ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Kirtland Air Force base wants to look more like New Mexico.
Representatives say their workforce is not representative of the people in the state. It’s why they’re devoting more resources to boosting diversity on base.
Officials say they face a unique challenge at Kirtland. The Air Force operates on a federal recruitment system, which means there are a lot of strict qualifications that cannot be changed.
“Our local applicant pool has to compete with a national applicant pool,” said Special Assistant to the Commander on Diversity and Affirmative Employment Cindy Dominguez-Trujillo.
Dominguez-Trujillo works to increase diversity at Kirtland Air Force Base. She says it’s been an issue for years, but recent work with community leaders has led them to a plan. It’s main outreach — informing and exciting kids, teens and young adults about possible careers at Kirtland and educating them on what they’ll need to know to get a job there. The plan also includes working with small businesses and building partnerships.
Kirtland instituted the plan, not even a year ago, but it’s already been updated.
Dominguez-Trujillo says it was altered to take a more aggressive approach setting a five-year goal for diversity while maintaining Kirtland’s minority workforce. That’s all in the midst of budget constraints and a hiring freeze under President Trump.
“We’ve done all these activities or participated in many of these engagements in the past but we’ve now dedicated my position, for example, as well as many other resources on the installation, to be able to do further outreach to be able to reach our community,” explained Dominguez-Trujillo.
Dominguez-Trujillo says she likes to think of herself as a success story. She’s a New Mexico native who started as an intern with the Air Force. 30 years later, Dominguez-Trujillo still calls it home.
Kirtland reps say one wing, alone, did 47 engagements, last year, and reached 4,400 students. They say they hope to reach even more this year.