In order to get higher-quality jobs, it’s becoming increasingly important for people to participate in paid internships, apprenticeships, and other types of what are called “work-based learning” opportunities. These help individuals develop useful skills and relationships for high school, college, and the workplace. But how many of these WBL opportunities are available in our region and what needs to be done so more people can access them, especially in the middle of the pandemic?
In 2020, the LANL Foundation partnered with Santa Fe Community College, Northern New Mexico College, the Institute of American Indian Arts, UNM-Taos, and UNM-Los Alamos to answer these and other questions. Co-led by Santa Fe Community College Director of Grants and Contract Training Ann Black and LANL Foundation Vice President of Career Pathways and Advocacy Alvin Warren, the partners worked with Thomas P. Miller and Associates to map the WBL opportunities in north-central New Mexico and engage a wide array of stakeholders in identifying ways to expand and improve them.
The study, completed in December by Thomas P. Miller and Associates, found that there are currently not enough registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs as well as paid work-study and internships in the region, particularly for youth and within in-demand fields. To address this, the report recommended creating a centralized “Northern New Mexico Work-Based Learning Ecosystem” to better coordinate resources and efforts and provide a stronger “support system” for both participants and employers. It also provided insights into ways to make such opportunities more accessible to people in rural areas and to lower-income individuals and other underrepresented groups. Click here to read the entire report and learn how to be part of this effort.