EL PASO, Texas (KTSM)- A bill sponsored by House Majority Leader Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton aims to prepare students for success in the workplace through the expansion of communication, leadership, time management, and teamwork skills.

Yesterday, House Bill 63, a bill to create a statewide, comprehensive, standards-based “soft skills” program for high school and middle school students passed the House Education Committee in New Mexico.

“Soft skills” include a combination of people skills, social skills, and communication skills that many business owners say employees often lack, according to a release.

“We want an education system that prepares our youth for success,” Stapleton said. “Investing in soft skills education is a proven workforce development method. Employers, parents, and teachers have told us we need a stronger focus on these skills. I think these courses will be enormously beneficial to students, whether they plan to start their careers after high school or go on to higher education.” 

According to a release, the program’s development will be led by the University of New Mexico and consist of online courses tailored to these areas as well as resume and job interview preparation and career assessment.

The bill makes a $4 million appropriation from the general fund to develop a curriculum and implement online courses tailored to meet the needs of New Mexico’s students and the evolving job market.

“The benefits of soft skills training have been proven in adult workforce development programs for decades. I think it makes a lot of sense to make it available in our schools as well,” said Majority Leader Stapleton.