CNM to Host Second-Annual Women in Trades Conference on March 31

This year’s event will feature keynote speaker Sarah Thomas, the NFL’s first female official, and it’s a great opportunity for attendees to learn about the many pathways for women to pursue great careers in the trades
March 21, 2023

When State Representative Pamelya Herndon talked with Amy Ballard, CNM’s Dean for the School of Skilled Trades & Arts, and expressed interest in helping to promote trades careers for women, Amy jumped at the opportunity. 

“CNM has always had top-tier trades programs and we knew an event could help women learn more about the world of opportunities that exist in this field,” Amy says. 

The result was CNM’s first Women in Trades Conference, which was held last March and brought together students, businesses, and trades professionals who networked, attended presentations, and created a community that’s continued to grow and promote women in the trades.

Now, CNM is excited to present the second-annual Women in Trades conference on March 31 and this year’s conference promises to be even bigger and better than the first. 

“We wanted to ramp up this year’s conference for attendees and our community partners as much as possible,” Amy says. 

Amy says she’s particularly excited to host Sarah Thomas, who will be this year’s keynote speaker and is well known for her achievements as a football official. She was the first woman to officiate a major college football game and the first to officiate a postseason college bowl game. She then went on to become the first full-time female official in NFL history – she’s also the first woman to officiate an NFL playoff game and the first woman to officiate in the Super Bowl. 

“Landing Sara Thomas is something we're really excited about because she’s someone who knows all about non-traditional careers for women,” Amy says. “Having her at CNM will make the conference even more special."

In addition to hearing from Sarah, attendees will have the opportunity to talk to CNM advisors from the School of Skilled Trades & Arts, representatives from New Mexico Associated Builders and Contractors, and other local union representatives about the various pathways they can take to enter the trades.

Most importantly, Amy says the Women in Trades Conference will be a great way for women to learn about the many different opportunities available to them through CNM’s trades programs and find out how they can secure one of the many high-paying and high-demand jobs available for tradespeople across New Mexico. 

“New Mexico is starving for tradespeople and we need to let all people know that the trades are first-choice jobs with significant growth opportunities,” Amy says. “Additionally, the Women in Trades Conference gives us the unique opportunity to share that there is a place for everyone in the trades – no matter your gender.” 

This year’s Women in Trades Conference will take place March 31 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on CNM’s Main Campus in Smith Brasher Hall. This is a free event but attendees need to register.