ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico is taking another step towards becoming the next Hollywood. Wednesday, March 29, state leaders announced the Rail Yards in Albuquerque will be home to the New Mexico Media Academy.
The Media Academy is a collaborative education program, backed by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, aimed at providing a fast track into the film industry. The state is planning multiple campuses: A Las Cruces location was recently announced, and now details about the Albuquerque Rail Yards location have been released.
The Albuquerque campus will be built in the Boiler Shop at the Rail Yards, according to the Albuquerque Economic Development Department. The idea is for the location to be the main hub for the Media Academy program.
“Albuquerque has solidified itself as a great film city, and we know we have to keep developing our workforce to meet industry demands,” Max Gruner, the director of the Economic Development Department, said in a press release. “The New Mexico Media Academy will help ensure that local productions are staffed by local crews who have access to the highest quality training.”
At the Rail Yards campus, Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) will be a key collaborator. The college plans on making the location ground zero for the college’s film programs.
“For more than 20 years, CNM has been supporting the growing workforce needs of the film industry in New Mexico,” CNM President Tracy Hartzler said in a press release. “We’re honored to be joining the State of New Mexico and the City of Albuquerque in this groundbreaking partnership to increase New Mexicans’ access to high-quality training that leads to great jobs and economic growth for the film and digital media industry. By co-locating CNM’s film and digital media programs with the New Mexico Media Academy at the Rail Yards, we’ll build state-of-the-art training and production facilities that will maximize the public’s investment in growing the film industry and revitalizing Albuquerque’s downtown communities.”
The city’s Economic Development Department says that employers like Netflix, NBCUniversal, and 828 Productions will offer paid apprenticeships. They say the local film union will offer membership hour credits for those apprenticeships.