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College Board Approves Development of New Workforce Programs

"Developing Workforce Programs" photo of large windmills

ENMU-Ruidoso college board members wasted little time following the school’s successful bond referendum on Nov. 5 (2019) to approve curriculum for three workforce programs described during the bond campaign.Photo of four glasses with different types of beer

Board members unanimously approved new programs in Fermentation Science, Construction Trades and Wind Energy at its Nov. 20 meeting. Each had been requested by community, business, and civic leaders, and was considered a “high priority” in the college’s Academic Plan.

Curricula plans for each now move to the ENMU Board of Regents and state education agencies for final approval. Classrooms and labs for these programs will be addressed during Phase II of the College Nexus remodeling plan, which will be funded via the local bond referendum recently approved by voters.

“We are moving forward quickly because it may require many months to obtain approvals, plan for instruction, and purchase specialized equipment,” said President Dr. Ryan Carstens. “We want to make these important programs available to students as soon as possible. We appreciate the opportunity to meet with state wine association members and local business leaders to develop programs that articulate and address the training needs of industry.”

The Fermentation Science Associate of Applied Science degree program will be designed to provide flexibility for employers and students, and thus will also include a Certificate of Completion in either Enology and Viticulture or Brewing and Distilling.

Students wanting to enter the field can earn a Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate of Occupational Training with three credit hours. Once hired, students may continue to advance with an Apprenticeship Certificate of Occupational training, a 13-hour certificate. At that point, students may specialize in either Enology and Viticulture or Brewing and Distilling, completing a 15-credit certificate in either area.

Finally, if a student chooses to pursue pre-management opportunities, he or she can complete 30 additional credits to fulfill the Associate degree requirements. We also have training needs for construction trades in the region.

ENMU-Ruidoso will provide an introductory Construction certificate beginning this spring, via a partnership with Mescalero Apache Schools for the use of their facilities. Upon successful completion, students will be ready for entry level jobs in the construction industry. The certificate program is open to any interested adult, as well as high school students.

Students will be able to complete seven credits of industry-specific training at the Mescalero High School that will prepare them for employment, then they can complete the 16-credit certificate at the ENMU-Ruidoso campus during the summer.

“Students are looking to get to work in a short amount of time, and this certificate gives them that opportunity,” said Vice President of Student Learning and Success Ryan Trosper.

Finally, the college is working on a Wind Energy program that will provide students both Certificate of Completion and Associate degree options. Certificates include a 10 credit hour Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate of Occupational Training (pre-hire), a seven credit-hour Apprenticeship Certificate of Occupational Training, and an 18 credit-hour specialization in wind energy. Completers may go on to earn the Associate degree with an additional 27 credit hours.

These certificates and the Associate degree will help ENMU-Ruidoso meet an industry need that is coming to the region. The program is designed to meet students’ needs prior to hire, and to help them progress in their as they work in the field.

The program is open to both traditional college students and high school dual credit students.

“We are grateful for the input and support received by community and industry leaders as we have developed these programs,” Dr. Carstens said. “Once implemented, we anticipate that these programs will provide momentum to address economic and workforce needs in our region and prepare individuals for significant, meaningful and lifelong careers.”