Last month, the Board of Governors of Los Alamos National Security, LLC (the company that manages LANL for the U.S. Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration) unanimously approved recommendations to continue its $3 million a year contribution to support its Community Commitment Plan (CCP). The Plan provides the Lab’s Community Programs Office with funding from LANS' management fee to invest in regional education, economic development, and charitable giving programs. The approval of this year’s Plan is significant because LANS is no longer specifically obligated to continue the CCP, as it had been for the first seven years of its contract with NNSA.
Exhaustive research on the Plan's effectiveness helped guide our recommendations to the Board. Input came from program reviews, interviews, surveys, and meetings with a wide range of regional partners and stakeholders. Much of the Plan’s work remains the same, but a number of modifications have been identified that will better address Northern New Mexico's and the Lab's changing needs. These include, for example, additional emphasis on helping students and workers jump-start their preparation for the high-tech jobs available at the Lab and elsewhere in the region.
The following are examples of how LANS funding has benefited Northern New Mexico since 2006 in the areas of education, giving, and economic development:
- LANS funded the “Northern New Mexico Inquiry Science Education Consortium,” which has demonstrated student-achievement gains in science ranging from 16 to 29 percent in its first year.
- A $2.5 million investment in scholarships that enabled 481 scholarships to be awarded through the LANL Foundation
- Matching funds from LANS that have helped grow employee giving by more than 270% since 2006, culminating in a record-breaking 2012 campaign that reached the $2.8 million mark.
- More than 160 New Mexico businesses received support, which made possible the:
- Creation or retention of 327 jobs,
- $9.8 million in additional salaries,
- $17.7 million in revenue,
- A total economic impact of $236.6 million leveraged from a $19.4 million investment.
Continuation of the Plan will help make Northern New Mexico a better place of all of us.
Connections will report on programs supported by the Plan in coming issues. Stay tuned.