Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico Building and Construction Trades Council, and Taos Municipal Schools announce new job-training collaboration

Course prepares Taos High School students for high-wage, building-trades jobs with opportunities for apprenticeship and employment

June 2, 2020

Beginning in fall 2020, Taos High School will be training the next generation of building trades workers for jobs with the NMBCTC and the Laboratory with starting salaries as high as $72,000 annually.

LOS ALAMOS, N.M., June 2, 2020—Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Thom Mason, New Mexico Building and Construction Trades Council (NMBCTC) Executive Director Brian Condit, and Taos Municipal Schools Superintendent Lillian Torrez announce a collaboration creating a building-trades course for Taos High School students.

“The Laboratory is pleased to partner with the New Mexico Building and Construction Trades Council and Taos High School to offer options to the emerging workforce who are interested in trade careers,” said Director Thom Mason. “These are stable, good-paying positions that are vital to the Laboratory. Building the regional workforce benefits both Northern New Mexico and the Laboratory while supporting our communities over the long term.” Mason added that the Laboratory projects it will hire more than 1,200 craft, or specialized building trade, workers in the next five years.

“The union is very excited to move forward with this collaboration with the Laboratory and Taos High School,” said Courtenay Eichhorst, president of the NMBCTC. “We’re glad to respond to the growing demand at the Lab and in Northern New Mexico for skilled builders.”

Beginning in the fall of 2020, Taos High School students will be able to take a course specially designed to meet union standards. The course, paired with a high-school diploma, allows students direct entry into union apprenticeship programs at age 18. As apprentices, they will work full time at the Laboratory or with other employers at the starting salary of $16/hour while receiving additional classroom and on-the-job training. Upon completion of the apprenticeship, trainees will be journeymen with starting salaries as high as $72,000/year plus benefits. Participation in the course is free to students and paid for by the Laboratory.

“This approachable training program starts students down a well-paid career path with New Mexico employers,” said Superintendent Lillian Torrez. “Training students for high-demand jobs is a top priority for Taos High School.”

To learn more about the upcoming building-trades course, contact CJ Grace, Taos High School principal, at (575) 751-8000.

To start a similar training course at your local high school, contact Brian Condit, president NMBCTC, (505) 268-1000 or Rebecca Estrada, higher education and workforce, at the Laboratory, (505) 695-4974.

About New Mexico Building and Construction Trades Council
The New Mexico Building and Construction Trades Council (NMBCTC) is an alliance of craft labor unions. NMBCTC and its affiliated member unions demonstrate a concerted commitment to world-class skills development and training; coupled with a 21st century labor/management model that is founded upon the principles of performance, pride, cooperation, and partnership.

About Taos Municipal Schools
Taos Municipal Schools educates more than 3,000 students at Arroyos del Norte Elementary, Enos Garcia Elementary, Ranchos Elementary, Taos Middle School, Taos High School, and Taos Cyber Magnet School. The district recognizes that education is a life-long process, everyone has a right to a meaningful education, and that technology has a major impact on society.

About Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security, is managed by Triad, a public service oriented, national security science organization equally owned by its three founding members: Battelle Memorial Institute (Battelle), the Texas A&M University System (TAMUS), and the Regents of the University of California (UC) for the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

Los Alamos enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns.