First Plaza Galeria
The First Plaza Galeria building in Downtown Albuquerque, a portion of which will be the future home of the CNM STEMulus Center. Photo courtesy of CNM.

Along with UNM’s planned Innovate ABQ initiative; CNM is now launching an educational and entrepreneurial center in Downtown Albuquerque. The CNM STEMulus Center, to be located in the First Plaza Galeria, is designed to provide a new educational approach to developing the workforce in a strategic location intended to add synergy to the City’s Downtown revitalization efforts.

“Our community college exists to serve the education and workforce training needs of our citizens and our region’s economy,” Katharine Winograd, CNM president said. “In the post-recession era, community colleges have to be more agile and innovative than ever before to provide the kind of education that meets the current demands of an evolving workforce.”

The STEMulus Center is an effort to support the region’s economic needs by compressing and accelerating education to address some key gaps in the workforce. It will also provide more non-traditional students exposure and access to CNM technology and labs.

“I think the new CNM STEMulus Center and Innovate ABQ will complement each other well, and together they’ll generate more momentum for economic progress in our region,” UNM President Robert G. Frank said.  “With these two ambitious and innovative efforts, CNM and UNM are both leveraging their unique expertise to increase the economic prospects for our region.”


The new site will have a prototyping lab, boot camps, accelerated learning programs and a coding and cyber-security academy. The Accelerator will offer wrap-around support services for aspiring entrepreneurs seeking to get promising business ideas off the ground. It will provide mentoring by successful entrepreneurs, an individualized support system and business planning and implementation consulting.

The Prototyping and Test Lab will provide community members considering business ventures the ability to use some of the college’s state-of-the-art technology such as welding, woodworking or machine tool technology labs, 3-D printing and digital media technology to test their ideas or develop prototypes.

Boot camps, workshops and accelerated learning opportunities will be offered to support businesses and government agencies in the area.

Also individuals interested in coding skills for computer information systems or cybersecurity fields will be able to get training that directly relates to a businesses and organization needs.

 “This center will be a tremendous resource for workforce development and entrepreneurship in our region, and it will add the kind of creative energy we need to accelerate economic development in the core of our city,” Mayor Richard Berry said. “It will also provide terrific support for our Innovation Central efforts.”