CNM Partners with IBM to Help Address Skills Gap Through Blockchain Technology

November 15, 2019

Central New Mexico Community College is one of three founding partners joining IBM in a unique effort to bridge the workforce skills gap that plagues economies across the globe, including the New Mexico economy. Today, IBM announced the establishment of the Learning Credential Network (LCN) and its three founding partners – CNM, the National Student Clearinghouse, and Ethos Veterinary Health.

Employers have found it increasingly difficult to attract workers with the specialized skills they need to grow and thrive. At the same time, job seekers often have trouble finding the job opportunities that match their skillset, credentials and career aspirations. The LCN uses blockchain technology to produce a verifiable record of individuals with specific learning and skills certifications, making it easier for job applicants and employers to connect and form a mutually beneficial match.

The LCN will help job seekers project a clearer representation of their verified learning credentials and skill certifications on a tamper-proof digital ledger built on blockchain, the same technology that spawned cryptocurrency. Employers will be able to search the digital ledger for job seekers who possess the specific skills they need to boost their workforce and bottom line.

The LCN consortium has built the initial platform and is currently developing a second iteration. In 2020, the LCN’s goals will be to scale the network with more participants and a more refined and equitable governance structure.

In 2018, CNM became the first community college in the country to issue digital diplomas through blockchain technology and was named “Innovator of the Year” by national higher education news site Education Dive.

“CNM is proud to be a partner with IBM in developing a more effective way for employers and skilled job-seekers to connect more easily and reach their respective goals for success,” said Dr. Tobe Phelps, CNM’s senior director for ITS Innovation. “We’re looking forward to the global impact this groundbreaking effort can have on economies and job-seekers, especially our CNM graduates and local employers who will benefit greatly from the opportunities that will come from the Learning Credential Network.”

The LCN founding partners are: