Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability

We are building a thriving community together

A personal message from Kurt Steinhaus, Community Programs Director, Los Alamos National Laboratory
August 1, 2014
Kurt Steinhaus, Community Programs Director, Los Alamos National Laboratory

Kurt Steinhaus, Community Programs Director, Los Alamos National Laboratory


  • Community Programs Director
  • Kurt Steinhaus
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Kurt Steinhaus

It’s widely known that the Lab is a hotbed of scientific discovery, technological innovation and a vital leader for national security. What’s not immediately apparent to some is how the Lab partners with northern New Mexico communities in so many ways—our employees, retirees, and subcontractors are active, generous participants with hundreds of nonprofit organizations each year.

I experience this culture of giving every day through my work at the Lab’s Community Programs Office. Even so, I was stunned by the numbers when we calculated the social return on investment (SROI) representing Lab employee and retiree volunteer hours. SROI is a term originating from return on investment (ROI), as used by traditional investors. It describes the social impact of a business or nonprofit’s operations in dollar terms, relative to the investment required to create that impact.

As you’ll see in this issue’s article titled Nonprofits Create Big Economic Impact in Northern New Mexico, cumulative hours volunteered since 2007 total 1.53 million. I’ll say it once more: 1.53 million volunteer hours. This translates to $34.5 million in SROI from our employees and retirees spanning the past seven years.

Los Alamos National Laboratory is tireless in supporting the region’s nonprofit organizations. Together with the greater northern New Mexico community of businesses and residents, we support organizations providing food, shelter, tutoring, social services and assistance of every variety year after year. Our annual School Supply Drive recently launched with a $1,000 donation from the new Smith’s Marketplace, which you can read about in this month’s issue.

Also featured in this month’s Connections are articles about leading the way to develop human organ constructs with the ATHENA project, developing a MOOC (Massive Online Open Classroom) as part of the Lab’s Math and Science Academy and launching a home-grown small business that has been utilizing the Lab’s economic development program Los Alamos Connect.

All of our efforts here at the Lab and in the wider northern New Mexico region are culminating in a thriving community with science and innovation at its core. I welcome you to explore the latest happenings in this month’s issue.

Kurt Steinhaus