Elevate Quantum Awarded $127 Million to Secure US Leadership in Quantum Technology – CNM a Designated Lead for Training Quantum Technicians

The award is expected to spur more than $2 billion in additional private capital and establish the Mountain West region as a global leader in quantum innovation and quantum economic and workforce development.
July 03, 2024

Elevate Quantum, a consortium of organizations based in Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming, announced on Tuesday that it received a Tech Hub Phase 2 Implementation award from the U.S. Department of Commerce, resulting in $127 million in funding. The award is expected to spur more than $2 billion in additional private capital and establish the Mountain West region as a global leader in quantum innovation and quantum economic and workforce development.  

As members of Elevate Quantum, CNM and University of Colorado-Boulder are designated as the workforce development leads. CNM Ingenuity will partner with Sandia National Labs to develop the curriculum for an immersive 10-week (40 hours per week) Quantum Technician Bootcamp that will serve as a rapid workforce training program, and CNM will support other community colleges in the region to reproduce and expand the training. It will be part of CNM Ingenuity’s successful Deep Dive Technology bootcamps.

Quantum computers process information exponentially faster than today’s computers, and they can solve problems that are impractical for today’s computers. This will lead to breakthroughs in fields ranging from medicine and healthcare to cybersecurity and national security, to artificial intelligence and climate solutions, and on and on. Think of the impact of the internet’s emergence. Quantum is expected to have a similar impact in the coming years and decades. 

In 2023, the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Agency (EDA) designated Elevate Quantum as one of 31 regional Tech Hubs out of nearly 400 applicants, making it eligible for up to $1 billion in federal investment over the next decade. With $40.5 million in initial EDA funding and matching funds from Colorado ($77 million) and New Mexico ($10 million), the $127 million investment represents a down payment on the next 50 years of US quantum leadership. 

More than 10,000 quantum jobs are expected to be created by 2030 and 80 percent of these jobs will be for non-advanced degrees and offer a median salary of $125,000 per year. Graduates of the CNM Quantum Technician Bootcamp are expected to earn starting salaries in the $80,000-per-year range. 

Quantum technology will transform the economy and require a much larger workforce at all levels, including quantum technicians to service the technology and equipment. Recent projections already show that less than 50 percent of quantum computing jobs will be filled by 2025 without significant targeted efforts.  

“CNM is honored and excited to be on the leading edge of developing a robust quantum technician workforce that will support the economic growth of businesses using quantum technology in New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming,” said CNM President Tracy Hartzler. “As a committed workforce training partner for the Elevate Quantum consortium, we look forward to partnering with quantum computing companies in the Mountain West, as well as the two National Labs in New Mexico, to create immersive, hands-on training that will quickly prepare and upskill learners for high-quality technician careers in this fast-emerging, transformative field. We’ll also be partnering with community colleges around the region to share our insights and increase the overall capacity for quantum workforce training.”

In partnership with Sandia National Labs, CNM Ingenuity will manage a Quantum Science Lab and the Quantum Technician Bootcamp, the first of its kind in the country. In April, CNM received $862,000 in federal funding to establish the lab and bootcamp. The lab is in the process of being equipped in the FUSE Makerspace and is expected to be operational in February. The Quantum Technician Bootcamp is expected to launch in June 2025. 

“So many people hear something like quantum computing and they think working in that industry is far beyond their reach,” said CNM Ingenuity CEO Kyle Lee. “But that’s not true. CNM can provide people with virtually any background a golden opportunity to quickly gain the skills needed to start a life-changing career in this new quantum economy that’s going to grow exponentially in the years ahead. All you need is the ability to divide on a calculator, know how to use a computer mouse, and have the willingness to learn, and we’ll teach you everything you need to know in 10 weeks to start a great career with tremendous growth opportunities.” 

The industry request for a Quantum Technician Bootcamp program at CNM was vetted and approved through the CNM’s College-wide Integrated Program Review process, which evaluates various data points like industry demand, job growth and salary projections in the region, student interest, and more. Aspects of the Quantum Technician Bootcamp will also be incorporated into CNM’s new Engineering Technician certificate.

CNM Ingenuity’s current suite of 10- and 12-week, 40-hours-per-week Deep Dive Technology bootcamps are highly regarded by tech employers, a big reason why CNM was selected to participate in the Elevate Quantum consortium as a workforce training lead. After just a few months of hands-on, immersive training, completers of Deep Dive programs, such as coding, data science, digital media and the internet of things, gain employment and succeed at high rates. 

In addition to CNM’s workforce training efforts, local Elevate Quantum partners University of New Mexico, Los Alamos National Laboratories, and Sandia National Laboratories will be creating collaborative lab spaces to partner with start-ups and established quantum companies to expand economic opportunities. UNM and the state’s National Labs have a long history in quantum science and engineering.

The federal and state investments will enable these Elevate Quantum milestones by 2030: 

  • Development of a first-class workforce: Elevate Quantum’s goal is to ensure that the quantum century is diverse, inclusive, and just; we’re filling a growing share of key roles with individuals from historically underserved populations, reflecting our commitment to activating talent from all communities in the region. 
  • Establishment of world-class, open-access quantum facilities: Access to hardware and fabrication capabilities are major obstacles to quantum innovation. This funding will ensure that researchers and entrepreneurs in the region will have unmatched access to world-class hardware and services
  • Activation of over $2 billion in private capital for quantum: This investment will support quantum startups and scale-ups, driving economic growth and technological advancement in the region.

“This award marks the first large-scale, place-based federal investment in quantum. We are honored to be acknowledged as a driving force in the global race for quantum innovation, and this funding marks a critical milestone in securing U.S. quantum leadership. We thank our partners, consortium members, and the EDA for making this happen,” said Zachary Yerushalmi, CEO of Elevate Quantum in its press release. “The Mountain West is home to the largest regional coalition of quantum leaders in the world; this funding cements our status as the capital of quantum and supports us in building a thriving future for all Americans.” 

In the Elevate Quantum press release, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said: “Tech Hub designation is only the beginning for the quantum industry in New Mexico. Our state has a long history of innovation and embracing frontier technologies, and it’s possible that quantum-enabled technology could become the most game-changing innovation of this generation. We want to thank Governor Polis and our counterparts in Colorado, and the Elevate Quantum team, for all the work they’ve done to make the Mountain West the epicenter for quantum-enabled technologies in the United States.”