Sandoval Economic Alliance is on the same page as Central New Mexico Community College in expanding three target industries in the county.

On Wednesday, SEA had its first virtual quarterly luncheon.

In 2017, SEA released the Target Industry Study, setting an initiative to expand and attract businesses in life sciences; professional service and support; and advanced technology and manufacturing.

CNM President Tracy Hartzler said the college contributes to Sandoval County’s workforce in these areas.

CNM serves about 30,000 students in New Mexico each year. About 3,000 live in the Rio Rancho area and about 700 are Rio Rancho high school students in dual-credit programs, she said.

“Our commitment with Rio Rancho and Sandoval County continues, and has certainly grown over time,” she said.

Every year, CNM has about 290 nursing students. The Rio Rancho facility has a nursing cohort of about 130 students, Hartzler said.

Many then serve Presbyterian Rust Medical Center and UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center, she said.

CNM also offers education in technical services like electrical programs.

“What this also shows is CNM alignment with Sandoval Economic Alliance’s Targeted Industries Study,” she said.

In addition, CNM has a law enforcement academy that Rio Rancho and Sandoval County first responders enroll in.

“I want to say how important it is to not only partner with our local businesses, but also partner with our local agencies,” she said.

When CNM addresses its strategic plan, it looks at student success, community success and organizational excellence.

“When we talk about student success, you may not know that CNM ranks highly across the country nationally for many years in a row,” she said.

Hartzler said CNM is ranked nationally in:

• Number of students who earn certificates and degrees;

• Number of Native American students who earn certificates and degrees; and

• Number of Latino students who earn certificates and degrees,

“And so we are incredibly proud of these rankings; at the same time, we know we serve all of our students and all of our community,” Hartzler said.

In guiding community success, it’s CNM’s goal to connect students and staff to technology, she said. CNM offers them work stations equipped with laptops that have a camera, headphones and microphones.

“We know how important it is for households to have technology that is used not only by our CNM students but by members of their family,” Hartzler said.

She said the past six months show how crucial it is to students and families’ success to have this technology.

CNM strives for organizational excellence by using its resources wisely and adhering to it values, Hartzler said.

The college partners with two to five other institutions to combine business practices, data sources and infrastructure investments to better respond to local and state needs, she said.

“We frankly use our workforce and develop our workforce so we can help each other out,” Hartzler said.

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Assistant Editor at Rio Rancho Observer