LOS ALAMOS, N.M. – A series of recent job fairs hosted by the EM Los Alamos Field Office cleanup contractor have resulted in 26 new employees supporting the mission to address environmental impacts from legacy operations at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).
The new employees join Newport News Nuclear BWXT-Los Alamos (N3B) at a crucial time — when much of EM’s workforce is at or near retirement age and environmental cleanup remains more important than ever.
Among those new hires is Rebecca Trujillo, a mother of three who placed her professional ambitions on hold for several years while her husband pursued a career on the Navajo Nation.
Trujillo’s first step back into the workforce was attending N3B’s job fair in June at Northern New Mexico College in Española, New Mexico.
She was subsequently hired as a field execution technical lead for N3B’s Environmental Remediation team. Now, Trujillo is coordinating the work of N3B subcontractors tasked with investigating and removing contaminated soil associated with historical laboratory operations.
Well prepared for her role, Trujillo has bachelor’s degrees in secondary education and geology from New Mexico State University and a master’s degree in geology from the New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology.
While in school, the Española native completed internships and fieldwork that took her to the Caribbean island of Dominica to study volcanos, Ohio to work with the U.S. Forest Service on a mineral rights project, western Colorado for geochronology analyses, and Craters of the Moon National Park in Idaho to work as an interpretive park ranger.
It was after her stint at the park in Idaho that family responsibilities placed Trujillo’s career on hold.
As Trujillo described her education and work history at N3B’s job fair, Mike Erickson, a director in N3B’s Environmental Remediation Program, became confident she would be an excellent candidate for his team. He described a job opening to her and encouraged her to apply online.
“I was very impressed with Rebecca, especially her dual bachelor’s degrees and master’s degree, hands-on experience and professional presence,” said Erickson, one of many hiring managers who participated in the job fairs. “I also admired her priorities and initiative — taking time off to raise a family and then shifting gears to reengage in a technical career.”
EM has made it a priority for prime cleanup contractors like N3B to recruit and train a new generation of employees to conduct environmental cleanup related to Manhattan Project- and Cold War-era weapons development and government-sponsored nuclear research.
In his keynote address at the National Cleanup Workshop earlier this year, EM Senior Advisor William “Ike” White said that building a qualified, diverse workforce is a critical strategic issue for the EM program nationwide to allow cleanup work to continue for years to come.
Trujillo represents that next generation of employees.
“I think younger environmental professionals have an important perspective and passion for preserving our land and resources,” she said. “Our ideas and energy will help carry missions like the legacy LANL cleanup well into the future and ultimately to completion.”
N3B will host job fairs in 2023 and promote them through local colleges and universities, workforce organizations and social media. Anyone interested in learning about these events is encouraged to follow N3B on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Click here for information on job openings at N3B.
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