Central New Mexico Community College (CNM), through its workforce training arm CNM Ingenuity, is proud to announce it has joined other investors to raise over $1 million in new funding for the Unmudl Skills-to-Jobs Marketplace.
Other new investors include Deborah Quazzo, Potencia Ventures, Cengage Group, and two firms in Canada – South Fraser Law Group and Family Dental Health. They have joined previous investors Stand Together Ventures Lab (STVL3, LLC); WGU Labs; Christopher L. Curran, Co-Founder & Managing Partner of Tyton Partners; James Caras, Founder of Catalyst Education and Sapling Learning; Holly Sparkman, CFO at Windsor America; Stephanie Boone, Founder and CEO of Wondercide; and Dr. Kirpal Singh, psychiatrist, and philanthropist.
CNM is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and a founding college of Unmudl, the Skills-to-Jobs Marketplace powered by America’s community and technical colleges, where learners around the country can take coursework provided by a consortium of colleges and employers. Unmudl facilitates access to workforce training as well as job-focused upskill and reskill courses across a diverse range of professions and trades. Through Unmudl, learners can achieve their education and career goals by simultaneously enrolling in online and in-person classes from multiple community colleges.
“CNM is thrilled to watch Unmudl meet a number of growth milestones and we’re now excited to watch as the organization continues to develop new and creative ways to serve the diverse needs of working learners,” says Tracy Hartzler, CNM’s President and Chair of the Unmudl Steering Council.
As a founding college of Unmudl, CNM is aware that community colleges need to be agile and innovative to meet the constantly changing workforce needs of a rapidly evolving economy. More specifically, the need for an “upskilling and reskilling” educational system is growing because traditional job progression and work-to-retirement pathways have changed or even disappeared.
Before the pandemic, CNM leaned into CNM Ingenuity’s accelerated Deep Dive Technology bootcamps to meet this changing need because those programs allow learners to complete training for high-tech and high-demand jobs in as little as 10 weeks. Post-pandemic, the college has continued to offer these bootcamps and has also grown its offerings to include new skills-based training in other high-demand areas, such as mechatronics, that are available through the Unmudl portal.
“As community college leaders, we are always trying to ask ourselves, ‘How do we meet our community where it needs to be met and develop programming that will help them the most?’ Unmudl is a clear example of how we can answer this question,” President Hartzler says.
Unmudl also serves as a key resource for employers because the platform has a searchable database of learners with certifications and trainings that can quickly be matched to employer needs. Many employers rely on Unmudl for coursework to help their employees reskill or upskill in order to meet changing industry needs, and more than 55 employers have hired employees out of courses on Unmudl to fill positions. Because industry needs are evolving rapidly, Unmudl serves as a solution that can build and deliver a pipeline of potential employees with programs designed to specifically meet an industry need, or even more targeted for an individual company’s needs.
Currently, Amazon has a need to improve its process for finding and hiring equipment maintenance technicians, a specialized mechatronics position requiring a rigorous hiring schedule to meet growth demands. Amanda Willard, Strategic Workforce Developer, teamed with Unmudl and CNM to develop a customized “Mechatronics for Equipment Maintenance” course. The new program was launched in April 2022 and directly aligns to skill and competency requirements for Amazon’s Maintenance Tech II positions. Today over 250 working learners have enrolled via Unmudl and some completers have been hired.
Kyle Lee, CEO of CNM Ingenuity, says a single community college cannot meet the demands of all businesses that need qualified employees or upskilling programs, but by pooling resources through Unmudl, there’s now an effective solution.
“Unmudl allows for a critical scaling of the marketplace,” he says. “Learners and businesses are both trying to grow, and Unmudl is the tool kit we can use to make that partnership work.”
Going forward, President Hartzler says she’s excited to see continued growth at Unmudl and knows CNM will continue to benefit from the partnership.
“Unmudl is allowing CNM and other community colleges to test the customer experience for both learners and employers and completely redesign this experience,” she says. “Through that testing, we can then come back to CNM and CNM Ingenuity and figure out ways to use Unmudl’s model to better meet the needs of our local community of learners and business partners.”