Getting back to “normal” for our community post-COVID means there’s likely a “new normal” for many who are thinking about their careers in a new way, along with businesses seeking to bring on workers in a new way.
For those job seekers and businesses, there’s a new initiative called Ready New Mexico (Ready.NM.gov) that can point the way for those ready to get back to work or ready to learn new skills to take on new careers, as well as hiring incentives and hiring assistance for businesses ready to rebuild their workforce.
Ready New Mexico unites the New Mexico Higher Education Department, the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, and the New Mexico Workforce Connection system to provide easy, consolidated access for both individuals and businesses across New Mexico to the training, education, and employment resources they need as our economy recovers.
Thanks to the work of The Bridge of Southern New Mexico and the Workforce Talent Collaborative, Doña Ana County residents can target their re-employment efforts even more — knowing exactly what careers, skills, credentials, and degrees are of highest value here — by first visiting NewMexicoTrueTalent.org.
NewMexicoTrueTalent.org is the mobile-friendly and bilingual one-stop location for access to FREE information and resources, including the top needs of local employers and fully mapped Career Pathways, as well as a host of other resources. Now it also includes in-depth insights from employers to guide those getting ready for some of the best careers in our community.
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The website was originally designed for students in any educational setting (K-12, college, university), as well as parents, teachers, and businesses. That was before the pandemic. Now it’s perhaps the single best source of local employment information in the state for those looking to get back to work, especially for those looking for careers that pay even more than they were making post-pandemic.
Many of the top careers are in eight industries vital to the economic recovery and growth of the county:
- Digital Media
- Value-Added Agriculture
- Transportation & Logistics
- Advanced Manufacturing
Despite the pandemic, these jobs have remained and been growing. Workers who’ve been displaced by COVID may already have the top skills employers are looking for: customer service, problem-solving, interpersonal skills, flexibility, time management, self-motivated, conflict management, attention to detail, and math skills. Post-pandemic, job seekers can either apply them in new industries or expand on their skills with training and/or education.
Exploring careers in those industries on the site then allows users to connect to the Ready New Mexico website to access the support they need to accomplish their goals.
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El Paso Electric recently awarded $20,000 to The Bridge to fund a multi-media, bilingual communications campaign to promote the NewMexicoTrueTalent.org website and mobile app throughout the community. Radio and print advertisements will help expand awareness of the resource to help achieve the greatest economic recovery for individuals and families throughout the county.
This resource isn’t just for the 6,440 still receiving unemployment benefits. It’s for the projected one in four workers who are planning to change jobs this year, 80% of whom are doing so for career advancement, as reported in Forbes in May. It’s for college students who are pursuing credentials and degrees now to ensure their degrees lead to strong employment prospects. And, it’s for middle school and high school students and parents who are making educational choices that can prepare them for the really amazing careers here.
If ever there was a time for us, as a community, to be ready for what’s next, it’s now. And thanks to funders like El Paso Electric, community-wide collaborations like the Workforce Talent Collaborative, and every single person and institution who makes up our workforce talent continuum, our community is poised and ready to step into our “new normal” together.
Tracey Bryan is president/CEO of the Bridge of Southern New Mexico.
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