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School-to-Work Experience in Higher Ed Summit a Success

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The University of New Mexico (UNM) and Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) are building bridges within and between their institutions to align efforts to prepare students for workplace success through employment experiences. Representatives from both institutions and business leaders agree that collaboration can help achieve their common goal to effectively prepare local graduates for success in work and life.

These were some of the exciting takeaways from the School-to-Work Experience in Higher Ed Summit that brought together about 80 representatives from UNM, CNM, and the business community last week.

“Our goal for this summit was to enhance the work being done by UNM and CNM, share best practices, and increase the partnerships between the institutions,” says Tim Gutierrez, Associate Vice President for Student Services at UNM who was on the organizing committee. “I believe that, through the summit, we were able to identify areas where we can move forward and barriers which we will need to address.”

The summit featured an opening plenary talk by Laurie Monfiletto, Vice President of Human Resources at PNM Resources, Inc., about the importance of internships to prepare the local workforce.

“Employers look at students who were able to have these successful experiences and can speak knowledgably as to how the experience helped prepare them for their first jobs. College students who can parlay this experience into honing their own skills will be successful.”

Author and higher education expert Peter Stokes provided the summit keynote address based on his book, “Higher Education and Employability: New Models for Integrating Study and Work.” Stokes sat in on morning sessions and told summit participants that he was “impressed by the interesting and diverse activity, calling the day’s event and content one of the most activating community models that he has seen.”

Participants interested in receiving copies of the presentations can request them here.

Thanks to the day’s presenters, moderators, panelists, and discussants: Sheri Williams (UNM); Marjori Krebs (UNM); Ann Lyn Hall (CNM); Renee Delgado-Riley (UNM); Marisa Castaneda (UNM); Deborah Good (Mission: Graduate); Jessica Nojek (Department of Workforce Solutions); Dan Kingston (PNM); Auri Vigil (Siarza Social Digital); Rob Gallagher (UNM Student); Andres Olguin (UNM Student); Denise Gallegos (UNM Student); Leslie Bronson (UNM); Greta Berry (CNM); Ari Rosner-Salazar (CNM); Joe Schaub (CNM);  Amanda Glennon (CNM); and Jenna Crabb (UNM).

Special thanks to the coordinating committee: Theresa Baca (CNM); Marisa Castaneda (UNM); Stacey Cooley (CNM); Renee Delgado-Riley (UNM); Tim Gutierrez, (UNM); Suzan Reagan (UNM); Sheri  Williams (UNM); Kate Williams (UNM); Deborah Good (Mission: Graduate); Leslie Hoffman, (Mission: Graduate); and Emily Padilla, (Mission: Graduate).  

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