Community outreach and community involvement is a key part of our mission. It is one of the main reasons why our Americorps VISTA Summer Associates are so important to our work.
Recently, JC Ramirez and Alexis Rodriguez, two of the associates, were out shooting photographs and capturing video footage all along Guadalupe street.
Guadalupe street will shortly go under reconstruction in a road diet in which its four lanes will be reduced to two. The aim of this project is to increase the walkability of Guadalupe street, improve ADA access and make it a safer street for pedestrians and cyclists.
Our Summer Associates were out capturing footage of the street before it goes under reconstruction and published the material on the website, Our Guadalupe, for community members to follow the project and use it an important resource for up to date information.
You may already know about the LANL Research Symposium and upcoming Postdoc Career Fair in late August, but if not, here is some information on how your company can get involved and have a FREE booth at the event.
This year, LANL is working to involve local New Mexico startups, established companies, as well as business resource providers (should postdocs want to create their own startup) in the Postdoc Career Fair. This is intended to encourage the many talented postdocs here to stay in-state and find an opportunity with a local company that is in need of their expertise.
If you're interested on behalf of your company/organization, sign up for a free booth at the Career Fair.
You may access the application online at the link below. If you have any difficulties submitting the form, just save the PDF and send it to Mary Anne With at firstname.lastname@example.org.
http://www.lanl.gov/careers/ca reer-options/postdoctoral-rese arch/postdoc-career-fair.php
For More Info, contact BURGANDY BROCK
Community and Marketing Manager | projectY cowork Los Alamos
e: email@example.com t: 505 .661.4862
c: 505.709.7013 w: www.projectYLosAlamos.com
Our Americorps Summer Vista Associates have been busy for the last couple of weeks, getting real life knowledge and hands-on experience in the world of work while learning more about their community.
Here is a little look at what they have been getting up to.
Regional tech access and expanding tech enterprise are key elements to New Mexico TechWorks' mission. Our Associates have been learning about Open Wireless Platforms with local tech start-ups, IQComm and A Sound Look, for bringing internet connectivity to rural areas.
The Associates have also been central to our Summer of Tech initiative, helping out at Santa Fe Community College with computer science camps and teaching children the basics of app-making and coding. Do-It-Yourself workshops have been running over the summer months as part of our "1,000 Websites in a 1,000 Days" initiative to increase economic development and connectivity in northern New Mexico by getting community members online with their own websites. JC, Alexis and Liz have taken a leading role in these workshops and guiding people, step-by-step, through the process of building your own website.
We launched the first ever Rad Hatter spectacular hat-making activity at this year's Pancakes on the Plaza in Santa Fe. The glitter and sparkles got to our Associates' brains and you can see where their creative spirits led them with these crazy hats!
With over 500 community members busy making their own unique Fourth of July hats, our Associates were fantastic helpers taking photographs and assisting children with their creations.
We have partnered with Santa Fe Community College, the City of Santa Fe and Santa Fe Filmworks to produce the Guadalupe Street Reconstruction Project documentary. This short will record and demonstrate how various agencies and stakeholders interact and manage interests when a road diet is planned and executed.
Our VISTA Summer Associates have been on site filming these interviews.
But we decided they needed some more photography and interviewing experience so we organised for locally based, community-orientated photographer, Joshua Sage, to teach these guys a few things about photography in a private workshop. Since then, our Associates have been out and about in the community shooting portraits and recording interviews for mapping New Mexico' tech ecosystem.
We want our VISTA Summer Associates to make memories here with us in Santa Fe and that is just what they have been doing!
An article you won't want to miss by the Santa Fe New Mexican
By Amy Linn | Searchlight New Mexico July 4, 2018
"Filmmaker Jesse Wood, a New Mexico native and University of New Mexico graduate, in 2016 landed a dream job as creative director at Los Angeles-based Donut Media. Courtesy photo
Leaving New Mexico wasn’t a maybe — it was a have-to for Jesse Wood, a Farmington kid who graduated from the University of New Mexico in 2014. Like thousands of other grads, he was smart, talented and committed to his career path.
It led him straight out of the state.
By his junior year in UNM’s film and digital media department, he was making eye-popping videos about his passion in life: cars. By senior year, he was traveling the country making Hollywood-quality promo videos on the Formula Drift circuit, capturing gonzo drivers and fast cars skidding sideways.
He kept his eye out for the right job in New Mexico, but there wasn’t one. “I freelanced for a while,” Wood, now 26, says by phone from Ventura, north of Los Angeles. “But the film world was in L.A., and so were the automotive companies. L.A. was the epicenter.”
In 2016, the epicenter became home. He landed a dream job as creative director at Los Angeles-based Donut Media, creator of comedy-injected digital content for car lovers, including a new video daily. Its YouTube channel has nearly a million subscribers.
Heading for the hills
Between 2011 and 2016, in the years leading up to Wood’s departure, an unprecedented exodus of New Mexicans left the Land of Enchantment in search of new jobs and homes. Economists estimate that 42,000 more people exited the state than entered it.
The majority were college-educated, including 17,000 people with a bachelor’s degree. It was an alarming brain drain, and one of the highest rates of “out-migration” anywhere in the country, according to labor and census statistics.
“The data clearly indicate that out-migration is occurring at a disproportionate rate in better-educated younger adults and people with bachelor’s degrees,” says Jeff Mitchell, director of UNM’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research.
No state can afford to lose high-quality, educated workers, the key ingredient for a thriving economy. Impoverished New Mexico especially cannot afford to lose them. But state officials say there is no telling when the outflow will end.
“We’ve already seen five or six years of this story,” says Mitchell, who identifies it as one of the clearest signs that New Mexico has entered perilous and uncharted territory.
“The single biggest problem is that people think they’re going to find a quick solution,” he continues. “But successes won’t play out in the two to four years of an election cycle. In fact, the economy might get worse before it gets better.
“To take action anyway? That’s leadership. But who is the politician who says, ‘I’m going to take a stand and do what’s necessary even if it doesn’t benefit me politically?’ ”
The new postrecession world demands a STEM-skilled workforce for jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. At minimum, workers need one or two years of education after high school, preferably from a technical or trade school that teaches mechanical, electrical or computer engineering skills (in high demand today). Other jobs require an associate, bachelor’s or advanced degree.
“You can’t be successful without a high-quality workforce — you just can’t,” says Scott Barnette, senior manager of development and operations at Continental Tire, who scours the globe to choose the right site for the company’s new projects. He recently chose Clinton, Miss., for a $1.4 billion tire plant slated to create 2,500 jobs.
In New Mexico, meanwhile, the dial is moving backward. For the first time in state history, the older generation is better educated than the younger generation, the New Mexico Higher Education Department reported in 2013.
When a state starts losing its qualified workforce, economies contract, unemployment rises and more people join the out-migration. It is a vicious circle.
Wood recalls getting a sense of the downward spiral when he was a teenager in Farmington. He and his classmates at Piedra Vista High School were well aware of New Mexico’s low ranking for child well-being: For decades, New Mexico has had one of the nation’s highest rates of childhood poverty, high school dropouts, substance abuse and teen suicide.
In June, the state dropped to 50th — dead last — in the Annie E. Casey Foundation child well-being rankings, where it had clutched a 49th-place rung since 2014. “Younger people feel that futility,” Wood offers as a reason that people leave.
Mitchell offers another. “In prior years, there was more of a sense that you could stay here and make something of yourself.” Today more than ever, New Mexico needs to nurture homegrown entrepreneurs, he says.
“They have a sense of the place,” Mitchell says. “Let them be a big fish in a small pond.”
Where the jobs are — and aren’t
Doug Rasmussen, a site-selection specialist at the St. Louis office of international corporate advising firm Duff & Phelps, has seen a lot of economic boom and bust during his 17-year career.
He’s seen jobs vanish and return. He’s directed clients in moves all around America. He’s also an optimist.
“No place is blue skies and roses always blooming. And no place is all negative,” Rasmussen says.
Site selection is a no-stone-unturned process that begins with a demographic study and expands to modeling, analytics and examining hundreds of data points.
“First you have to see if things are trending in a positive or negative direction,” he explains. “How young is the metro area and the state?”
Rasmussen travels to cities, looks at schools, and examines local and state government. He analyzes taxes, legal codes, environmental regulations, utility costs, bond ratings, infrastructure, mass transit, airport schedules, real estate and labor costs, cell towers and broadband, building sites and economic incentives.
“In the end, the executives are going to be living in these places,” Rasmussen says. “‘Can I see myself living here? My employees living here? Can I see my kids going to these schools?’ That’s what they’ll be asking themselves.”
New Mexico’s education system might well prompt them to answer “no.”
Only 71 percent of high school students graduated on time, the nation’s second worst rate. The rate of bachelor’s degrees for 25- to 34-year-olds — 22 percent — is also the second-lowest, according to the U.S. census. In No. 1 Massachusetts, the rate is 51 percent.
Youth unemployment is another serious problem. As of April, more than 20 percent of teens age 16 to 19 were jobless, labor statistics show.
“Every year we watch the young talent pack up and move away to places with jobs and better-paying jobs,” says Katherine Freeman, president and CEO of United Way of Santa Fe County.
She routinely observes professionals hesitating before moving here. “They look long and hard at education and state policies,” she says. They see troubled middle schools and high schools, but can’t afford private school tuition. “Coming here is a sacrifice.”
Today, according to the Bureau of Business and Economic Research, job hunters increasingly opt for states such as Texas (fastest population growth in the Southwest); or Nevada (home of the newly opened Tesla battery Gigafactory in Sparks, a project for which New Mexico was in the running but lost in 2014). The Gigafactory is expected to create 6,500 jobs.
New Mexico has the fourth-highest unemployment rate in the country, while its neighbors and the rest of the nation are in a boom. In May, the state had 5.1 percent unemployment, a large improvement over the 6.5 percent unemployment it has struggled with since 2014.
But it was no match for the 3 percent unemployment in Utah or the 4 percent in Texas, where the business climate is so alluring that two cities — Dallas and Austin — are in the running to become Amazon’s second headquarters. Amazon HQ2 is expected to create 50,000 high-paying jobs and $5 billion in capital investment; the average annual salary will be $100,000, the company says.
How did Amazon narrow down its list of 238 applicant cities to a final 20? “Educational attainment” was a key driver.
The company said in its request for proposal that it “preferred” a location with a highly educated labor pool and enough people with STEM training to fill the thousands of jobs. Other requirements included top-tier universities and community colleges; high enrollment, grades and retention rates in higher education; top-quality K-12 schools; and plentiful K-12 STEM programs, the RFP says.
Supporting our people
Amazon’s HQ2 is such a fantastical project that only the rarest of regions could hope to win it. But New Mexico can be a hard sell for more modest projects as well.
Among the red flags: The state’s population growth from 2010-16 was the weakest in the Southwest, according to government data.
And site-selection consultants worldwide scour every metric about education, from early childhood programs to the availability of adult education. States that support adult education are likely to have more available workers and healthier families, research shows.
A quick Google search will show consultants that the New Mexico Adult Education Division served 12,755 students in 2017, the lowest number in decades. The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish served more people than that — 12,780 — in its fishing skills classes around the state.
Consultants can quickly download a 2016 economic report for the Legislature titled, pointedly, “New Mexico Job Horizon: No Country for Young Men (or Women).”
Waiting for jobs that do not yet exist may have a poetic ring to it, but Wood has plans for his life. He spends his days shooting viral videos like “Two Grannies, One Lamborghini” (6.6 million views and counting).
“I love it here,” Wood says, adding, “I love New Mexico, too. But for the better or the worse, the big pond is L.A.”
Searchlight New Mexico is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization dedicated to investigative journalism."
Say goodbye the equality of the internet.
On June 11, the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of net neutrality regulations went into effect.
Previously, internet service providers (ISPs) were required to offer equal access to all web content. Now, ISPs are allowed to block websites or charge for higher-quality service or specific content. They can also push consumers towards their content and products while potentially slowing down or eliminating access to their competitors’ content and products.
The repeal will also allow ISPs to split internet access into bundles like cable providers do with television programming.
“Internet service providers now have the power to block websites, throttle services, and censor online content,” Jessica Rosenworcel, a pro-net neutrality Democratic member of the FCC said in a statement. “They will have the right to discriminate and favor the internet traffic of those companies with whom they have pay-for-play arrangements and the right to consign all others to a slow and bumpy road.”
What happened?In 2015, the Obama administration passed net neutrality regulations banning ISPs from offering internet fast lanes to companies willing to pay extra to have an edge over their competition. It also prohibited them from blocking sites or slowing down web traffic.
When Donald Trump was elected, his new FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, set out to dismantle the regulations. He called for their repeal saying they were heavy-handed, a mistake, and they imposed “utility-style regulations upon the Internet.”
The FCCs departure from upholding net neutrality came after the country’s biggest ISPs spent $23.6 million on lobbying the federal government in 2017.
How are people responding?Since December, more than 65 bills have been introduced to counter the FCC’s decision. Washington and Oregon have already passed rules that mirror the 2015 net neutrality regulations and California passed a bill in its state senate to reestablish net neutrality. But the FCC’s ruling came with a clause that prohibits states from enacting their own net neutrality laws, so the commission will most likely fight state rulings in court.
On the federal level, the Senate voted 52-47 in favor of repealing the FCC’s decision through the Congressional Review Act. The vote was primarily down party lines, with John Kennedy of Louisiana, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska breaking with Republican ranks.
The Senate vote will face an uphill battle in the House and will then have to be signed into law by the president. But there is reason to be optimistic. According to a recent Morning Consult Poll, there is bipartisan support for net neutrality which could sway Congress and the president.
Two Republicans in Congress have also introduced bills that would provide some net neutrality restrictions, but they would fall short of a full repeal. In 2017, Representative Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee proposed a bill that would ban ISPs from blocking content, but would still allow for the creation of fast lanes. In May, Senator John Thune of South Dakota said he would introduce a bill that bans paid prioritization while keeping the net neutrality repeal in place.
The FCC’s decision also faces a battle in federal court. Net Neutrality advocates, joined by companies including Etsy and Kickstarter, have sued the FCC, claiming its decision violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The APA bans federal agencies from arbitrary or capricious decisions. But it’s believed that a decision in the case won’t be reached until at least 2019.
What will the internet look like if nothing happens?Until court battles and legislative attempts play out, there won’t be a huge change to the internet. But ISPs are eyeing a new internet model where they can charge you more or less money to access bundles of websites, like your cable company.
Image in a world where you have basic internet and premium internet. It just may happen.
Your ISPs will also control how fast you can download files and the speed of specific websites while blocking you from accessing specific apps, information, and products.
While this may seem like a doomsday scenario for the internet, ISPs have already been working to block content and apps, censor sites, and increase fees. Now, they’ll have nothing holding them back besides competition from other ISPs.
But according to a study by PCMag, only 30% of U.S. zipcodes have three or more ISPs to choose from.
How to fight backWith the Congressional Review Act coming before the House, here’s an easy way to contact representatives who oppose net neutrality.
You can join more than 2 million people by signing a petition at Change.org.
Place a pop-up ad on your website or blog to lead users to sign a petition, contact their representatives, or file a comment with the FCC.
You can also donate to organizations that are fighting for net neutrality, such as Fight for the Future, Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Access Now.
Share image by Free Press / Free Press Action Fund/Flickr.
New Mexico TechWorks is honored to acknowledge some of our interns who attended the May 12th Regional Tech Exchange and who met with the Mayor Alan Weber and other Techleaders from Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Espanola, and Los Alamos from left to right: Mary O’Connor, Villanova exchange student from Ireland, and Rebecca Darling, who just graduated from Saint Edwards College in Austin ( Both of whom returned to New Mexico to intern after first visiting as part of a Community Learning Network S.E.E southwest experiential education week-long service learning program, and local interns for our TechHire Santa Fe initiative through the Vista Summer Associates program of the Santa Fe Community Foundation: JC Ramirez, Alexis Rodriguez, and Elizabeth Guthrie.
This week, professional LANL Research Scientist Mark Galassi will lead a 10-hour workshop focused on software development with Python on the GNU/Linux operating system. The camp is free and open to ages 6th grade and up. Participants must commit to all 10 hours. The class will take place at the Santa Fe Library on both Saturday April 14 and Sunday April 15. To register contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 505-629-0759
CSPD Week at the University of New Mexico
Almost 200 hundred teachers attended Computer Science Professional Development (CSPD) week at the University of New Mexico from June 4 to June 8 for training in eight different strands in how to teach computer science from elementary to high school.
CSPD week was joint hosted by the Computer Science Teachers’ Association of New exico and New Mexico Techworks. Beginning at 7.30 AM Monday, teachers from all around New Mexico convened in the University of New Mexico’s School of Engineering.
Code.org, Oracle Academy, Bootstrap and Texas Instruments, Project GUTS, CS Afterschool Arduino, and NM CS for All, taught a curriculum tailored to integrate computer science into math or science classes for elementary, middle school, and high school teachers.
Paige Prescott, president of Computer Science Teachers’ Association of New Mexico, and Dr Christos Christodoulou, dean of University of New Mexico’s School of Engineering, opened CSPD week. Both highlighted the lack of computer science in schools around New Mexico and the need to grow New Mexico’s economy through tech development and computer science.
“Only 40 high schools in New Mexico offer computer science right now,” Prescott said. “This week is aimed to make teachers pioneers of computer science and to increase its offerings in school.”
Professional educators were brought in to teach a specific curriculum for each of the eight strands for five days. The strands focused on different areas and different levels of computer science education. The training focuses on teaching teachers how to integrate computer science into their classes and to increase student engagement with computer science from an early. The long-term goal of this project is to increase the number of students taking computer science classes in high school and in university.
The Air Force Research Laboratory sponsored the STEM Matters Mixer on Thursday June 7 in the Explora children’s museum in Albuquerque. CSPD week aimed to create a network to share information and resources between computer science teachers. This social event was a part of that project to generate a community of interconnected computer science teachers in New Mexico.
“Employers have trouble finding qualified staff members,” said Matthew Fetrow, AFRL’s Technology Engagement Office Director.
Dr Steve Cox, an educator at Northern New Mexico College, engages his students in a mentorship program to teach them how to teach technology. Cox brought four of these students to CSPD week to teach teachers.
“The self-confidence of the students grows when they know they know something that has currency in the world,” Cox said.
“My students know more than I do when it comes to computer science,” said Manuela Klaassen, a teacher at Alamogorda High School. “They help me troubleshoot when we have problems and I help them troubleshoot.”
This is the first year ever in New Mexico in which five computer science classes will count towards math or science credits in high school. Prescott hopes that computer science will one day be a mandatory class for graduation.
The Computer Science Teachers’ Association of New Mexico conducted research on computer science classes in schools around New Mexico. It found that in 2017 less than one per-cent of high school students took a computer science class.
A weekend of inspiration and innovation is scheduled as Albuquerque hosts a Mini Maker Faire! The event will take place at the Albuquerque Balloon Museum from 10am-6pm Saturday, April 21, 2018 and from 11am-5pm Sunday, April 22, 2018
As shared by the 1st-Mile Institute, here are "listings of NM schools affected by US government delays. The details and reasons are not available. Nationally, 61 fiber projects have been unfairly denied.
In New Mexico, that includes:
• Bernalillo Public Schools
• Central Consolidated School District 22
• Farmington Municipal School District 5
Nationally, 38 fiber projects are still waiting on decisions from last year.
In New Mexico, that includes:
• Dulce School District
• Socorro Consolidated School District
"E-Rate, a federal program intended to help school districts attain better access to the internet is under fire. Advocates for connectivity say the Federal Communications Commission is leaving many rural districts in limbo with long delays and denials. Most of the concerns surround applications for federal aid to connect rural schools to fiber optic networks through the E-rate program. “Red tape and bureaucracy… are causing huge delays in getting their projects reviewed,” said Evan Marwell, CEO of EducationSuperHighway, a nonprofit that has long advocated for school connectivity. The group estimates it takes an average of nine months to get a decision on a fiber project. He said that the contractor in charge of reviewing applications and FCC administrators “are so concerned, so focused on waste, fraud and abuse, and making sure a dollar doesn’t get spent the wrong way, that they are losing sight of the real goal, which is to get kids connected. They’re making it really hard.” EducationSuperHighway launched a website to track delays and denials, hoping to put pressure on the FCC. According to the site, 38 fiber optics projects in 17 states have been awaiting decisions since last year. In addition, the group says 61 projects in 28 states have been “unfairly denied.”
A number of NM school districts are among the delayed and denied, noted on the web site. http://delaysanddenials.org
Local high-schoo-agel girls are invited to join the new Computer Science club in Santa Fe to learn the basics of Java and Computer Science. The club will meet for just 6 Tuesdays. No prior experience is necessary, and there is no cost to participate. Part of the Young Women in Computing (YWiC) program from NMSU's Computer Science Department in Las Cruces, the club is open to any high-school girls (grades 9-12) in the Santa Fe area.
Tuesdays, starting March 27th and going until May 1st. 4:30-6:30pm
Santa Fe Community College (room TBD)
Learn the basics of Java and Computer Science
Build community among young women through computing.
Increase young women's interest in computing.
Gain knowledge and experience with programming languages.
Increase young women's confidence in Computer Science.
Questions? Contact Paige Prescott, email@example.com, 505-699-4886
Join the club or spread the word!
Register to Participate Here!
New Mexico TechWorks is a community coalition to support New Mexico Emergent Media and Technologies and implement the White House TechHire initiative. TechHire is a multi-sector effort to give Americans pathways to well-paying technology jobs.