In a letter to the editor (“School for building would help Santa Fe,” May 11), Lally Barnes Freeman references a building trades college in South Carolina as a model for a school for builders at the former campus of the Santa Fe University of Art and Design. In the interest of ensuring the community is leveraging existing resources, Santa Fe Community College provides strong building and construction technologies programming that offers students placement in good-paying internships as they complete their degree.
Recently aligned with the National Center for Construction and Education and Research and the Association of General Contractors, the Santa Fe Community College Building Science and Construction Technologies offers coursework and certifications that count toward apprenticeship hours and employment with opportunities for advancement in the field.
Today’s trades are not the trades of our fathers’ generation. Once considered predominantly male occupations (an opportunity to make this a thing of the past), these fields require advanced tech skill sets with low to high tech growth in employment. The strength of a community is defined by its infrastructure and the foundation it is built on. The trades are the heart of urban infrastructure and serve as the economic foundation for any community.
Currently there is a national deficit of skilled and qualified building trades people, and Santa Fe Community College is poised to address the employment needs to support necessary growth and upgrades to the aging utility infrastructure of northern New Mexico.
Camilla Bustamante, Ph.D. MPH, is Santa Fe Community College’s dean of trades and advanced technologies, and business, professional studies and education.