New Space Nexus is working to ensure that New Mexico is the place for space. “Our vision is to grow the space industry from New Mexico for the nation; we are here to be the advocate for the space industry,” says Casey DeRaad, the CEO of New Space Nexus.
New Space Nexus is a non-profit organization that was created to foster alliances and connections between space companies and organizations across the state. One way they do this is through their Launchpad, a collaborative space where some of the top space companies gather to work on new technologies and address current problems the space industry faces in our state. One of those problems they have been noticing is a gap in the workforce.
“The gap, I think that there hasn’t been the focus for years on it the way that it needs to be, like on STEM and to get our students back to doing STEM and just really being inspired by STEM, I think that is what allowed the gap to happen,” says Rani Bush, the Business Operations Manager at Spaceport America, “but now focusing back to getting people into the pipeline and I think that’s one of the more important things is as soon as possible, open these students up, these young people’s imaginations.”
DeRaad and her team are committed to helping close that gap. So, they hosted an Intern Day at their Launchpad. It was an afternoon filled with some of the brightest young minds and top New Mexico space companies coming together to interact, network and learn.
“Well there are a lot of space companies that have interns that come for the summer, some are New Mexico students, some come from elsewhere and what this does, to bring them all together, they get to see more that’s going on, they get excited to see the resources we have here like our launch pad, and they get to meet other interns doing to same thing. And what I like about these intern events, especially for the younger interns, they really get a vision for their life, they go back to their schools, and they want to come back to this because it’s good,” DeRaad says.
More than 50 interns showed up to the Intern Day. Gaige Million is currently an intern at Spaceport America interning in business development and he said intern day was the right opportunity for him to learn more about New Mexico’s role in the space industry.
“I am currently interning at Spaceport America in business development, so it seemed like a great opportunity to network with other companies, other interns, and just see what was going on in New Mexico as far as the space industry,” Million says.
For Blue Halo intern, Derek Plummer, he said meeting other interns doing what he’s doing on a daily basis was a cool thing to experience.
“I’m here because I was really excited to see the companies that were here, Virgin Galactic, massive names, Spaceport America cool things like that. But since being here really just meeting different interns, people my age, seeing the different faces that are doing the same things as me,” says Plummer.
As valuable as the experience this day was for the interns, companies looking to hire said it’s equally as beneficial for them.
“When you hire interns, you invest in the intern. You give them the knowledge, skills and abilities to be successful, if not with your company, with other companies and it helps keep that talent here in New Mexico,” said Marissa Bowman the Production Program Manager for Directed Energy for Blue Halo.
Srikanth Kodeboynia is the founder and CEO of Blue Space, and his company is looking to hire for long-term employment, making an intern day a good place to find bright young minds looking for their start in the industry.
“It’s always good to start as an intern, so that brings a lot of loyalty to the company,” Kodeboynia says.
This was New Space Nexus’ second intern day and it’s something the organization hopes to continue for years to come.
To get involved in the work that New Space Nexus is doing here in New Mexico you can find them at 2420 Alamo Ave. SE Suite 104, Albuquerque, NM 87109.
Their phone number is (505) 677-5925 and their website is www.newspacenm.org