Workforce Training Center Offers Second Chance Academies to Incarcerated Juveniles

April 23, 2014 -- Young people between the ages of 17 and 21 incarcerated at the Bernalillo County Juvenile Detention Center are receiving training that will help them be ready to transition into a career upon their release.
July 16, 2015


“We have partnered with the CYFD [Children Youth and Family Department] to provide a series of fast-track certificate and national credentialing programs taught in an academy format,” said Mark Pyszkowski, a business account representative at CNM's Workforce Training Center (WTC). “The goal is that when they leave the detention center, they are ready to enter the workforce.”

The courses are taught at the detention center and cover fields like General Construction, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), Intro to Plumbing and Irrigation Systems, Pool Maintenance and Repair, Culinary and Hospitality, and other Construction Trades. 

In order to participate in the trainings, the participants must have a GED or equivalent, be in good standing and be scheduled for release within approximately 90 days. 

Pyszkowski said he is currently talking with CYFD to offer the same type of academies to juvenile detention centers in both Las Cruces and Ruidoso. “The long-term goal will be deployment to other state-wide agencies and internally within other CYFD locations,” he noted.

The innovative partnership and the scheduling between WTC and CYFD is a new model that the WTC will use for future offerings. While the WTC will still offer stand-alone courses for CEU’s and certificates, the intent is for WTC to design and develop sustainable and long-term programs that meet employers’ and employees’ specific needs.

The WTC has a long history of connecting organizations and individuals to comprehensive training solutions to improve performance, increase productivity, decrease costs and get bottom-line results. The trainings are designed, both in topic and format, to fulfill specific workforce training needs for individuals, businesses and industries in a variety of formats.

WTC first explored this innovative way of delivering training and education programs in 2012 with the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority. The WTC customized and designed curriculum for all four levels of state-mandated water operator’s requirements. Instructors from CNM faculty pools teach at the water authority’s sites to provide each participant with the skills, knowledge and abilities to become certified.   

Another program the WTC recently established links CNM’s Fire Sciences program with the New Mexico State Forestry Department through a $56,000 three-year contract. Several instructors in the Fire Sciences program are providing wildland firefighting classes to volunteer fire departments throughout the state in preparation for fire season.

The WTC has partnered with various organizations to provide customized training, including the City of Albuquerque's Sunport, Bernalillo County Metro Detention Center, New Mexico Ground Water Association, National Park Service, United States Department of Agriculture and Sandia National Laboratories, among other private businesses throughout the Greater Albuquerque and Sandoval County areas.

"We believe that partnering with businesses and industry to provide them with the specific trainings they need is the best way to help employees learn what they need to know in order to perform their jobs,” Pyszkowski said.