Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

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

Building a workforce pipeline

Long-term education project helps the Laboratory and the region
April 11, 2019
RCT in action

The new radiation protection course at Northern New Mexico College will help train people to work as radiological control technicians.


  • Director, Community Partnerships Office
  • Kathy Keith
  • Email

kathy_keith.jpgThe Laboratory is committed to creating a thriving local economy and an educational environment that will help develop our workforce in the future.

As the Laboratory looks at recruiting up to 1000 people a year for the next few years, we're carefully examining the types of positions we’ll need to fill. What we know already is that these openings will be in a wide range of areas, including technicians and trades.

For some jobs there might already be a rich talent pool of potential applicants, and those positions will be filled through regular hiring approaches (and we’d always encourage applications from people already living in Northern New Mexico).

But filling other positions will present more challenges, if it looks like there will be a shortage of people with the required training or experience. For those jobs, the Laboratory will take a longer-term approach, and work with our education partners to build a path that will give people the skills they need to succeed in the positions.

To help do that, the Laboratory has created a new Office of Partnerships and Pipeline to focus on workforce development.

“It’s an exciting opportunity to work on efforts that benefit the Laboratory and the region,” says Nan Sauer, director of the office. "If we're successful in partnering with educational institutions to help create those pipelines, graduates from the programs will find work opportunities."

Long-term project

As the creation of the new RCT training program at Northern New Mexico College shows, we’re already making progress in some areas, but developing a workforce pipeline is a long-term project and the full results will take time.

Currently the Laboratory is working on a detailed assessment of its future workforce needs, factoring in retirements and the expanding range of work it's being asked to do. The next stage is to identify the areas where there might be a projected shortage of qualified applicants.

Then the Laboratory will work with higher education establishments in the region and state to create pathways for students that lead to those job openings, developing the right courses and curricula.

The aim is help as many people as possible from across Northern New Mexico to get well-paid jobs at the Laboratory – helping both the Lab and the region.

—Kathy Keith
Director, Community Partnerships Office at Los Alamos National Laboratory
Tel: 505-665-4400 | email: kkeith@lanl.gov