Governor Bill Richardson today announced that he has allocated a total of $375,000 to fund film and broadcasting training programs at Western New Mexico University in Silver City, the University of New Mexico-Gallup, and San Juan College in Farmington. This follows the Governor's announcement on Monday of $385,000 for similar programs at Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell, New Mexico State University-Carlsbad, and Luna Community College in Las Vegas.
"My goal has always been to build a successful, sustainable film industry in New Mexico. An industry that would not only bring major Hollywood productions to the state, but an industry that would also train and employ New Mexicans, and give New Mexico filmmakers an opportunity to participate and succeed," said Governor Richardson. "I am proud to say that there are approximately 14-thousand New Mexico students enrolled in film-training programs at colleges and universities around the state. The additional funding I have allocated will help create new opportunities for students to train and ultimately work in the film industry in their local communities."
The money is being allocated through the Governor's media fund, and is being distributed as follows:
Western New Mexico University, Silver City: $125,000
The funding will help expand the Digital Communications program at Western New Mexico University, which is part of the Applied Technology Department. The school will be able to purchase computers and film equipment. A goal of the program is to re-train workers who have been laid off by area mining operations or are otherwise unemployed, as well as encouraging high school students to engage in digital media and move on to college.
The University of New Mexico-Gallup: $150,000
The school is working to develop broadcast capability and expand their program to include film and web communications. The program at UNM-Gallup is especially important for Native American students looking for opportunities to develop the skills needed to compete for jobs in highly-competitive, global fields like broadcasting and film. Approximately 80% of the students at UNM-Gallup are Native American, the highest percentage of any New Mexico college or university. Many are interested in these kinds of programs, and this funding will help begin to meet that need.
San Juan College, Farmington: $100,000
The school will use the funding to expand its small, but successful and innovative Digital Media
Arts and Design program. The program offers dual enrollment, giving high school studentsparticularly
at risk students- a chance to get a head-start on college. It's a unique opportunity to
get young people excited about school, expose them to exciting career opportunities, and to
engage them so they want to continue their education in college. The new funding allocated by
Governor Richardson will help San Juan College purchase critical equipment needed to continue
to expand this program to reach even more young people.
The major goals of Governor Richardson's focus on the film industry are clear and concise-
* Create jobs for New Mexicans.
* Create significant revenue for New Mexico, and
* Provide training and support for our citizens to help build a sustainable, qualified work
force for the future.
Since Governor Richardson took office in 2003 more than 138 major film and television
productions have been made in New Mexico, with an estimated economic impact of more than
$3-billion. There are 10,000 direct and indirect film-related jobs in the state, and more than 250
businesses and services directly related to the industry.