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Editorial: LANL director wise to get New Mexicans on staff

Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Thomas Mason is the first to admit the work LANL does will never be popular with a significant portion of the population in New Mexico.

That’s one of the reasons he feels community relations is an important part of LANL’s agenda under new operator Triad National Security LLC.

“There are probably some people who are never going to like what we do because they don’t like nuclear weapons, which is actually understandable,” Mason said in an interview with the Journal. “It is kind of a weird thing to be working really hard on something you really hope will never be used.”

Mason pledges to be as open as possible with the communities with which the labs work. That’s a good start given the nature of the work done by the lab securing our nation’s nuclear arsenal.

Another good step Mason has been taking? He’s been traveling the state meeting with university and college presidents since he took over as director Nov. 1. The intent of those visits is to establish job training programs to help fill positions at the lab – everything from radiation techs to physicists, accountants to office managers.

LANL is to be commended for being committed to training state residents to fill as many positions as possible at the lab. Employing New Mexicans at all levels benefits New Mexico families and goes a long way in improving community relations.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.