WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) announced that the University of New Mexico (UNM) will receive $884,573 from the National Science Foundation to collaborate with Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) to develop a certificate program in green construction technologies. The program will prepare students to work on clean energy projects, sustainable buildings, or water efficient technologies, and it will support a pathway for high school and college students to participate in an internship program and dual credit courses. The funding will also support outreach and mentoring efforts to encourage underrepresented students to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields, specifically in construction technology and engineering.
"This funding will open new doors to help New Mexico students learn the STEM skills they need to land jobs in the surging clean energy economy," said Sen. Udall. "Advancing green construction technologies and preparing students for these careers will help New Mexico's economy and enable us to reduce pollution and fight climate change at the same time."
"With our incredible solar and wind potential, New Mexico has a unique opportunity to become a major producer and exporter of clean power," said Sen. Heinrich, a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. "This award will help New Mexico students gain the skills they need for the jobs of the future. The burgeoning clean energy industry already supports thousands of jobs in our state, and with rapidly evolving technologies, clean energy production and transmission will become even more important parts of our economy."
The faculty at UNM's Department of Civil Engineering and CNM's School of Applied Technologies will lead the effort to implement the academic plan, which is expected to impact more than 400 students. The knowledge gained from this plan will be shared with other institutions that have a focus on green construction technology and sustainability.
The National Science Foundation's (NSF) Division of Undergraduate Education is responsible for awarding this funding. NSF is an independent federal agency that supports research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering.