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LANS to fund $2.5 million in community projects

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By The Staff

Los Alamos National Security, LLC reaffirmed its investment in the community Wednesday, announcing that its board of directors approved $2.5 million to fund community support projects.

The investment will go to support education, economic development and charitable giving in the northern New Mexico region.

LANS is the management and operations contractor for the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

“The board’s decision to invest in our communities and their priorities reaffirms their continuing commitment to northern New Mexico,” the director of LANL’s Community Partnership Office, Kathy Keith said. “In this coming year, we will strengthen partnerships with community organizations in order to have maximum impact for the Lab and northern New Mexico.”

The $2.5 million is part of the LANS’ Community Commitment Plan, which has provided $32.5 million to New Mexico since 2007. The plan is managed by the LANL Community Partnerships Office. One of the main goals of the plan is to provide career paths and opportunities that lead to STEM (Science, technology, engineering and math) to area students.

“With our continuing investments, an area we look to help spark and nurture an interest in is science, technology, engineering and math among students in the region.” Keith said.

One of the organizations that benefits from the community-giving part of the plan is the United Way of Northern New Mexico. The organization gets about $300,000 from the plan, and it’s used for UWNNM’s competitive grant program. The program is open to non-profits located in or serving Los Alamos and Rio Arriba Counties.

United Way of Northern New Mexico and LANS have started a new partnership this year, where LANS is now a “cornerstone” partner with UWNNM. Being a cornerstone partner means the lab helps with more than money.

LANL and UWNNM support each other's efforts through educational seminars, events and strengthening communication between LANL and the non-profit community.

“We work with LANL to establish connections within the laboratory to local non-profits,” UWNNM Director Kristy Ortega said. “We assist them by bringing in information about non profits that the funding that we provide and is provided by their employees is helping. They want to serve the northern New Mexico community and we are very lucky to be a partner with them,” Ortega said.