Greater Gallup Industrial Workforce Program: Innovative and Employer-Led

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

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The Greater Gallup Economic Development Corporation (GGEDC) continues to blaze the way for workforce development in McKinley County with its innovative Greater Gallup Industrial Workforce Program (GGIWP), a no-cost 10-week upskilling program involving classroom and hands-on construction training that leads to placement into an internship, a pre-apprenticeship program, or a long-term job or career in the trades. 

“The Industrial Workforce Development Program is a free training program that not only prepares people for the opportunity-laden industrial field, but also allows them to earn some money through on-the-job learning while still in the program,” said Liam McCarthy, Southwest Indian Foundation (SWIF) primary instructor. “Then, the program helps them find jobs in the industrial field to continue their future development and self-provision for their livelihoods.”

This rapid-response training that prepares workers for specific in-demand jobs is the first program in the area that is 100 percent industry-led. The GGEDC and its education partner, SWIF, work with industry leaders to tailor the program to meet local industrial workforce needs. Strong support and buy-in from McKinley County Economic-Base Industries, including McKinley Paper Company, Marathon Petroleum, Peabody Energy, Advanced Technical Services, Four Corners Welding and Supply, Murphy Builders, and Rhino Health have made it possible.

Job Fair“The program provides prospective new employees for the community at large,” said McCarthy. “These trainees enter with basic industrial and construction training and are primed to begin more specialized explorations of trade professions. Furthermore, these trainees are ‘taught to fish,’ rather than simply given ‘a fish.’ With the tools and training they receive, they may begin to provide a better quality of life for themselves and their families by the work they will do in and for the community.”

The Industrial Workforce Development Program recently commenced its fifth class in October 2021 with 13 students. The GGEDC performs community outreach to recruit participants for the program. While there is no cost to participate, individuals must show determination and drive to be selected. GGEDC has contracted with SWIF to deliver the classroom and hands-on construction instruction since the fourth class cycle. A sixth class cycle is planned for January 2022.

“This training program prepares the trainees for jobs in general industry from power plants and mines, to more basic levels of industry in residential and commercial construction or factories,'' said McCarthy. “Some have entered factory work in places like Rhino Health, some have joined local construction groups including Southwest Indian Foundation, and still others have decided to continue their accreditation in fields like welding and commercial trucking. All trainees, after graduating from the program, receive assistance from HELP New Mexico and GGEDC for job placement in the community.”

GGEDC works to support economic-base employers, including entrepreneurs, small businesses, and industry with incentives, partnerships, training, data, research, and more. Reach out to us at 505-722-2980 or via email to see how we can help you today! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn!

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