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New Mexico State University

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Dona Ana Branch Community College gets $1.7 million federal grant to create job training center in Santa Teresa

New Mexico State University's Dona Ana Branch Community College today was awarded a $1.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to create and staff a One-Stop Career Center at the Santa Teresa Industrial Park.

DABCC is one of 13 minority colleges and universities that received a total of $14 million in grants to develop new systems to train workers for high-skill jobs in areas where companies are facing labor shortages.

"The gaps between the skills the potential employees have and the skills that employers are seeking are in many cases very large," said DABCC Campus Director Raul Ramirez. "It is projects like these that will help the greater Dona Ana community to reduce the skills gaps and improve the overall economic environment."

The One-Stop Career Center will provide training and support to an estimated 200 clients. Entry-level workers, dislocated workers and workers who need to upgrade their skills will be trained as tool and die machine operators, first-line supervisors and material handlers.

Skills training will be provided in collaboration with the New Mexico Department of Labor's Las Cruces office and with the involvement of employers at the industrial park. Support services will include child care, job placement and transportation to and from the training site.

The $1.7 million award is for the period of Jan. 1, 2001, to June 30, 2003.

The Department of Labor grants were awarded on a competitive basis for a variety of partnership-building and skills training activities.

"I have often said that we don't have a workers shortage in this country, we have a skills shortage," Secretary of Labor Alexis M. Herman said in announcing the grants. "Colleges and universities that primarily serve minorities are in a unique position to provide leadership in closing this skills gap for the African-American, Hispanic and Native American communities."

Karl Hill
Oct. 20, 2000