ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., Oct. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) in Albuquerque has launched the public phase of what’s considered to be the largest fundraising campaign in the country for a community college, notwithstanding capital campaigns that fund the construction of buildings. CNM’s Step Up Campaign seeks to raise $20 million by 2020 to support initiatives focused on graduating more students, improving the quality of the workforce and generating economic development.

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“We’ve taken on the fundraising goal of $20 million by 2020 to boost CNM’s ability to do even more for our students, community and economy,” CNM President Katharine Winograd said. “CNM will be using the funds raised to support strategic initiatives that will help us increase CNM’s positive impacts on our community and workforce. We hope those who value the critical role of community colleges will support us in this important cause.”

CNM has been in a silent phase of the campaign for the past year and has already raised $10.8 million toward the $20 million goal. Some of the initiatives that the Step Up Campaign funds will support include:

Graduation: CNM ranked No. 1 in the nation for associate degrees and certificates awarded to Hispanics and Native Americans in the 2014-15 academic year, and No. 2 in the country for total associate degrees and certificates awarded. In 2016-17, CNM awarded more than 13,000 associate degrees and certificates. Through additional funding of scholarships and student support programs, CNM is aiming for 15,000 associate degrees and certificates awarded each year through 2020.

Increase Military Veteran Graduations: CNM has more military veteran students than any other higher education institution in New Mexico. Last year, 840 military veterans graduated from CNM. CNM is aiming to help 1,000 veterans graduate each year through 2020.

Business Incubations: CNM, which is currently incubating six businesses, is aiming to significantly increase business incubations to spur economic development.

Job Creation: CNM plans to boost the local economy by helping businesses and industries create 500 new jobs in New Mexico by 2020.

FUSE Makerspace: CNM is seeking to grow its FUSE Makerspace. The Makerspace provides entrepreneurs, small businesses, students and hobbyists access to high-tech machinery and software to design and prototype new products, micro-manufacture products, create artistic works or pursue their hobbies while working in a collaborative, supportive environment. It’s outfitted with equipment for woodworking, metalworking and machining; electronics fabrication; laser and vinyl cutting; 3D printing; screen printing; robotics; and more.

Student Work Experience: CNM is working to help improve the quality of the state’s workforce by providing 100 percent of CNM students with work experience prior to graduating.

Job Placement: CNM is committing to having 90 percent of CNM graduates gain employment in their field of study, which will benefit the graduates and the economy.

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SOURCE Central New Mexico Community College (CNM)