NMJC Workforce Training Numbers Best in State
2/14/2010 2:35:20 a.m. - Hobbs, NM. When members of the Training & Outreach program at New Mexico Junior College recently received the state’s annual report on non-credit workforce training figures, they were extremely excited to learn that their student head count numbers had topped those of all other community colleges in the state.
Most intriguing was the fact that NMJC’s numbers bested even those of Central New Mexico Community College (CNM, formerly TVI) in Albuquerque, which boasts the state’s largest service area, approaching almost half of New Mexico’s total population.
According to the report, NMJC’s workforce training head count for the 2008-2009 year had more than doubled from the previous year, growing from 2,510 to 5,049. For the same two-year period, CNM reported a slight decrease, dropping from 4,703 to 4,398. The report was compiled by the joint efforts of New Mexico Independent Community Colleges (NMICC) and New Mexico Association of Community Colleges (NMACC).
“This really is a big deal,” said Jeff McCool, Dean of NMJC’s Training & Outreach program, “especially considering that we only moved into the Training & Outreach Facility in February 2008. It was critical to our mission to be a serious player among our peer institutions, so when the first report was completed later that year, we were very pleased to find ourselves in third place. We turned around and set ourselves a goal of second place for the next year, but we never imagined our head count could ever come close to CNM’s, much less top it. When you think of the population area they have to draw from, it’s pretty amazing,” he said.
The 18 two-year colleges in New Mexico include CNM, Clovis Community College, ENMU-Roswell, ENMU-Ruidoso, Luna Community College, Mesalands Community College, NMJC, NMSU-Alamagordo, NMSU-Carlsbad, NMSU-Dona Ana Community College, NMSU-Grants, Northern New Mexico College, San Juan Community College, UNM-Gallup, UNM-Los Alamos, UNM-Taos, and UNM-Valencia.
McCool credits his staff for the success in numbers. “This team loves a challenge,” he said, “and they’re extremely hard-working, enthusiastic, and passionate about what they do, whether it’s professional development, customized training, or continuing education. It also helps to be in an area where businesses are savvy enough to recognize the necessity and advantage of training that allows them to compete on a completely different level. We’re fortunate to have great partners in this region. They’re a big part of that success story as well.”
As for next year’s report, McCool hopes to maintain the momentum that’s begun and achieve even bigger goals. “We’d still love to catch up to CNM on the number of student contact hours they have,” he said, “and we’ll continue to work on that. We’re excited and we’re motivated, so we’ll just keep working as hard as we can and see what next year brings.”