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Mayor Recognizes Running Start for Careers Partner

New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union employee Shana Runck honored in Washington D.C. and Albuquerque

Albuquerque, N.M. – The Running Start for Careers program, created by Mayor Richard J. Berry, allows high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors to earn dual-credit hours toward graduation while obtaining valuable work skills and on-the-job training in high-demand industries.  Mayor Berry created the framework for the program while he was a New Mexico State Representative.  It allows students to graduate with an industry certificate showing pre-apprenticeship or career development training that could be submitted to potential employers.  The program incorporates technical training, real world hands on experience, and soft skills without burdening the state with large capital investments or operational costs. Running Start for Careers also serves as a launching point for students to receive mentorship and internship opportunities that can evolve into gainful employment.

 Today, Mayor Berry recognized Shana Runck, assistant vice president of community relations and financial capabilities with New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union, for receiving the Latino Educator Champions of Change award from the White House this past Monday, September 22. Runck created the curriculum for the finance industry-taught courses offered through Running Start for Careers. She is also the educator for the industry-taught courses, and was the only private-sector recipient of this award in the country.

“We’re thrilled that the New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union has joined our Running Start for Careers program. They bring a great private sector perspective and much-needed job openings,” said Albuquerque Mayor Richard J. Berry.  “Shana has been instrumental in creating a robust finance curriculum for Running Start for Careers students. We are honored that her hard work has made a real difference and we are thrilled that she is being nationally recognized by the White House.”

 Runck developed the program’s Financial Services Career Exploration curriculum through New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union that focuses on careers in the financial industry from tellers and loan officers to marketing, information services and human resources.  Last year, New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union employed 14 interns in order to give students real world on-the-job training and course credit. The program closes the gap between education and careers, and provides more credit-earning internships than any other organization participating in the Running Start for Careers program in New Mexico. It also strongly supports an asset-based approach, offering additional compensation to highlight the importance of bilingualism and its impact on the student’s future career endeavors.  

 “New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union is honored that Shana received this prestigious, national honor for her work with the community and helping students pursue education and careers in the financial services industry,” said Terry Laudick, CEO of New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union. “The Credit Union has long been committed to the principles of education and community impact, and this work turns those commitments into reality.”

 The financial capability program is utilized by several educational institutions including Albuquerque Public Schools, Central New Mexico Community College, and the University of New Mexico, to provide students with the knowledge and skills to effectively manage their finances. This program is scalable to provide a full Common Core State Standards-aligned 18-module curriculum, individual financial workshops, and topic-specific courses.  Runck works closely with each institution to modify and adapt the courses and curriculum to reflect the goals of each program.