Today, Governor Susana Martinez directed state agencies to create an online "Students Work" internship portal that will connect New Mexico college students with employers in our state through a wide range of internship offerings.
"By encouraging more students to gain professional work experience with New Mexico companies while in college, we can build a more skilled and talented workforce pipeline for New Mexico businesses and keep more of our students in New Mexico after they graduate," said Governor Martinez.
The state’s Department of Workforce Solutions will collaborate with the Higher Education Department to establish the online portal, cultivate internship postings from New Mexico companies, and generate robust participation by college students and higher education institutions across the state. Usage of the site will be free and available to all New Mexico college students.
"Internships provide valuable opportunities for students to take what they are learning in the classroom and apply it in a real-world setting. This not only helps students decide earlier what they would like to do in their career, but also helps provide them with critical skills and experience that will be invaluable in their work and can equip them for more advanced higher education, should they choose to further advance their education. This can cultivate a more concrete understanding of life in the workplace," said Higher Education Department Secretary Barbara Damron.
The "Students Work" internship portal will build upon and complement other initiatives designed to improve the degree to which our education system meets the needs of our state's workforce, including the expanded use of early college high schools, the mapping of workforce needs against degrees produced, and the targeted use of loan repayment programs to keep key talent working in New Mexico.
The Governor will be speaking about these and other initiatives at her higher education summit at the University of New Mexico tomorrow. Part of the summit will include a breakout session/discussion on higher education's role in workforce development, as well as a panel presentation from business leaders and economic developers about how a strong higher education system can bolster the state's economy.
"New Mexico companies must rely, in part, on our higher education institutions to produce a skilled workforce of capable and qualified employees that they can hire," said Department of a Workforce Solutions Secretary Celina Bussey. "By offering internship opportunities to college students, companies can improve this workforce pipeline and identify talented individuals who they can hire and keep in New Mexico after they graduate."