CROWNPOINT, NM – Nationally-recognized tribal college Navajo Technical University takes a
leading step in education by collaborating with organizations statewide to provide future
generations with technological tools to improve economic conditions across the Navajo Nation’s
27,000 square miles.
The Navajo Nation is one of the largest American Indian tribes in the states of Arizona, New
Mexico and Utah. According to the 2010 US Census, more than 40% of tribal members live
below poverty and less than 10% possess a college degree.
“The role of this program removes poverty as an obstacle for our students and introduces a
model capable of propelling Navajo Nation youth with potential to establish themselves in
advanced technology industries,” said Ben Jones, Director at Navajo Tech Innovation Center.
The Advanced Rural Manufacturing (A.R.M.) is a partnership stimulating the Navajo economy
with technological innovation that transcends spatial collaborative constraints to create
Advanced Manufacturing virtual hubs to conduct business and discover new technologies.
A.R.M. is a statewide collaboration of industry, academia, and government spanning the Navajo
Nation Eastern/Northern Agencies and five county regions of McKinley, San Juan, Santa Fe,
Dona Ana, and Otero. Representing a consortium of universities, incubators, and manufacturers
serving diverse markets, A.R.M. partners include: Navajo Technical University-Navajo Tech
Innovation Center (NTU-NTIC), NTU Center for Digital Technologies (NTU-CDT), New Mexico
State University Arrowhead Center (NMSU-Arrowhead Center), Emerging Technology Venture
(ETV), and InXsol.
The collaboration between ETV and NMSU bring together industry and education in a research
learning environment to discover, develop, and deploy new innovations, ultimately increasing
interconnection, creating change and self-sustaining opportunities within Navajo.
Young children benefit from stable homes with an informed parental environment that provide
seamless academic transitions from K-12 into college and eventually apply their own learned
skills. Career pathways will be strengthened in a variety of contexts by engaging parents in a
degree program with on-campus childcare and internship opportunities, involve high school
students in dual credit programs, and possible business start-up.
Handling large federal contracts and starting a successful business in technology can be
rigorous as it requires extensive education, experience and skills. This experience will greatly
change for future students through a state-of-the-art educational opportunity that provides firsthand
opportunities for exposure and preparation.
Zetdi Sloan, Arrowhead Technology Incubator Director at New Mexico State University, believes
the program will be fruitful: “All of us have worked hard towards the same goal, and this
collaboration will be impactful for students from K-12 all the way to graduates into successful
business programs that enable more families to build their careers at home here in New
Nurturing a new generation of innovators, the A.R.M. partnership will give students an
understanding of how technical advances in design, business and finance are made and
brought to the marketplace. The partnership will create opportunity for the exchange of ideas,
allowing new innovations to emerge as students become the actual innovators and drivers of
change in their respective communities. Efforts to build this new technology-based business
model will not only provide students with learning but will shape them into a workforce
responsive to the growing demands of advancing manufacturing and technology industries. The
program is designed to generate excitement and creativity in students and provide the
experience of transforming an idea into a prototype of a product and protecting the new
This innovative statewide collaboration is made possible by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation,
remaining true to its maxim A Partner With Communities Where Children Come First. The forum
for the exchange of ideas will significantly improve NTU's strategic approach in bringing new
ideas, cultivating key networks that will extend to the refinement of the Navajo Tech Innovation
Center's outreach to the Navajo community and effectively provide opportunities.
NTU is committed to college readiness in strengthening the foundation of higher education
integrating Dine' cultural principles with an emphasis on technology, culinary arts and vocational
tech grounding through research, community engagement, and service learning that
perpetuates preservation and sustainability in the areas of social, economic, environmental, and
cultural. For more information, visit www. Navajotech.edu.
© 2017 Navajo Tech Innovation Center || Original Release can be found here.