Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

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Community Commitment Plan renewed, plus stories on giving, economic development and education
November 1, 2013
The Regional Development Corporation was recently recognized for its economic development efforts

New Mexico-based Ideum is just one of the organizations that has benefited from investments made through Los Alamos National Security, LLC's Community Commitment Plan


  • Community Programs Office Director
  • Kurt Steinhaus
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Los Alamos National Laboratory board renews plan for education, economic development, charitable giving
The Los Alamos National Security, LLC Board of Governors recently approved a $3.1 million extension to the company’s plan supporting education, economic development and charitable giving in Northern New Mexico.

“We’ve tailored our programs very carefully to leverage dollars for the maximum benefit to the community,” said Lab Director and LANS President Charlie McMillan. “Working with regional leaders, we’ve built a constructive and mutually beneficial relationship.”  

LANS is the managing and operating contractor for Los Alamos National Laboratory. The LANS Community Commitment Plan has provided more than $20 million to the region since 2007. For 2014 the plan will provide:

  • $1 million for economic development such as financial and technical assistance to start and grow regional businesses
  • $1.1 million for educational programs and scholarships for New Mexico students and teachers as well as workforce  development programs
  • $1 million to match employee gifts to nonprofits

Leverage examples include matching employee contributions to the annual charitable giving drive. The 2013 drive raised more than double the 2007 total, distributing $3.1 million for nonprofits.

In another example, LANS matches employee contributions to the LANL Employee Scholarship Fund. The fund raised more than $559,000 in 2013 and provided scholarships to 72 students.

LANS has been the Laboratory’s managing and operating contractor since 2006.

State joins Future City Competition
The Future City Competition is a national engineering, project-based learning experience where students in 6th, 7th and 8th grades imagine, design and build cities of the future. Once designed, using SimCity software, the teams must translate their designs into physical models using recycled materials and a $100 budget. This is the first year New Mexico has participated in the event. Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories are partnering within the state with the Lab coordinating within Northern New Mexico. It is hoped 20 teams from the region will participate this first year.

In addition to building the models, teams must write a narrative describing their cities, research and write a solution to an engineering problem and make a presentation to the judges. The topic for this year’s essay: “Rethink Runoff—Design Clean Solutions to Manage Stormwater Pollution.”

The regional competitions will be held in January next year with the state winner moving on to the national finals in Virginia in February.

Laboratory employees are already signing up under its Science Education Community Service Time program to mentor the teachers and teams in their efforts to design and build a better future city.

For more information on the Future City Competition's pages, go here.

Los Alamos National Security, LLC is a sponsor of the New Mexico event.

Chris Madrid joins Rio Arriba County to spur economic development
New Mexico native Chris Madrid joined Rio Arriba County’s management team as director of economic development in September. His primary emphasis will be on building collaborations between people and organizations and pairing the best resources with regional businesses. His background building the Taos Entrepreneurial Network for the past eight years will help him succeed in these efforts.

“We’ve got great people and assistance we can leverage,” said Madrid. “My goal is to help systematically link them so our businesses can grow.” Too often entrepreneurial support organizations tend to work in silos, he said, so connecting them with resources from organizations such as the Regional Development Corporation, Los Alamos Connect and the New Mexico Economic Development Department should lead to promising collaborations and economic growth.

Madrid looks forward to continued support from the Lab’s and Los Alamos National Security, LLC’s economic development vehicles (mentioned above), along with the State’s resources—strategic peer-to-peer networking—to further economic growth in the county.

You can contact Madrid at clmadrid@rio-arriba.org or (505) 753-2992 or (575) 770-0040 (cell). 

Regional company wins sustainability award
Performance Maintenance Inc. (PMI), a small business from Espanola, was recently honored with a 2013 Sustainable New Mexico Award presented by the Albuquerque Business First & New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce in the Product/Services Category at the 2nd Annual Sustainable Business Summit.

Eric and Celina Quintana established PMI in 1994 by as a mom-and-pop business with two employees. Since that time the company has grown to more than 80 employees and it delivers janitorial services and supplies within two states. The company has also been recognized by the Regional Development’s 20/20 Campaign with a 2012 RDC 20/20 Award for Outstanding Growth.

The 2020 campaign is sponsored by Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Security, LLC, and the Regional Development Corporation.

NM MESA Middle School Supports Tree Planting
New Mexico Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement, Inc. (NM MESA) chose Tree New Mexico as its nonprofit organization 2012. The organization prepares middle and high school students for college majors and careers in mathematics, engineering, science and related fields. NM MESA supports programs throughout the state with students participating in activities such as field trips, speaker presentations, workshops, academic competitions, community service and leadership development.

NM MESA kids from C.C. Snell Middle School in Bayard NM, raised $175 by collecting pennies for Tree New Mexico's "Plant a Million More" program.

Los Alamos National Security, LLC is a sponsor of NM MESA.