Northern New Mexico College Receives $33,000 To Support Technical Trades Students – Los Alamos Reporter


In November 2019, voters in five school district communities in northern New Mexico approved a Mill Levy for Northern New Mexico College’s (NNMC) adjacent Branch Community College to expand access to affordable, post-secondary staff training and technical career education needed is in the region.

$ 2.4 million annual Mill Levy funding has enabled Northern to establish its Department of Technical Trades, renovate classrooms and laboratories on its historic El Rito campus, and accredited certificates and associate degree programs in electrical technology and to develop sanitary facilities.

These programs teach the core skills required for functions in residential and utility construction, maintenance and utility companies, among others. Students enjoy a low tuition rate of $ 110 / per credit hour at no cost, and financial aid from the state and federal government can be applied to program fees.

While COVID kept the instruction at bay in 2020, Dr. Frank Loera, Chairman, and plumbing and electrical instructors, Stephen Skelton and Marvin Romero are on track to deliver in-person classes from August 16, 2021.

The Solar Initiative, a partnership of Cornerstones Community Partnerships and Remy’s Good Day Fund, has awarded $ 20,000 to fund ten $ 2000 tech trades scholarships to cover tuition, fees and living expenses. The Solar Initiative supports projects that promote individual wellbeing, economic entrepreneurship and community improvements.

“The Electrical and Plumbing Trades program at Northern New Mexico College embraces all of these criteria by offering education and job training, creating a skilled local workforce, economic development for the region, community partnerships and the opportunity for students to transfer to the community. support jobs, ”said Maureen Vosburgh, director of The Solar Initiative. By funding scholarships, The Solar Initiative joins NNMC President Rick Bailey in his quest for modern solutions to unsolved problems. We are so proud to share innovative thinking with the university. An equally important dimension of the program is the exposure to the benefits and incorporation of solar energy into the lives of students and community. “

The application for the 2021-2022 Cornerstones Scholarship is now available on Northern’s website:

Current and newly admitted students studying in the engineering professions Plumbing or Electrical programs can apply. The application deadline is June 11, 2021.

When Ms. Sue Watts of Los Alamos found out about Northern’s new trading programs in 2019, she and her two grown children visited President Rick Bailey and Major Gifts Officer Judith Pepper. She wanted to explore how a financial contribution in honor of her late husband, electrician Walter G. Watts, could make a difference to the Electrical Technology program.

She shares her very personal reasons for making this donation to technical professions students.

The Walter G. Watts Memorial Fund was created to celebrate a man who believed in the importance of practical, hands-on education to help young people find their place in the world. He had grown up learning the basics of electrical repair from his father at the family electrical appliance shop. By the time he was eight, he was rewiring the lights for the customers. With the surname Watts, electrical engineering was an obvious choice for his career. As a field engineer for General Electric, he was a valued mentor to newly graduated engineers, helping paper mill employees learn the basics of electricity.

“In the last months of his life, he wished he could start a school to teach the basics of car mechanics to new generations. When we learned of President Bailey’s plans to establish a vocational school for the necessary plumbing and electrical skills, with the potential to expand to electric auto mechanics, we knew we had found the place that would provide the cockles of Wally’s heart. As a token of our affection, we also donated Wally’s Roadrunner, one of a group of experimental small electric cars, to the program. “

Wallys Roadrunner.jpg

“Wally’s Roadrunner,” an experimental electric vehicle built by the late Walter G. Watts, was donated to Northern New Mexico College by Mrs. Susan Watts. Courtesy photo

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