Voters in Sandoval County and Bernalillo County decided to approve the Central New Mexico Community College General Obligation (GO) Bond on Nov. 7.
The GO bond will provide $80 million for projects at multiple CNM locations in both counties, including funds for Rio Rancho Public Schools’ Career Technical Education campus.
In Sandoval County, the GO bond passed by a vote of 6,970-3,962. It passed 58,248 votes for and 23,163 against in the unofficial results in Bernalillo County.
“We all know we all know how important trades are to our economy and to our local businesses,” Oliva Padilla-Jackson, CNM’s vice president of finance and operations, said. “This particular bond will fund a few things in regards to trades.”
The bond will provide funding for a permanent location for CNM’s FUSE Makerspace, a facility that will bring together an accessible suite of resources and educational programs for students, entrepreneurs and community members including a unique space to design, prototype and manufacture prototypes for business ventures, as well as creative works. It will also support the completion of CNM’s Trades and Applied Technology facility project, including more labs, cutting-edge equipment and flexible spaces that support skilled trades education.
CNM is moving its entire auto mechanic, diesel mechanic and brand-new electric vehicle mechanic programs to Rio Rancho’s CTE campus.
CTE offers students opportunities in the skills trade.
In 2022, RRPS purchased a 74,000-square-foot building to house skilled trades classes and courses. The design and buildout is underway and scheduled to open in the spring of 2025.
RRPS and CNM will work cooperatively at the CTE Center to provide skilled trade courses in a work-based learning environment that will serve RRPS and CNM students. RRPS students will select a career pathway (welding, plumbing and pipefitting, residential carpentry, electrical, photovoltaic, multimedia/film, computer information systems networking and food management) that will lead to industry certifications upon graduation, preparing them for high-skill, high-demand and high-paying careers.
“The project I’m most excited about is our partnership with Rio Rancho Public Schools,” Padilla-Jackson said. “The beauty of this partnership is (RRPS) students will be able take courses and earn a certificate or degree at the same time they graduate high school. We all know how important that is to our economy. We need more trades and skills.”
The bonds will begin being issued in the spring.