About Us

About Running Start for Careers

Running Start for Careers (RSFC) is an award winning, coordinated public/private effort to decrease New Mexico’s high school drop-out rate while creating an integrated workforce system to our state’s sustainable economic success. The program was named Top 25 Innovation in all of government by Harvard University’s Ash Center for Government Innovation in 2015 and one of its instructors was honored by the White House for her work with the program.

An initiative created by Mayor Richard J. Berry and the City of Albuquerque, RSFC  is a program that takes high school students out of the classroom and into the real world to get a head start on a career. Through Running Start for Careers, junior and senior high school students to earn elective credits toward graduating, while obtaining job skills in industry specific, industry taught courses that highlight career pathways for in demand jobs that are needed in our local economy.

Running Start for Careers programs utilize High school elective credits so that students who participate in the approved programs are able to graduate with their classmates while learning valuable skills in in-demand industries. Students who complete the program graduate with an industry certificate showing career development training or pre-apprenticeship that can be submitted to potential employers.


As we see the nature of the workforce shift to technology and industry at the same time that dropout rates and student disengagement rates are high, communities are turning to innovative approaches using anchor institutions in collaboration with a body of community stakeholders to keep students motivated and truly engaged in core curriculum.

The mission of Running Start for Careers is to bring industry and education together  for hands on learning with in-demand trades  that build soft skills, teach industry applicable skillsets, and that create a spark within high school students, propelling them through graduation and into trades, college and beyond.

The overall goal of RSFC is to create an environment that engages students and industry by creating programs that provide the skills employers need while creating an engaging and competitive career pathways exploration program that is flexible and scalable to meet the needs of the workforce.

Vision Statement

Facilitate industry driven career pathway exploration designed to engage students, propel education and recruit workforce.



Contact Info

Mariela Ruiz-Angel

Executive Director Running Start For Careers


Amanda Glennon

Outreach Services Office Central New Mexico Community College