Hobbs, New Mexico – The Hobbs Municipal School district today announced a group of public and private sector partners are joining together to help fund construction and development of a new career technical education high school to serve a growing number of students and better prepare them for technical jobs available across the Permian region.
Hobbs High School is expected to exceed its current capacity by 2021. Approximately half of Hobbs’ graduates pursue technical track careers, either directly entering the workforce after high school or pursuing a two-year technical degree.
The new school will offer programs in a range of disciplines including construction, hospitality, STEM, oil and gas, information technology, manufacturing and transportation. A dual credit program in partnership with New Mexico Junior College will allow students to earn college credits and certifications while still in high school, reducing the time necessary before they can enter the workforce.
The new school will have a capacity of 600-700 students and is expected to partner with employers to ensure its training programs are developing and teaching the skills necessary for jobs that are needed by employers and available across the Permian Basin.
The cost of the new school is expected to be $50 million. $15 million will be accounted for by a Bond that will be voted on by the public on November 5, 2019, and the school district is working with public and private partners to secure the remaining $35 million. Already, the City of Hobbs, the Permian Strategic Partnership, and the JF Maddox Foundation have each committed $10 million.
If voters approve the bond election in November, construction of the new high school could begin in the Spring 2020 with the school opening planned for August 2022. Local and state elected officials are strongly supportive of the project.
“All of New Mexico is excited about the growth we’re seeing in the southeastern part of the state,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said. “My administration is partnering with and fostering the continued growth of key industries there, but that’s not all. We have to accommodate the ancillary effects of this growth, a key one being more students, all of whom deserve the best possible opportunity to learn and enter into the workforce on their own terms. I’m proud to support the development of the new Hobbs CTE school and encourage local voters to support the ballot measure this fall.”
Hobbs Mayor Sam Cobb said, “The Hobbs City Commission, staff and I are excited to partner with the Hobbs Municipal Schools on this project. We applaud the leadership and vision exhibited by the Hobbs School Administration and Hobbs School Board. Creating marketable life skills for our youth through the education that the CTE will provide will not only serve them for the rest of their lives but will provide our community with a sustainable well-educated workforce.”
“The Career Tech facility will enable all our students to reach their dreams,” said TJ Parks, Superintendent of Hobbs Municipal Schools, “Students will earn certifications and participate in internships preparing them for high quality employment that will have a positive impact on their quality of life. The private public partnership will be a tipping point for our community to develop a home-grown workforce.”
Bob Reid, CEO of the JF Maddox Foundation, said, “We are pleased to join the Hobbs Schools, City of Hobbs, Lea County, Permian Strategic Partnership, and others in supporting this unique public-private partnership for a major innovation in local high school education. The proposed career technical education facility, and its programs, will allow students from across the County to pursue training leading to meaningful employment and new career opportunities. We believe the CTE represents a huge step forward in supplying the skilled labor local employers need, which will also grow our economy while offering exciting new careers for our kids.”
“Training a skilled and quality workforce is critically important to local communities and our member companies, and this initiative represents a great opportunity for Hobbs students to develop the technical skills necessary to pursue successful careers across the Permian region,” said Don Evans, chairman of the PSP.
“This is exactly the type of public-private partnership that the PSP was created to support,” said Tracee Bentley, PSP CEO. “The stakeholders involved, from the local Superintendent and school district to state education officials and elected officials at the city, county and state level, are excited about the potential this new career development high school will bring to the region’s young people. We are proud to partner with them to help make this new school a reality.”