Federal Training Funds Now Available As Sectors Are Given High Priority 

July 16, 2020

Contact: Don Gray (505) 670-2334

In a new sector partnership between Film Las Cruces, the film and digital media industries, and the Southwestern Area Workforce Development Board, significant U.S. Department of Labor funding under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act will now be available to train and equip people in Doña Ana County and Southwest New Mexico to support the film and digital media industries, as well as promote economic development in New Mexico.  This opportunity is made available through the local workforce board’s recent decision on June 30th to designate occupations within film and digital media as in-demand.

This designation was based on the significant growth in these sectors statewide and have become a targeted priority for the state, as well as local efforts by Film Las Cruces and others to expand film and digital media jobs and economic development in Doña Ana County and Southwest New Mexico.  

With the new opportunity in place, Film Las Cruces and its partners have hit the ground running.  New Mexico State University and Doña Ana Community College are eligible training providers for New Mexico. The Doña Ana Community College (DACC) Art Department, which offers multiple degrees and certificates in film and digital media, has been filing the necessary paperwork to include its training courses on the eligible training provider list: including, but not limited to: Film Crew Training, Digital Film, Game Development, Digital Graphics technology, and Commercial Photography.

If a worker or student qualifies for the program, they would sign up at the New Mexico Workforce Connection office. Training funds can cover everything from tuition to equipment, books, technology, and travel assistance for those who qualify.  It is intended to train workers and help provide them the tools needed to be able to work in a field. A prime example of training being offered is the DACC Film Crew Training Program (FTTP), which takes place at Film Las Cruces Studios. Film Las Cruces Studios has hosted recent film productions including The Mule, Walking with Herb, and Death in Texas, and offers multiple film sets for training and production.

Film Las Cruces has been working towards this partnership for the last year, having extensive meetings with regional staff and with the Secretary of Department of Workforce Solutions and former Doña Ana County State Representative Bill McCamley.

The main funding source that provides the training derives from the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) which uses Individual Training Accounts (ITA) to serve adult, dislocated worker, and youth trainees and workers.

“We look forward to supporting economic development through sector partnership strategy activities,” said Southwestern Area Workforce Development Board Chair Joshua Orozco. “By working with industry stakeholders, both the educational training providers and workforce partners will help design training programs that meet the needs of businesses by developing a skilled and ready workforce.”

“We are thrilled to be able to accelerate film and digital media training in Doña Ana County and are excited to be working with the Southwestern Area Workforce Development Board to help make it happen. Training people in these fields will help fill good jobs and attract new ones to our community” said Don Gray, Director of Film Las Cruces.

“Growing the film and digital media industries in Las Cruces and Doña Ana County remain an exciting target for us. They will play an important role in growing a creative economy to help retain some our best and brightest and create good jobs and local economic development” said State Senator and Film Las Cruces Board President Jeff Steinborn.

“Creative Media Technology brings together various dynamic technologies, including digital media, web design, multimedia, photography, animation, and digital film. There may not be a better time to get state-of-the-art training in film & digital media technologies.” said DACC ARTS Department Chair and Film Las Cruces Board Vice President Matt Byrnes. 

Students or workers interested in the film and digital media training program should contact Matt Byrnes, the Chair of the DACC Art Department at 575-527-7573 or email mbyrnes@nmsu.edu

For program options and qualification you can also contact:

Patrick Madrid, Talent Development Team Manager at NM Workforce Connections at 575-652-2642 or email Patrick.Madrid@EquusWorks.com.

James Fielder, Business Manager at NM Workforce Connections at 575-524-6385 or Cell: 575-496-1446 or email James.Fielder@EquusWorks.com

You can read more about the workforce programs being offered at www.filmlascruces.com.

Creative Media Technology at Film Las Cruces Studios: https://youtu.be/1Ur0CZrQHcA

Creative Media Institute at Film Las Cruces Studios: https://youtu.be/vp0Dop89HNU