Facebook plans digital training partnership in N.M.

Photo: Central New Mexico Community College

Facebook plans to partner with Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) to establish a certificate program in digital marketing that will launch this fall.

Marne Levine — chief operating officer for Instagram, a social media platform owned by Facebook — told people gathered for a small-business training event in Albuquerque last week that the certificate program will help participants add marketable skills to their resume.

Curriculum for the program is in development, but it will include social media strategy and digital marketing skills important in today’s workforce and economy.

“Our partnership with Facebook is going to help us develop a cutting-edge digital marketing certificate in our School of Business and Information Technology that will be so valuable to students interested in this dynamic field, as well as businesses looking to skill up their current workforce,” said CNM President Katharine Winograd. “Digital marketing and social media skills are so important in today’s workforce, so we’re thrilled to begin offering this program in the fall.”

Facebook also plans to fund 32 scholarships for students to attend CNM’s popular coding boot camp.

“We need to build a community to really help people build these digital skills,” Levine said.

About 94 percent of people the company surveyed recently said strong digital skills were important while searching for a new job, but only 10 percent rated their own digital skills as excellent, she said.

New Mexico’s overall unemployment rate remains about two points above the national average of 4 percent, and nearly one in five New Mexicans live below the federal poverty line.

Levine and other Facebook staff are in New Mexico this week as part of a program to boost small businesses and build the digital skills of people on and off the social networking site.

Facebook is building a 2.8 million-square-foot data center south of Albuquerque that will include six buildings. The data center in Los Lunas is expected to go online at the end of the year.

Thirty cities will be visited as part of Facebook’s small-business training tour, with Albuquerque among the initial stops.

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