Central New Mexico Community College president Katharine Winograd espoused the school’s successes in awarding minority student degrees, bemoaned budget challenges and praised the CNM Ingenuity economic growth programs, in an address to business and community leaders Wednesday morning.
“We’re truly focusing on how we can be a part of the growth and development of this economy,” Winograd said.
She also implored the audience at the Economic Forum of Albuquerque to vote in the CNM board member elections. Four of the seven board seats are contested this year. CNM has multiple campuses in the metro area and with 24,781 students enrolled in the fall 2016 semester.
Winograd referenced how the school ranked No. 1 for conferring associate degrees on Native American students, No. 2 for associate degrees earned by Hispanics and No. 6 for associate degrees awarded overall, according to 2016 rankings featured in Community College Week, a publication that covers community colleges.
Like most higher education institutions across the state, CNM has faced budget woes. Winograd said the school’s highest employee count had been around 3,000, and it’s now at 2,100. She added they have eliminated 24 senior level positions.
But she didn’t wallow in bad news. Winograd then went on to describe some of the Ingenuity programs.
For example, of the 130 students who enrolled in a coding boot camp, 106 had found jobs. She also mentioned smaller programs that found success, including training to operate swimming pools or obtain a commercial driver’s license.
And she touted the April 2016 opening of the Fuse Makerspace, a workshop for the local community that features a wood shop, metal shop, laser and vinyl cutting, 3D printing and other manufacturing tools. Nine businesses brought some or all of their production needs to the space, according to a promotional packet. In fiscal year, 2016 the Ingenuity program had 3,343 students and served 12,500 clients overall, accoridng to CNM spokesman Brad Moore.
“I hope you’re proud to have this gem of a community college in your region,” Winograd said.