A team of educators, business representatives, and community leaders is now meeting and developing action plans to increase the number of career exploration opportunities available to Valencia County students.
This Valencia County Career Exploration Team is an outcome of the first Valencia County 21st Century Workforce Employer-Educator Forum where key stakeholders were brought together to focus on a single question: How can we improve workforce readiness in Valencia County?
The summit brought together more than 90 participants from organizations representing education, business, government, and the broader community. It was hosted by UNM-Valencia, and a group known as the Valencia County Pathways Team provided lunch.
The focus on career exploration is based, in part, on workforce needs. Data from 2015 shows that 21.1 percent of the Valencia County population holds an associate degree or above and about 25 percent has some college, but no degree. The unemployment rate during the same year was above 12 percent.
During the forum, attendees had conversations guided by the question: By 2020, what do we need to do differently in Valencia County to ensure that every individual is prepared with the competencies for success? They also discussed potential collaborative activities to achieve the shared vision and many made commitments to promote career exploration in their places of employment and participating in the new team.