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Southwest Connection “The Workforce Experts Connecting

April-July 2010 Volume 1, Issue 2

Employers with Employees”

The Las Cruces Bulletin Owners of The Las Cruces Bulletin David and Jaki McCollum are helping to stimulate the local economy by hiring individuals from within the community. The Las Cruces Bulletin started with 5 associates in 2003 when the McCollum purchased the newspaper. Now they have 23 associates with over half of being hired out of Dona Ana Community College or New Mexico State University. You may ask how is this growth possible in such hard times? The Bulletin gives some of the credit to the New Mexico Workforce Connection in Las Cruces, NM. With the proactive attitude of the Workforce Connection Center towards helping the Bulletin, growth was easily attainable. “My first experience with the Las Cruces Workforce was great; they explained the On the Job Training process and helped with the paperwork.” Mr. McCollum stated. On the Job Training (OJT) helped the Bulletin bring in new full time associates without the financial risk. Employers participating in On the Job Training program may be reimbursed up to 50% of the new associate’s wages to offset the extraordinary cost of training workers. OJT will help workers become proficient in needed skills more quickly, which will serve to encourage employers to hire workers sooner than perhaps initially planned, facilitating the private sector hiring of well-qualified individuals to contribute to their bottom line and spur economic recovery. The screening and interview process from the Workforce Connection Center helps in finding candidates that take pride and ownership in their positions with the Bulletin. The Bulletin has found that the associates that have gone through On the Job Training are stronger, harder workers. “The associates that take the time to go through the OJT process are worth hiring because if they can handle the process they will have no problem handling the daily deadlines of the newspaper.” Mr. McCollum explained. The Bulletin has 12 associates currently that have been trough the OJT program, including 6 graphic designers. “Service is always great no matter who you talk to at the Las Cruces Workforce Center” Mr. McCollum expressed. If you’re interested in the OJT program please contact your local New Mexico Workforce Connection Center by visiting

David and Jaki McCollum, Owners of The Las Cruces Bulletin

Rachel Tais, Supervisor Silver City Workforce Connection

Inside this issue NMDVR...............................2 Deming Workforce Center .3 Prove It...............................3 Employment Expo ..............4 WIA Success Stories............4 Deming Job Fair..................5 Chair Report .......................6

Special points of interest

25 Years of Service Ms. Rachel Tais started working for New Mexico Workforce Connection on July 29, 1985 in Silver City, NM. Ms. Tais is the Floor Supervisor and handles the Trade Adjustment Act (TAA) program. The TAA program helps workers who have lost their job because it has been outsourced to another country. Continued on page 2.

25 Years of Service

DACC Awards

Dates to Remember

Employment Summary

NMDVR New Office The New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (NMDVR) in Las Cruces, NM has a new location at 3381 Del Rey. The previous location for the last 10 years has been located at 201 Nevarez St. NMDVR had an Open House at its new location on Wednesday July 28th from 13 pm. The Open House had a ribbon cutting ceremony sponsored by the Chamber of Las Cruces and the Hispano Chamber of Commerce de Las Cruces and honored the two dec-

ades of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Ms. Shirley Gonzales the DVR program manager stated “The move has been a lot of work, but it’s worth it.” The purpose of the New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (NMDVR) is to help people with disabilities to find and retain work. To find out more about NMDVR please visit

“Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow” Ronald E. Osborn 25 Years of Service continued from page 1. Ms. Tais is helping 283 people from the Silver City area with the TAA program. Her first job was handling the Job Training Partnership Act program, followed by Wagner Peyser intake, Unemployment Insurance, Trade Adjustment Act program, to the current position of Floor Supervisor. “I love my job and I love helping people” stated Ms. Tais. From all of us at the Southwestern Area Workforce Development Board Thank You, Ms. Tais for all of your hard work and dedication to the Silver City Workforce Connection.


DACC Adult Education Division Awards earned this Fiscal Year by DACC Adult Education Division 

Awarded to Sylvia Duran Nickerson, DACC-Adult Education Division Dean, by the New Mexico Adult Education Association- Oct. 2009 Adult Basic Education Director of the Year

Awarded to Lora Ross (DACC/ABE) by the New Mexico Adult Education Association- Oct. 2009 Employee of the Year

Awarded to Vaughn Patterson (DACC/Adult Education Student) by the New Mexico Adult Education Association Oct 2009- GED Student of the Year (now enrolled as a college student)

Awarded to Yanette Jimenez of DACC/Adult Education Division) by the New Mexico Adult Education Association Oct. 2009- ESL Instructor of the Year

Awarded to Sylvia Duran Nickerson, DACC-Adult Education Division Dean, by NMSU- 2009 Millionaire Research Achievement Award

Exemplary Initiative Award for Student Transition and Transfer Effectiveness to DACC Adult Education Division by the National Council of Instructional Administrators at the International Conference on College Teaching and Learning, April 2010

Prove It Submitted by Millie Bessey Silver City Workforce Center

We recently started using the Prove It assessment system for one of our employers who had difficulty judging a candidate’s ability to distinguish between several factors when filing complex documents.

Ms. Nickolasa Casillas, Deming Workforce Center Business Service Consultant

Deming Workforce Center During these hard economic times you would expect to see high Unemployment Rates in your local area, but Deming, NM in Luna County takes the cake with an Unemployment Rate of 21% in May 2010. Luna County Unemployment Rate is ranked first in the State of New Mexico. Why is Luna County Unemployment Rate so much higher than the State Unemployment Rate of 8.4 in May 2010? The Luna County area depends on Production and Agricultural jobs, which most of the time these jobs are seasonal. So during this time of year most of your Agricultural workers are unemployed until harvest starts. The Deming Workforce Center is doing their part in trying to help the areas unemployed with reemployment. Nickolasa Casillas a Business Services Consultant at the Deming Workforce Center works every day with Businesses and Job Seekers to help lower the unemployment rate in this area. Ms. Casillas has worked with On the Job Training (OJT) with Local businesses like Baca’s Funeral Chapels, Lester’s Pluming, and Compass Components to help place locals in the community in new exciting careers. “We work with local Businesses to help screen the applicants, so we can be confident that we send them the best applicants for the job” stated Ms. Casillas. The Deming Workforce Center also loans out its conference room to regional employers who have no office in the area for interviewing and screening. Ms. Casillas feels that this area needs a Manufacturing Company that has employment all year long, from low to high skilled jobs to help supplement the Production and Agricultural jobs, will in turn help lower the Unemployment Rate. Whether you’re a Business or Job Seeker looking to the future make sure to visit the Deming Workforce Center on 322 E. Oak Street and ask for Ms. Nickolasa Casillas, she will help you with all your employment needs.

When this particular business initially called to place the job order with us, it was mentioned that we could tailor a testing component that would be a requirement for referral and subsequent application with their place of business. In essence, we would be assessing a candidate’s ability prior to going through the interview process. The client was so happy with our service that they posted another position with us and additionally utilized one of our other offices to conduct the same series of tests for a similar position in that community as well. They commented that our service saved them an immeasurable amount of time and money as they knew that every candidate that we recommended met at least the minimum standards for the job and left them with just the task of “finding the perfect fit” for their staff.


Dates to Remember Visit for the up to date calendar. August 5th Regular Chief Elected Officials Meeting August 10th Provider Training in Las Cruces September 6th Labor Day September 7th MVEDA Luncheon September 9th Governor Richardson’s Southern NM Job Expo September 16th SAWDB Meeting

Spring Employment Expo 2010 The 2010 New Mexico Workforce Connection and Bravo Mic Communications Spring Employment Expo was the premiere staffing and recruiting event. The Employment Expo was held on Tuesday, May 11th from 10:00 am till 6:00 pm at the Days Inn and Suites in Las Cruces, NM. The event had over 20 local and regional businesses. Some of the businesses present included Whit Sands Federal Credit Union, Bravo Chevrolet, Advanced Care Hospital of Southern New Mexico, Aflac, and Dona Ana Community College. “The turnout has been great at the Expo, and I already have 20 applicants for the Sales Account Executive position” Ms. Patricia Martinez, Comcast Human Resources stated.

September 21st-22nd

All businesses had immediate openings they were looking to fill. White Sands Federal Credit Union was looking to fill an Assistant Branch Manager position, Convergys had open positions in Customer Service, and Days Inn and Suites was looking to fill Management and Sales positions. Over 150 job seekers visited the Las Cruces New Mexico Workforce Connection exhibit to receive help on resumes and job searches.

Las Cruces New Mexico Workforce Connection Exhibit

NMSU 26th Career Expo September 28th-30th OneStop Silver City 100% Monitoring

WIA Success Stories-Silver City, NM Submitted by Linda Griggs Mr. Polanco was unemployed and receiving unemployment insurance benefits, which was his main source of income. The only other source of income that he earned was from odd jobs. He had not been steadily employed since 2007 when he had quit his job. The place of business shut down shortly after he left. He attended and completed CDL training in 2009 receiving his commercial drivers license. After he completed training he obtained employment with a local company as a driver. In the past year and a half that he has been employed he has been given two pay raises and has recently been promoted from a driver to a supervisor.


Ms. Oakes was attending WNMU full-time majoring in Nursing. She was working PRN and her husband worked for the local mine. They had four children in the home. Shortly after starting her last year of her education her husband was laid off from his job. She continued to work PRN and go to school full time. They were barely making ends meet. She successfully completed training on May 14, 2010. She received the Spirit of Nursing award during the Nurse Pinning Ceremony. At her job she was upgraded from PRN to a fulltime graduate nurse receiving a pay-raise nearly double what her previous salary was. She will be taking her licensure exam this summer and upon passing, she will be a Registered Nurse.

Deming Job Fair The Workforce Connection Center held a Job Fair in Deming, NM at the Mimbres Valley Learning Center on Wednesday, July 14. Local and regional employers were on hand for the Job Fair. The Job Fair included private and public employers from a variety of industries including law enforcement, manufacturing, construction, and health care. Some of the employers present include the following: Deming Police Department; Compass Manufacturing; James Hamilton Construction; Southwest Wines; and U.S. Security Associates. Job seekers were able to meet with perspective employers who had immediate job openings to fill. Cindy Capanna, Human Resources Director for Southwest Wines “The Job Fair has had an excellent turnout”. Southwest Wines has job openings in Safety Administrator, Receptionist, and Truck Drivers. Over 100 Job Seekers attended the Job Fair.

“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. “ Winston Churchill

Employment Summary Released July 22, 2010 

New Mexico’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 8.2 percent in June 2010, down from 8.4 percent in May but up 7.1 percent a year ago. The national unemployment rate dropped to 9.5 percent.

The rate of the over-the-year job growth, comparing June 2010 with June 2009, was negative 1.8 percent, representing a loss of 14,200 jobs.

Two of the State’s 13 industries posted year-over-year job growth, while 11 others reported employment declines.

The educational & health services industry added the most jobs, up 3,500 since this time last year. The leisure & hospitality industry also added a large number of jobs, up 3,200 over the year.

Government employment is starting to look a little less secure these days, reporting overall losses of 1,000 jobs.

The following industries expanded employment since last June: - Educational & Health Services - Leisure & Hospitality


Southwestern Area Workforce Development Board The Southwestern Area Workforce Development Board’s mission is to empower individuals in the region by providing them with the tools and training they need to acquire higher paying jobs based on the needs of local businesses. With an emphasis on economic and employer-driven goals, SAWDB’s cooperative programs will cater to the region’s unique employment needs, allowing for more effective distribution of federal funds and serving local employers by cultivating a highly skilled workforce.

Southwestern Area Workforce Development Board c/o Jessica Johnson Public Information Officer P.O. Box 1072 Elephante Butte, NM 87935 Phone: 575-744-4857 Fax: 575-744-5021

Chair Report I would Like to welcome all of the new members and all the returning “experienced members” which were recently appointed to the Southwestern Area Workforce Development Board. Although this year has begun with some difficulties I am confident that we are now on track to again providing great WIA services to our communities. This is due to the fact that all newly appointed board members have devoted a considerable amount of time and effort in the last few weeks. Thank you to all the Southwestern Area Workforce Development Board, Mr. Roque Garcia, SAWDB Chair




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