New Mexico Workforce Connection Southwestern Area covers seven counties: Catron, Doña Ana, Grant, Luna, Hidalgo, Sierra, and Socorro. In Socorro County, west of the City of Socorro and north of the Village of Magdalena is the Alamo Navajo Reservation. The Alamo Navajo School Board, Inc. provides WIOA Youth Services to eligible youth at the Alamo Division of Community Services center on the Alamo Navajo Reservation.
Ms. Sanchez joined the WIOA Youth Services program at the Division of Community Service in Alamo, NM when she was in high school. During most of her senior year, she was only able to attend school virtually. Despite the challenges of virtual classes, Ms. Sanchez graduated high school and now attends post-secondary classes at Navajo Technical University (NTU) located in Crown Point, NM.
The Alamo community is growing and one of the main goals of the Alamo Navajo Division of Community Services is to see more employees of the Alamo Navajo School Board and members of the Alamo community attend post-secondary education. There is a need to fill positions within the Alamo Navajo School Board with skilled and educated Alamo Community members.
WIOA Youth Services program staff at the Alamo Navajo Division of Community Service have been able to operate the program during this pandemic. As of February 2021, the program had more than a dozen active participants enrolled.
All out-of-school participants are enrolled in the essential education online programs to improve their education levels. In-school participants are completing their high school work online. Due to the pandemic, the staff has been unable to place participants in work experience opportunities. With this, the staff has increased online activities to include teaching participants how to use online communication through email, text messages, and phone calls. Participants are also learning important life skills such as the importance of being responsible, being on time, turning in educational work on time, how to complete their timesheets, learning how to use Zoom for meetings, and leanring communication skills. The communication between participants and staff members has been very successful.