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Workforce & Education 

The RDC currently has two initiatives under the Workforce and Education Program; the Workforce and Academic Network Development pilot project, and the Higher Education Workforce project.  


Workforce and Academic Network

The Workforce and Academic Network pilot project is established to convene industry and academic stakeholders in order to help job seekers and students more easily access training and education for the construction skilled trades industry in northern New Mexico. Together we will work to address the role of stakeholders to illuminate paths for working collectively to address the workforce shortage in the construction and skilled trades in northern New Mexico.


What we know:

  • There is a national construction trades workforce deficit

  • New Mexico has a multitude of efforts to qualify and support the development of this workforce

  • There is opportunity to address alignment among workforce preparation programs and industry needs and better align statewide efforts.


Workforce and Academic Network 2021 Activities for Skilled Trades include:

Identify all pertinent skilled trades stakeholders including:

  •  Industry Employers

  •  State agencies

  •  Northern New Mexico College, UNM Los Alamos, UNM-Taos, Luna Community College, Santa Fe Community   College, Luna Community College, Highlands University

  •  Trade Unions

  •  Existing non-union apprenticeship and training programs

  •  Municipalities and county representation

  •  Public and Private Secondary Education Leaders


Convene Independent Focus Groups with each stakeholder group as identified, to:

  • Clarify roles and opportunities for alignment with other stakeholder groups

  • Gain consensus on efforts toward alignment and collaborative workforce support

Convene stakeholder groups to:

  • Align objectives and outcomes toward pre-apprenticeship

  • Establish agreement toward matriculation and recognition of acquired skill-sets

  • Establish collaborative toward workforce recruitment

  • Identify wrap-around support for trainees and prospective employees

  • Establish common mechanism for supporting

Check out the results of the first phase of our Workforce and Academic Network pilot project: here.

The RDC is currently working with our partners to fulfill the scope of work that was identified in this process.



Higher Education Workforce

The Higher Education Workforce project is a partnership between the Regional Development Corporation (RDC) and Northern New Mexico higher education institutions to identify training needs and develop a well-educated workforce in the region. The partnership aims to help Northern New Mexico’s businesses find skilled workers and help ensure jobs are filled by in-state and in-county workers who want to stay in their communities after receiving an education at two- and four-year colleges in the area. 


The RDC works with six regional institutions of higher education to create “clear, coherent and structured educational experiences” for students for pursuing relevant certificates and/or degree programs that will successfully lead to careers in the region. Each institution’s program is tailored to their unique student population, community needs, and academic curriculum. These institutions include the University of New Mexico-Taos, University of New Mexico-Los Alamos , Luna Community College, New Mexico Highlands University, Northern New Mexico College and Santa Fe Community College.

Initiatives supported by the Higher Education Workforce Project include:
  • Paid student internships that offer real-world experience to students and provide employers with a way to meet potential employees

  • Soft skill /professional development workshops and courses

  • Accelerated learning programs that provide fast-track learning in skills such as math and English that are by employers for specific jobs

  • Data collection in order to better align curriculum with regional jobs

Workforce shutterstock_531123187.jpg

Together, these partnerships and initiatives help build a strong workforce in the RDC’s seven county area. To learn more about each participating institution, click on the links below, or for more information about the Workforce Development Program, email

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