July 15, 2016
By Argen Duncan
Kirtland Air Force Base officials are working with local leaders to educate people about employment and contracting opportunities with a focus on making sure Hispanics have opportunities.
Since the 1980s, Hispanic advocacy groups have expressed concerns about the percentage of Hispanic workers on base being lower than the percentage of local Hispanic residents. While base leaders have taken various steps to address the issue during the past 30 years, numbers have only slightly increased, said Cindy Dominguez-Trujillo, 377th Air Base Wing special assistant for diversity and affirmative employment.
About 22 percent of wing civilian personnel are Hispanic. Albuquerque has a 47.3 percent Hispanic population, while the U.S. population as a whole is 19 percent Hispanic, according to air base wing numbers.
Dominguez-Trujillo has established a diversity action plan and quarterly community meetings and has created a Kirtland Hispanic Community and Leaders Advisory Board.
She said base personnel need to spend more time educating the community and students about what’s needed to get civilian employment and win small-business contracts.
“They just don’t know what all goes on behind the fence,” she said.
Dominguez-Trujillo also wants to introduce students to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.
“We want our New Mexico students to find these opportunities,” she said.
Source: Albuquerque Journal