CNM to Host Third-Annual Women in Trades Summit on March 22

This year’s highly-anticipated summit will include guest speakers, hands-on demonstrations, networking, scholarship opportunities, and more
March 07, 2024

CNM’s third-annual Women in Trades Summit takes place Friday, March 22, and features an exciting lineup of industry experts, guest speakers, and activities. Students, staff, faculty, and community members are all invited to join the event to learn more about the many different career pathways for women in the trades. The event takes place on Main Campus in Smith Brasher Hall from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (schedule of activities below). 

“This event is a great way to create a pipeline of women entering the skilled trades,” says Sharon Gordon-Moffit, CNM’s Interim Dean of the School of Skilled Trades and Arts. “There’s a nationwide shortage of skilled trades people, making this the perfect opportunity for women to explore their options in these high-paying, in-demand industries.”

The summit has grown considerably since it first launched in 2022. This year more than 500 people have registered to attend and over 45 local employers will have booths set up to provide information about career opportunities. In 2022, there were 100 attendees and 17 employers participating.


Specific events at the summit include a panel featuring women leaders in the trades, “speed-dating” opportunities with various CNM trade programs, a resource fair, and hands-on welding, automotive, and public safety demonstrations. The keynote speech will be given by Angie Simon, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Heavy Metal Summer Experience – an innovative six-week summer program designed to expand work-based college alternatives to help fill the industry’s skills shortages. 

The newest addition to the summit is an opportunity for students to earn scholarships throughout the day. 

“We’re so excited to be offering five different scholarships students can apply for during the event this year,” Sharon says. “Our hope is that this will help jumpstart careers in the skilled trades and encourage even more people to attend.”

Sharon says that as the summit approaches, she’s most excited about attendees walking away both informed and excited about possible careers in the trades. 

“The ultimate goal of this summit is to inspire confidence and empower women to enter into the trades,” she says. “Too often there is a negative perception of women pursuing trades-based careers, and we want to change that story. The career options are essentially endless and the trades can help women who are looking to change or start careers – and even those who want to own their own business – take the first step in changing their lives.”

This is a free event but attendees need to register. Here's the schedule of activities:

  • 9-9:30 a.m., Smith Brasher Hall (SB) lobby -- Registration and refreshments.
  • 9:30 a.m.-11 a.m., SB auditorium -- Remarks by CNM President Tracy Hartzler, New Mexico State Representative Pamelya Herndon, CNM Dean for the School of Skilled Trades and Arts Sharon Gordon-Moffett and keynote speaker Angie Simon. 
  • 11:15 a.m.-Noon, SB auditorium -- Panel of female trades industry leaders discuss women in trades topics.
  • 12:15-1 p.m., SB lobby -- Networking opportunities. Forty-five trades employers attending to provide info on career opportunities.
  • 1-3 p.m., SB lobby -- Mentoring sessions and networking opportunities. 

The Women in Trades Summit is a collaboration between:

  • The KWH Law Center for Social Justice + Change
  • New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions
  • MCA/SMACNA (Mechanical Contractors Association/Sheet Metal Contractors Association) New Mexico
  • Central New Mexico Community College.