The lack of a skilled and ready workforce is consistently identified as the number-one barrier to economic development and diversification of our economy. Working hand-in-hand with all of the key players and partners in building a highly skilled and ready workforce, The Bridge of Southern New Mexico is leading the next steps in not just a plan, but forging the partnerships and resources needed to make it happen.
Thanks to the passion and commitment of a growing set of cross-sector partners on the Workforce Talent Collaborative, a clear plan and path to a comprehensive approach to workforce development has emerged that can transform the future of the region by boosting the earning potential of its citizens.
The plan harnesses the collective assets already in place and identifies the gaps that need to be filled for us to build a ready, highly-skilled workforce that will drive short and long-term economic development for us all. To read the Executive Summary click here, to read the full Strategic Plan click here.
The Collaborative has outlined the alignment needed to equip those who are here now with the skills and knowledge needed to be successful in higher-paying careers and career ladders. The goal is not just about jobs, it’s about driving the holistic development of these industries.
To see the connected set of efforts currently underway in each component of our comprehensive plan, hover your pointer over each section of the graphic below.
High School Graduation
Dual Credit Courses
Early College High Schools
GISD Blended Senior Year
New Mexico True Talent and Communications Campaign
Career Certifications and Associates Degrees
Elevating Career Certifications and Two-Year Degrees
Alignment of CTE Programs with Industry Needs
Prioritizing CTE Investments
Strengthen Faculty Relationships with Key Employers
Thriving Families Pilot with Community Action Agency
Partnership with Adult and Youth Providers
Strengthening Access to the STEM Ecosystem
City of Las Cruces Career Coordinator
Virtual STEM Mentoring
Student Internships/Summer Jobs
Dual Credit Advocacy
Workforce Connections Improvements
Early College High School Support
Building the regional Workforce Talent Pipeline needed for success requires a combination of new and existing tools and relationships, as well as targeting our collective community assets to support the holistic talent development for eight targeted industries. Following is a sample workforce pathway. To see each industry’s pathway, click on the industry links below.
A skilled and ready workforce in these eight industries will ripple across the county in an economic cascade of increased incomes and buying power. At the same time, it improves the social determinants of health historically linked to the pervasiveness of poverty here.
Therefore, as we move forward in laying out the strategies and tactics for building highly-skilled workforce talent in a way that drives economic development, we begin with a foundational understanding that developing a comprehensive workforce entails mobilizing all members of community toward the goal of workforce talent development.
This, in turn, will have far broader impact in changing the dominant, primarily negative narrative of this region and foster a cultural shift toward completion, economic stability, and high expectations. To see a full list of the cross-sector members of the Workforce Talent Collaborative leading this community’s work, click here
When the hallmark and reputation of our region becomes the quality and depth of diverse and highly-skilled talent in these eight target industries, we will unleash the economic potential of this region. We will break the generational hold of poverty and improve the quality of life of individuals, families, neighborhoods, communities, and the region, as a whole.
Currently leading this work are:
Kevin Boberg, Retired Vice President for Economic Development, New Mexico State University
Debbi Moore, President, Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce
Fred Owensby, Executive Director, Workforce Development and Training Division, Doña Ana Community College
Dr. Griselda Martinez, Deputy Director, Office of Economic Development, City of Las Cruces
Les Baldock, Vice President – Operations, Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance
Dr. Patricia Sullivan, Outreach Coordinator, New Mexico State University College of Engineering
Dr. Susan Brown, STEM Outreach Director, New Mexico State University College of Education
Carrie Hernandez, Coordinator for Instruction/Career Readiness & Student Success, Las Cruces Public Schools
Jeff Waugh, Career Specialist, Las Cruces Public Schools
Rachel Knight, Career Specialist, Las Cruces Public Schools
Chris Shepherd, Operations Coordinator, Film Las Cruces
Steve Duran, Administrator, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
Miguel Martinez, HELP-NM
Darleen Lopez, One-Stop Operator, New Mexico Workforce Connections
Willie Silva, Vice President Community Outreach, El Paso Electric
Patti Lucero, Director, Operations & Compliance, TRAX International
Dr. Gilbert Moreno, President, Prestige Consulting
Debby Childress, Organizational Development Manager/Human Resources, City of Las Cruces
Lydia Nejdl, Career Development Coordinator, City of Las Cruces
Richard Wagner, Las Cruces Area Director/Site Manager, New Mexico Department of Workforce Connections
Roseanne Bensley, Career Services Coordinator, New Mexico State University
Susan Brown, Interim Dean of the College of Education, New Mexico State University
Dawn Hommer, CEO, Community Action Agency
Dr. Rodolfo Acosta, Director of Family Empowerment, Community Action Agency
Travis Dempsey, Superintendent, Gadsden Independent School District
Melanie Goodman, Field Representative, US Senator Tom Udall
Sharon Thomas, South Central Regional Transit District and Board Member, Southwestern Area Workforce Development Board
Melanie Fatuesi, Human Resources, Mountainview Regional Medical Center
Marie Ethier, Adult Education, Dona Ana Community College
Josh Orozco, Board Chair, Southwestern Area Workforce Development Board
David Armijo, Executive Director, South Central Regional Transit District
Joanne Garay, Director, Small Business Development Center
Joe Butler, Division Dean of Science, Engineer, and Math, Doña Ana Community College
Mary Ulrich, Director, Customized Training and Community Education, Doña Ana Community College
Berta Cordova de Lozano, Co-Op and Internship Coordinator, Dona Ana Community College
Lori Martinez, Director, Ngage
Abeer Al-Ghawi, Assistant Director, Ngage
Abel Covarrubias, CEO, Aprendamos Intervention Team
Concha Cordova, Vice President, YDI, Inc.
Robbie Levy, retired manager of Las Cruces Housing Authority
Clara Wells, Program Manager, New Mexico State University
Sara Patricolo, Program Manager, New Mexico State University
Yvette Bayless, New Mexico Workforce Connection
Nicole Black, Executive Officer, Las Cruces Home Builders Association
Tracey Bryan, President/CEO, The Bridge of Southern New Mexico