Career center unites programs

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Reporter

Individuals can receive a variety of services to better their future at the New Mexico Workforce Connection/Roosevelt County One-Stop Career Center.

The two programs available to assist area residents are the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program and the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) program. Clients for the TANF program are referred to the center from the Income Support Division, which is part of the New Mexico Department of Human Services.

The center is located at 205 W. First Street.

Anyone can enter the WIA program, said Walt Olmsted, site coordinator for the center.

“It’s a direct feed rather than having a referral from another office in town,” Olmsted said.

The TANF program offers clients financial assistance, based on needs, for a five-year period. Clients have to meet workforce requirements. In the WIA program clients receive help in securing a job that will allow for on-the-job training, Olmsted said.

“This is done with the various employees we have in town,” Olmsted said.

Through the center, individuals receive training and job opportunities to become more independent and provide a stable future, Olmsted said.

According to Vickie Barnard of the Workforce Connection/Solutions office, clients eligible to work the required 20 hours for the TANF program are assessed and referred to her office for job searches.

“We work hand-in-hand to place the individual in a job setting that will not set them up for failure,” Barnard said of the programs.

A resource room is available to help individuals prepare resumes and conduct job searches for both the local area and across the country, Barnard said.

“We’re working towards their success with that teaming. We want them to be successful, that’s our goal,” Olmsted said of the center.

During the month of July, 329 people visited the center. This is a fairly typical monthly number for the center, Olmsted said.

“One-Stop Career Center’s purpose is to bring all of those things together,” Olmsted said.

The center works with several local businesses to place clients in the best possible situation.

“There’s some good programs. It’s just getting the individual to come in to utilize the program,” Olmsted said.

For information, visit or call the center at 356-4720.