On April 17, 2014, Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly and PNM Chairman, President and CEO Pat Vincent-Collawn joined Navajo Technical University President Dr. Elmer J. Guy in awarding scholarships to 31 NTU students as part of the PNM-Navajo Nation Workforce Training program.
The program was developed in 2013 through a $1 million, five-year PNM funding commitment to enroll students in college programs to take on careers in energy, construction, manufacturing, and technology. The initiative was designed to help prepare Navajos for jobs that are in demand and that are important to the Four Corners area and the Navajo Nation.
“At home here on the Navajo Nation, our most important resource is our human resource, our own hands, our hearts, and our own minds,” said President Shelly in a release. “To compete globally, we are creating a workforce to attract business.”
The PNM-Navajo Nation Workforce Training Program is part of PNM’s efforts to minimize any economic impact related to the proposed 2017 closure of two of four units at the San Juan Generating Station near Farmington, New Mexico. The two-unit closure is part of an agreement among PNM, EPA, and the New Mexico Environment Department that would allow San Juan to comply with a federal regional haze rule.
“Helping lay the foundation for a stronger New Mexico economy is important to PNM, and to all of us here,” Collawn said. “Having a strong economic base empowers our communities. It allows individuals to provide for themselves and their families and improve their quality of life.”
Through the PNM-Navajo Nation Workforce Training program, members of the Navajo Nation can qualify for $1,000-$2,000 in funding per semester for specific programs at NTU—specifically in the STEM fields.
“A lot of the students who are benefiting from the PNM scholarship are in dire need for assistance to go to school,” Guy explained. “They strongly desire a quality education and initiatives like this helps foster their future.”
Twelve NTU students who received the PNM scholarship graduated in May at NTU’s spring commencement. NTU hosted the commencement on its Crownpoint, New Mexico campus on May 16. New Mexico state representative Ben Ray Lujan served as the commencement speaker.
For more information about NTU’s involvement with the PNM scholarship, contact Heather Kinlacheeny at firstname.lastname@example.org.