RDC, regional employers, and college administrators.
IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year’s most influential leaders.
These awards honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities.
About the International Economic Development Council
The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is the world’s largest independent non-profit membership and research organization devoted exclusively to the field of economic development. IEDC helps economic development professionals create high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities and improve the quality of life in their regions.
Serving more than 4,400 members, IEDC provides a diverse range of services including conferences, professional development and certification, publications, research, advisory services, and legislative tracking. Visit www.iedconline.org.
About Regional Development Corporation
The Regional Development Corporation (RDC) is a regional economic development organization for Northern New Mexico, focused on creating a diverse and sustainable economy.
The RDC works collaboratively to create new jobs in the region by strengthening services to businesses and developing the infrastructure, public policy and workforce to support job growth.
Its principal service areas are Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Santa Fe, Taos, San Miguel, Mora and Sandoval counties. Visit www.rdcnm.org.
The Technical Training and Job Placement program, known as Accelerate, is a program of the RDC in collaboration with the University of New Mexico – Taos, University of New Mexico – Los Alamos, Santa
Fe Community College, Northern New Mexico College, Luna Community College, and New Mexico Highlands University.
The mission of Accelerate is to graduate more technical career students, place them in jobs and better prepare them for career and educational advancement.
Accelerate is sponsored by the US Department of Energy, Office of Environmental Management and by contributions from colleges, the RDC, and regional employers. Visit www.acceleratenm.org.