Over her 30 years as a University of New Mexico biology professor, Maggie Werner-Washburne has seen hundreds of students leave the state to further their education and pursue careers in Science, Technology, Math and Engineering fields.
So when she heard business leaders last year bemoaning the scarcity of local STEM-trained professionals available for New Mexico-based jobs, her creative instincts clicked into high gear for a new initiative to repatriate some of the state’s lost talent.
That initiative, now called STEM Boomerang, aims to connect local business and government leaders with STEM professionals who left New Mexico but want to return, as well as local talent who lack connections with potential employers here.
“Businesspeople were complaining that they lacked a high-tech workforce to recruit from,” Werner-Washburne said. “They didn’t think it existed, but I realized they simply didn’t know who or where the professionals are.”