LANL continues its tradition of community support - Albuquerque Journal

LANL continues its tradition of community support

Especially during the season of giving, New Mexicans count their blessings, and find ways to help their friends and neighbors in need. Employees of Los Alamos National Laboratory are no different.

Los Alamos employees are integral to the communities of northern New Mexico. Not only do they live in the cities, villages and pueblos from Albuquerque to the northern New Mexico border, but also they are active participants in those communities, providing support for nutritional, educational and economic development, and, in doing so, serving as a guidepost for the laboratory’s tailored approach to our community engagement efforts. In short, our goal is to understand each community’s needs and flow our resources to those challenges in order to make the greatest impact.

To accomplish this, the laboratory partners with a robust group of local nonprofits that have significant experience and expertise in their fields. We have multiple partnerships to help tackle the region’s biggest challenges, among them the Food Depot, the Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation, the Regional Development Corp. and the United Way of Northern New Mexico.

The laboratory’s Community Partnerships Office works full time to foster nonprofit giving, economic development and education in the seven-county area surrounding the laboratory: Los Alamos, Mora, Rio Arriba, Sandoval, San Miguel, Santa Fe and Taos. Not surprisingly, these counties are also home to nearly 98% of our employees.

As part of its annual Community Commitment Plan, laboratory operator Triad National Security, LLC, this year invested $2.5 million to fund education, economic development and nonprofits in these counties. Additionally, laboratory employees gave part of their own salaries in the laboratory’s annual Giving Campaign to donate $2.3 million to local area nonprofits. In addition, our employees responded to the unprecedented need, driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, and rose again to donate more than $137,000, or 548,000 meals, to New Mexicans experiencing food insecurity, making the laboratory the largest corporate donor to The Food Depot.

Laboratory employees not only support their neighbors by way of monetary donations, but also by donating their time. In fiscal year 2020, laboratory employees rolled up their sleeves and provided more than 3,000 hours of hands-on community service to public schools and educational nonprofits, helping an estimated 6,420 students, teachers and community members.

Through our new Community Technical Assistance grants, employees also lend their expertise and lab technologies to help nonprofits solve problems important to our communities. Los Alamos soil sensors are monitoring the health of regional rangeland, and ground-penetrating radar pinpointed a new water source for an ancient acequia. Recently, area community colleges have used laboratory data analysis to analyze retention rates.

The uniqueness and beauty of northern New Mexico are unparalleled – and, so too, are the warmth and generosity of the people who live here. Los Alamos National Laboratory is fortunate to count them among our workforce. As the laboratory continues to expand, we are committed to continuing to support the communities we all know, love and call home.

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