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Mayor Announces New Skill-Up Site at the Rock at NoonDay

Talent ABQ & Innovate+Educate focus on skills-based hiring at homeless day shelter

December 11, 2015

ALBUQUERQUE - Today, Innovate+Educate announced the opening of its 35th Skill Up Site for Talent ABQ, an initiative launched by Mayor Richard J. Berry in 2013.  Talent ABQ is focused on skills-based hiring, an innovation of Innovate+Educate’s that has begun to scale across the country. 

“Opening a Skill-Up Center at The Rock at Noonday is an important step forward in continuing our commitment to helping the most vulnerable among us,” said Mayor Berry. “We are committed to helping people succeed in our city, and by equipping our fantastic partners at The Rock with this resource, I am confident that many will get the skills they need to connect with employment and better their circumstances.”

Skills-based hiring works to connect individuals to jobs based on their existing relevant job skills, as opposed to traditional standards such as level of education or experience.  Key to the skills-based hiring effort are the skill-up centers that were established by Mayor Berry in early 2014, which expand access to free skills training across the metropolitan area. The skill centers include all city libraries and community centers, which are easily accessible by the city transit system.   The Rock at NoonDay is the 35th skill up center, providing access to free skills training for those impacted by homelessness.

“Through the skill up centers, Talent ABQ has had over 3,000 Albuquerque residents sign up for skill-up accounts.  Having the centers located across the City has had a significant impact on providing opportunities for training related to employability.   We are thrilled to be launching this center at The Rock at NoonDay.” stated Jamai Blivin, CEO, Innovate+Educate.

“The Rock at Noon Day is excited about the opportunity to partner with the City of Albuquerque and Innovate+Educate to provide a Skill-Up Center on location.  This program will provide much needed access and training to those who are homeless to obtain job training and opportunities for employment.  Our city is blessed with a Mayor that knows that job training and employment will not only benefit the individual involved, but will also benefit our city and our society as a whole.  We look forward to coming along side those that will benefit from this program,” said Danny Whatley, Executive Director of The Rock at Noon Day.


Talent Albuquerque is a joint initiative between Innovate+Educate, the City of Albuquerque, the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, NM Workforce Connections Center, and Central New Mexico Community College to advance Albuquerque’s workforce and help employers find talent using skills-based hiring. The goal of Talent ABQ is to connect job seekers and employers through the common language of skills, so that all citizens have access to opportunity and employment. Talent ABQ is a national pilot for skills-based hiring and is the first program of its kind in the country. For more information, visit