Industries Across New Mexico Excited to Hire Graduates from CNM’s New Mechatronics Program
A technician at Ski Santa Fe monitors one of their ski lifts.

Industries Across New Mexico Excited to Hire Graduates from CNM’s New Mechatronics Program

Industrial Technology (Mechatronics) is a key component of a wide variety of industries and CNM’s program will provide the training that students need to directly enter the workforce
February 07, 2023

What is mechatronics? Simply put, it’s a skill set that combines mechanical systems, electrical systems and electronics, robotics, and computing to support efficient manufacturing and distribution. Also known as Industrial Technology, Mechatronics is how the Albuquerque General Mills plant supports the manufacturing and packaging of its cereal, and it’s also the techniques that Rio Rancho’s Intel plant uses to maintain the systems that manufacture its advanced semiconductor technology. It’s part of how Amazon runs its giant warehouses, and for those of you who love to ski, it supports ski areas like Ski Santa Fe to maintain their advanced chairlifts.  

Because so many industries rely on mechatronics there’s an enormous need for trained mechatronics technicians, which is why CNM is proud to announce a new Industrial Technology (Mechatronics) Program that starts this March. Students who complete the program will be trained to immediately enter one of the many local or national businesses that use this system. 

Given the desire for quality technicians and the strength of CNM’s new Mechatronics program, the Albuquerque General Mills team says it will guarantee every CNM graduate an interview.

“We’re going to guarantee an interview because we know the students will have a significant advantage thanks to their training at CNM,” says Doug Neumann, the Human Resources Manager at Albuquerque’s General Mills plant.

Anyone who lands a job at General Mills will then be trained as a multi-skilled technician that can operate, clean, and maintain their manufacturing and packaging equipment. Neumann says General Mills wants their technicians to know the equipment inside and out because it helps them perform their jobs at the highest level.

“If you know your equipment so well that you can repair it, then you’re going to be a better operator and vice versa,” Neumann says. “We pride ourselves on the fact that every single technician can do it all.”

General Mills offers CNM graduates lots of opportunity for career growth and skill development.  The technician position progresses across five levels and team members advance their career as they increase their skill level and leadership competency all while working on a high-performance team.

There’s also lots of room for career growth and skill development at Intel, where technicians are vital to that company’s operations in Rio Rancho and often spend decades at the company. These technicians wear the classic Intel clean room bunny suit and keep the factory running smoothly.

“We have technicians here in New Mexico that have been at Intel for 20 and 30 years—there’s so much opportunity for growth and learning,” says Frank Gallegos, New Mexico Public Affairs Director at Intel. 

Right now, Intel is an exceptionally exciting place to work because the company recently announced an investment of $3.5 billion to equip its Rio Rancho operations for the manufacturing of advanced semiconductor packaging technologies, including Foveros, the company’s breakthrough 3D packaging technology. 3D packaging technology is a big deal because it enables Intel to build processors with compute tiles stacked vertically, rather than side-by-side, providing greater performance in a smaller footprint. It also allows Intel to mix and match compute tiles to optimize for cost and power efficiency. 

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A technician at Ski Santa Fe works on their electrical system.

On the advancement front, Ski Santa Fe is another local employer making huge strides forward. That ski area, which sits just above the town of Santa Fe in the Sangre de Cristo mountains, has invested heavily in maintaining quality lifts and they rely on skilled technicians to ensure everything works properly and the area can create a high-quality skier experience. 

“It almost feels like the CNM Mechatronics program was custom-made for us because maintaining our lifts is the lifeblood of what we do,” says Tommy Long, the Operations Manager for Ski Santa Fe. “Keeping our lifts running is a paramount piece of our business and the people who do that work are essential for us.”

The technician work at Ski Santa Fe will only get more exciting, explains Tommy, because there’s a constant push to advance lift technology.

“The original ski lift was based on a simple banana picker in a jungle but now we’ve moved onto eight-seater chairlifts with heated seats and WiFi,” he says. “When it comes to technology, you name it and the ski industry is doing it to be able to move people comfortably and efficiently.”

New or returning CNM students who are interested in a mechatronics career with one of these companies or any other company around the country can start this program via college-credit or through workforce training options. All Mechatronics students, including those that start the program on March 6 of this year, will gain engineering, mechanics, and computing knowledge and take classes on subjects including hydraulics, industrial electricity, pneumatics, motor controls, and programmable logic controllers (PLCs). This industry vetted curriculum includes four industry certifications from SACA (Smart Automation Certification Alliance) made up of 18 micro-credentials. Finally, all CNM Mechatronics students will get access to the college’s Office of Job and Career placement, which provides support during and after the program with everything from resume building to interview skills. 

Learn more and enroll here!