Citywide initiative offers job training to small businesses

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A new citywide initiative that started in 2020 has helped more than 30 companies, according to the city of Albuquerque’s economic development director.

"So JTA, or Job Training Albuquerque, is a partnership between the city of Albuquerque, Central New Mexico Community College and CNM Ingenuity, but put simply it’s a job creation program intended to help match labor pool skills with the needs of employers,” said Synthia Jaramillo, economic development director.

The program aims to help small businesses by offering their current staff free online training through CNM.

"So participating employees, existing employees, have the opportunity to earn college credit through most trainings that they complete as a result of this program. And for employers, the goal is to facilitate their growth in a way that’s cost-effective,” Jaramillo said.

According to the city, the program has helped 31 businesses and 43 employees learn new skills such as online marketing.

Tom Briones, with Briones Business Law Consulting, said the program helped them through the pandemic.

"It was valuable because we could definitely see my person that does our digital marketing—she was able to start being more consistent on messaging and targeting our audience better, so I can definitely see value for us,” he said.

Participating businesses have to agree to create a new job within two years.

While the program has been a success, city officials said they’re still looking for more companies to sign up.

"As we begin to enter economic recovery, small businesses are going to need a skilled workforce,” Jaramillo said. “Not just small businesses, but businesses in general may need to pivot, and so JTA is a perfect program for employers that are looking to skill up their employees."

To learn more about the JTA program, click here.

To apply, click here.