My View: Local innovation — powered by tech

June 2, 2018

AmeriCorps VISTA Ellie Hoffman talking to high school students in the Tech Corridor at the 2018 business Expo & Job Fair

Source: Santa Fe New Mexican

By: Molly Timmins and Jennifer Nevarez

June 2, 2018

Tech is one of the fastest growing industries in the country. In Santa Fe, 231 IT jobs are waiting to be filled, according to research by Burning Glass Technologies. Moreover, reports the average salary for a computing occupation in New Mexico is $77,287 (significantly higher than the average annual salary of $43,170).

To spread awareness of Santa Fe’s growing tech industry, TechHire Santa Fe, a collaborative working group supported by Opportunity Santa Fe and lead by New Mexico TechWorks, spearheaded the addition of a Tech Corridor to the recent 2018 Business Expo and Job Fair at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center hosted by the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce on April 5.

The Tech Corridor gave our local tech companies and internationally acclaimed Santa Fe-based innovators, like Flow Science, Open Eye Scientific, Descartes Labs and Meow Wolf, an opportunity to connect with our community and educate the public while sharing information on products and services, as well as employment and internship possibilities. Stagecoach Foundation, the local nonprofit founded by George R.R. Martin to support tech and film education for area youth, offered free headshot photography for attendees eager for a professional, high-quality photo for their LinkedIn profile. Jennifer Nevarez, director of New Mexico TechWorks, facilitated two lively afternoon discussion panels with local professionals from both the tech and film industries.

Opportunity Santa Fe’s AmeriCorps VISTA Louise Majorey was inspired to have youth participate and worked with Nevarez and teachers at Capital and Santa Fe high schools to organize field trips to the Business Expo and Job Fair. Many students who attended were in computer science classes and interested in entering the tech industry. Students met local tech professionals and learned about local tech companies that they could work with someday.

Meanwhile at the Santa Fe Community Foundation table (an expo corporate sponsor), AmeriCorps VISTA leader Molly Timmins recruited graduating teens for an exciting summer opportunity to work with TechHire Santa Fe through partnership with Opportunity Santa Fe, hiring three AmeriCorps VISTA summer associates for 10 weeks this summer to assist with tech summer programs, workshops and other tech education initiatives. (For information on applying to these and other summer associate positions, visit

TechHire Santa Fe and Opportunity Santa Fe are grateful for their partnership with the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce and for the opportunity to launch the Tech Corridor at the 2018 Business Expo and Job Fair….

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Molly Timmins is the AmeriCorps VISTA leader with Opportunity Santa Fe, and Jennifer Nevarez is the director and lead educator at New Mexico TechWorks and leads the TechHire collaborative working group.