SANTA FE, N.M. - U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, convened a roundtable today with university and college presidents and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) representatives in Santa Fe to discuss increasing job training opportunities for positions at LANL.
One third of LANL's employees will become retirement eligible within the next four years, and LANL is projecting that there will be approximately 2,425 vacancies to fill between 2016 to 2020. Senator Heinrich is working with LANL and local northern New Mexico colleges and universities to ensure that there are partnerships and job training opportunities for New Mexicans to fill those future positions.
"Bringing LANL and our regional colleges and universities together to discuss job training opportunities to meet the Lab's future workforce needs is mutually beneficial," said Sen. Heinrich. "Forty percent of current LANL employees are from New Mexico. A major part of that is due to the leadership of all our regional higher education institutions. We want to see even more New Mexicans working at LANL by 2020. This productive discussion provided a foundation to make that happen."
The discussion focused on ways to better align community college and university curricula and training with the upcoming needs of LANL. The Lab projects it will need to fill 2,425 positions in science, engineering, and business and operations support over the next four years.
Colleges and universities that participated in the meeting included presidents from Central New Mexico Community College, Luna Community College, Northern New Mexico College, Santa Fe Community College, New Mexico Highlands University, and University of New Mexico-Los Alamos and Taos campuses.
Senator Heinrich recently worked to pass the Senate's Energy Policy Modernization Act, which includes an amendment he introduced to address current and future energy workforce needs and increase the participation of women and minorities throughout the energy sector. The amendment aims to align apprenticeships, training and work-study programs, college credentials, and university degrees with opportunities in energy-and manufacturing-related industries. Additionally, these provisions seek to further engage displaced workers, minority-serving institutions, veterans, and our national laboratories in workforce development.