As strong supporters of Central New Mexico Community College and as longtime business owners in the Albuquerque-metro area, we understand the critical role CNM and higher education plays in our communities. Not only does CNM provide affordable access to quality higher education that would otherwise be out of reach for too many New Mexicans, but CNM’s role in providing ambitious businesses with the skilled workforce they need to prosper is paramount to the success of our region’s economy.
All of us who have roots in the Albuquerque-metro region have had family members or friends who have dramatically improved their lives because of the educational opportunities they were able to access at CNM. CNM and its higher education peers around the state have supported the needs of New Mexicans for many decades.
Now, we hope you will show your support once again for CNM and public higher education institutions across the state on Election Day.
CNM – and 28 other higher education institutions around New Mexico – will be able to make significant upgrades to some of their most aged education facilities if Higher Education Bond C passes on Tuesday.
No tax rate increase would be associated with the passage of this bond.
If it passes, the higher education institutions would split up $119.4 million. CNM would receive $10.5 million, much of which would be used to renovate its science lab building on Main Campus, which includes outdated biology, chemistry and physics labs that are used by thousands of students each term.
Our state is in desperate need of more college graduates in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, also known as the STEM fields. Bringing these highly used labs up to modern-day standards with the appropriate technology upgrades will better prepare students to excel in these fields and be ready to contribute to the growth and success of technology companies in the area. Updating these labs will improve the students’ learning environment, which will help keep them focused on advancing through college while receiving the quality education they deserve.
Higher Education Bond C would provide funding for colleges and universities across the state to initiate similar facility improvements that are long overdue.
Along with each project comes a flurry of economic activity that will help create jobs for construction-related companies and small, independent contractors. It’s estimated that 1,200 construction-related jobs will be created in communities across New Mexico if Bond C passes.
That would provide a significant boost to our lagging economy. And the passage of education bonds is an important variable for businesses that are considering whether to relocate or expand in an area.
By the year 2020, a recent national study projects that 61 percent of all jobs will require at least an associate degree. Currently, only 32 percent of New Mexicans possess an associate degree or higher, which ranks us 40th in the country.
Investing in higher education is a very smart move for New Mexico. Every time a student graduates from college, there is a positive impact on the quality of life for a family and a community.
Please continue to support CNM and higher education across the state, which in turn supports the wellbeing of our communities, by voting for Bond C.