WASHINGTON, D.C. - During a Senate Committee on Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces hearing, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) highlighted the success of a recent small business information meeting he hosted in Albuquerque that brought together small business owners and the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Supply Chain Management Center (SCMC) to expand economic opportunity across the state. Senator Heinrich also pushed for policies to help attract and retain top scientists and engineers at New Mexico's two national laboratories. The subcommittee received testimony from National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Administrator Lt. General Frank G. Klotz, USAF (Ret.).
During the hearing Senator Heinrich thanked Gen. Klotz for traveling to New Mexico last week with DOE officials for an information meeting with small business owners from across the state. Small business owners met with SCMC commodity managers and learned about upcoming procurement opportunities. The information meeting was successful and featured small group workshop sessions and discussions with representatives from Sandia National Laboratories, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), and the Small Business Administration. Senator Heinrich underscored that he will work with DOE to schedule a similar information meeting in southern New Mexico for small businesses that support WIPP.
Senator Heinrich also discussed a proposal to build a new NNSA Albuquerque Complex at Kirtland Air Force Base. The current complex is outdated and inadequate for the 1,200 federal employees who work there. Last week, Senator Heinrich toured the complex with Gen. Klotz where they announced NNSA's plan to build a new facility. Senator Heinrich helped secure more than $10 million for engineering and design of a new complex during last year's "omnibus" appropriations bill that was signed into law in December. The initial estimate of cost to replace the outdated buildings is around $200 million.
Later in the hearing Senator Heinrich pressed the Department of Energy to support policies in new management and operating (M&O) contacts to attract and retain the best scientists and engineers at Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory.