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This summer for the second year in a row, UWCNM’s education initiative, Mission: Graduate, helped to present the Valencia County Teacher Academy – this time virtually – with 47 educators, employers and partnership members.

Through the Teacher Academy, educators learned about job skills that employers look for and strategies from educators experienced in engaging students in online and hybrid classrooms. They also learned about resources that may help them with teaching during a pandemic.

A highlight of the academy the direct line of conversation between employers and teachers. Employers presented workshops for teachers about the skills required in their particular business and industry.

Employers are dedicated participants in this partnership,” says Teri Wimborne, Mission: Graduate’s Director of Collective Impact. “Their goal is to increase the viability of their local workforce – their future employees.”

Carrie Ryan, an art teacher at Valencia High School told us, “The academy really was enjoyable. I shared that I learned about online teaching tools with my principal. He invited me to present info to our staff.”

Thanks to the following employers for participating: Facebook, Fortis Construction, Aristech Surfaces, CEMCO, Los Lunas Fire Department, Los Lunas Economic Development, Jessica Neill – Dentist, Explora and NM PBS, and to the schools and community members who presented on additional resources and skills.

This event was hosted by the Valencia County Partnership for a Work Ready Community – a group convened by Mission: Graduate to focus on connecting employers to students and teachers. The group supports these efforts to ensure a strong and healthy workforce in Valencia County.

This event was made possible by a grant from Facebook, and by a donation from CEMCO for gift cards for teachers.


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