ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Central New Mexico Community College is looking to trim down its 12-week CDL licensing program, and staff members and union reps are unhappy with that matter. CNM plans to replace the program with the college’s Ingenuity four-week program.

Diana Lucero, the program director for CNM’s truck driving program, is calling out the governing board to reconsider the cut, considering the demand for supply chain drivers across the nation. “With 80,000 drivers short in the United States alone, why would you ever think about sunsetting a program that is so successful?” asked Lucero.

Staff and union reps were blindsided by the recent announcement coming down from the CNM Governing Board. The school plans on ditching its 12-week course, which serves around 180 students a year but keeping its more expensive four-week course that can’t accommodate enough students.

“They indicated that it was money. So they want to basically privatize the program and move it to CNM Ingenuity, which would be a much inferior product – both for the public and for the students,” said Mark Love-Williamson, President of CNMEU, the staff’s union.

The CLD program is one of the most expensive programs to operate, coming from material, gas, and other factors.

CNM believes the intensive four-week program, which has an estimated price tag of $4,600 and is run by a for-profit wing of the school, will help students get jobs faster.

Union reps say this is only about money. “It does not challenge the students nearly as much as the 12-week course and it costs four times as much, or three and a half times as much, so there you go,” said Love-Williamson.

The 12-week course is also the lowest-priced CDL program in the city. In Albuquerque, besides CNM, there are three other CDL driving schools.

Instructors say that even though it may be faster, it does not benefit students who can’t afford the higher price tag or those who can have to work while taking classes.

“It’s about me keeping it affordable for those who need this type of employment and are able to get into the industry to offer their family’s income earnings to up to $85,000 to $90,000 their first year,” said Lucero.

CNM is also planning to end its bench jewelry program because of low enrollment and a lack of job demand.

The governing board will be hosting a meeting on Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. to discuss the possible cuts. There will be a public comment period during the meeting.

The school’s governing board will vote on the cuts at a meeting in May.