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County hires broadband project manager

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Two-year serach leads to California man with both private sector and government experience

By Kirsten Laskey

John Jones and his family wanted to alter their hectic California lifestyle when he came upon the vacancy for an information technology project manager for Los Alamos County’s broadband project.

Not only did the position offer a chance to transition from a fast-paced city to a calmer small town, but it was an opportunity for Jones to work on something out of the ordinary.

“It’s kind of unique in that there aren’t many locations that can consider this type of project,” Jones said. “We decided it would be a great change for us … a good opportunity.”

The county had been trying to fill the position for a little more than two years, IT Manager Laura Gonzales said.

“We were very excited to get John because he is coming to us with a wealth of experience in both local government and in the private sector and he has his project manager profession credentials,” Gonzales said. “He adds a lot of vibrancy to our staff and has a great external perspective.”

Jones, 46, worked for San Mateo County in California for 13 years and also spent time in private industry before moving to Los Alamos. . He earned a bachelor’s degree in electronic arts and digital graphics from California State University in East Bay. Before moving, Jones said he had started to pursue a masters in public administration but is now considering working toward a master’s in business administration.

 

In his new role, Jones will be in charge of working to bring broadband access to residences and businesses, a project branching off from the Regional Economic Development Initiative (REDI).Jones will earn a $93,000  annual salary.

REDI was awarded a $10.6 million grant to supply high-speed bandwidth to community anchor institutions and last-mile providers. Jones’ project will build off that infrastructure.

Gonzales said she hopes construction will begin on the REDI project in April or May. The design for the project is nearly complete, Gonzales said.

The project provides a great opportunity for businesses and technology to enhance Los Alamos as a business center and to attract people to visit or move here, Jones said.

Jones said looks forward to spending quality time with his family including wife, Blanca, and son, Quinton, 12. Blanca is a stay-at-home mother and Quinton is attending Chamisa Elementary School in White Rock, he said.

Besides having his two-hour work commute reduced to 20 minutes, Jones said he and his family are enjoying life in Los Alamos. 

“The people are extremely friendly and helpful in every aspect,” he said.