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Tech Sponsoring Mining Job Fair For Military Veterans

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. July 16, 2012 — New Mexico Tech and the Bureau of Mine Safety are among the lead sponsors of a new job fair for military veterans.

Mining for Veterans” is a free job fair in Albuquerque on July 20 that features mining industry companies looking to hire military veterans. Other sponsors are the New Mexico Department of Veterans’ Services, the New Mexico Workforce Connection and the New Mexico mining industry.

The job fair is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 1901 Menaul Blvd. NE (the corner of Menaul and University).

Mining for Veterans” is the first job fair in the state to cater to military veterans for mining industry jobs. According to State Mine Inspector Terence Foreback, the industry employs about 6,000 people throughout the state. But he said right now there is a desperate need to fill at least 500 jobs — including many “surface-mining” positions in the Albuquerque metro area – and that many companies want to hire military veterans.

“It’s the patriotic thing to do because our veterans have served and protected our country, and need jobs when they come back from Iraq and Afghanistan,” Foreback said. “More importantly, the industry loves the fact that today’s veterans are educated, well-trained, and very safety-oriented. They know how to take care of each other — which is very important in our line of work.”

Foreback said the industry typically generates about $1.7 billion worth of raw materials annually, ranking New Mexico among the top mining states in the nation.

He said the mining industry has a $270 million payroll statewide, and that there are lots of high-paying job openings right now.

“There is everything from entry-level to supervisor and management jobs vacancies,” Foreback said. “And there’s a real need for mechanics, electricians, and heavy-equipment operators. These three are the hardest for us to fill.”

There is no charge for employers who want to be a part of the Mining For Veterans Job Fair. Booth set-up is at 9 a.m. There’s also no charge for job-seeking military veterans, military retirees, and members of the National Guard or Reserve. Representatives from the N.M. Department of Workforce Connection will be on site to meet with job-seekers to offer additional job-seeking process assistance.

For more information, please call NM State Mine Inspector Terrence Foreback at (575) 835-5460.

In order to further assist veterans, the Bureau of Mine Safety will offer a 24-hour New Miner Training Class on August 6, 7, and 8 in Grants.

“This is required training by the Mine Safety and Health Administration before a miner can start working at a surface mine” Foreback said. “By receiving this free training, veterans will have a step up on others applying for surface mine jobs.”

Foreback said the training class is hosted by the Bureau of Mine Safety, in partnership with Peabody Energy and the NMSU Small Business Development Center in Grants.

– NMT –