RRPS partners with CNM to boost local trade programs

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Fleet vehicles for Rio Rancho Public Schools are serviced by students, and thanks to the district’s Automotive Program, they are in good hands.

“We’ve been offering this program to every high school student that is in 10th 11th, or 12th grade in the Rio Rancho Public School system,” said Larry Davis, principal and CTE director for RRPS.

In August 2023, there will be even more programs for high school students in the City of Vision to learn skilled trades, like “computer information systems with an emphasis in networking, and we’ll also offer welding courses,” Davis said.

For the first time ever, students will be able to earn college credit for those courses. That is something Jakob Trowbridge, a junior at Cleveland High School, said he’s excited about.

“It’s kind of a little step ahead, “ he said.

“The courses will all be held at CNM Rio Rancho campus, and the cohorts will continue there until January of 2025,” Davis added.

That is when the CTE Complex will be up and running—a renovated 75,000 square-foot Skilled Trades Facility and 10-acre lot— for both high school and college students to use. RRPS and CNM made their partnership official this week. The district estimates a total capital investment of $38.7 million to design and prepare the building for use, with a groundbreaking in December.

CNM agreed to spend around $22 million to construct and equip a new Transportation Facility that will open in August of 2025. Davis said eventually, CNM will build a new Automotive Center as well.

“When their program is up and running, then our students will transition, and their programs will also be dual credit,” he explained. “We see the need to backfill the workforce in these high skilled trades, and Automotive is certainly one of those. We would like to be able to impact our community in a positive way and give options for our students to stay here in New Mexico and Rio Rancho, to be able to contribute to their communities, and just live, honest, hardworking lives.”

Click here to read more about the partnership between RRPS and CNM.