Representatives from the Laboratory recently appeared before two State legislative committees and a meeting of the Santa Fe County board of commissioners to give updates on the Laboratory’s activities and its economic and community impact in the region.
Staff Director Frances Chadwick and Director of the Community Partnerships Office Kathy Keith both testified at the state legislature's Radioactive and Hazardous Materials Committee Nov. 14, and the Science, Technology and Telecommunications Committee Nov. 17.
They discussed hiring, budget and procurement issues, and the work being done to accommodate the Laboratory's growth, including leveraging telework, exploring improved transportation options, and updating facilities and infrastructure.
Chadwick and Keith also gave updates on economic development topics, thanking the state for its partnership on the New Mexico Small Business Assistance program and the Technology Readiness Gross Receipts Initiative (TRGR) which both help businesses access Laboratory expertise.
The Laboratory's work on workforce pipeline and professional development partnerships with New Mexico colleges and schools was also addressed, along with education programs such as the new Challenge: Tomorrow trailers which offer mobile STEM education opportunities.
Briefing the Santa Fe County commissioners
Kathy Keith also presented a Laboratory update to the Santa Fe County board of commissioners Nov. 29, that included highlighting renewable energy projects such as the Million Mile Fuel Cell Truck program.
Commissioner Henry Roybal asked about the status of plans to build a road to Los Alamos through the Caja del Rio area. Keith replied that while that option had been raised for discussion several years ago it was no longer being explored as the Laboratory was adopting other measures to tackle traffic congestion including hybrid work models, leasing space outside Los Alamos, and improving mass transit options.
"It's important that we share as much information as we can about the Laboratory's activities with our local and state elected representatives," said Chadwick. "We're always keen to hear their questions and concerns, and explore ways we can partner to benefit all of us."