Los Alamos High School Trades Fair A Success

Daniel Trujillo of Southwestern Line Constructors talks with students about career opportunities as a journeyman lineman. LAPS Courtesy photo


Students at Los Alamos High School gained firsthand information about job opportunities in traditional trades during a Trades Fair held last week in the Topper Auto Shop. Local professionals, branches of the military, regional colleges and one apprenticeship program came to LAHS to present to interested students about various trade careers.   

Students were able to visit candidly with the professionals onsite about all things they have expertise in, from the training and pay to the details of what a typical workday looks like. Representatives from UNM-Los Alamos, Northern New Mexico College (Espanola), Central New Mexico Community College (Albuquerque) and Luna Community College (Las Vegas, NM) shared information about their certificate and Associate degrees in the trades. 

“I thought it was pretty cool,” said Junior Sam Katko. “I talked with everyone at the tables that looked interesting to me.” 

“I was unable to go to every presentation and every table,” noted Jonathan Kieltyka, also a LAHS junior. “However, I enjoyed the fact that they were showcasing programs other than four-year colleges. The linemen presentation was particularly interesting to me. They provided us with examples of their safety equipment and even allowed us to try them on.” 

“I also spent time talking with the military representatives that came to the event,” he added. 

“The hope is that this event gave students an opportunity to learn what the different trades do and what they offer their workers,” said Ronda Trujillo, the College and Career Resource Center specialist at LAHS. “Trade schools, Apprenticeships and Certificate programs from accredited institutions are not only viable options for young people considering careers that don’t require a traditional 4-year (or more) type of post-high school education, but they are really great options and have opportunities locally.” 

For instance, Daniel Trujillo with Southwestern Line Constructors, shared that linemen apprentices start at $24.04/hour and, once reaching the Journeyman Lineman status, their rate of pay (if qualified today) is $40.07/hour. 

The inaugural event drew a large number of students, teachers, administrators and counselors. The LAPS Foundation was also a part of the event, extending their hospitality with refreshments for each presenter.  Special thanks goes out to Scott Pomeroy, Technical Education teacher at LAHS, for the use of his auto shop and parking area to host the event.  

“We are planning to hold additional events similar to this in the future,” said Mrs. Trujillo, and added that the school will be reaching out to more local professionals and organizations once they pin down the date and format for future events. An event in March 2022 is the goal; at that time the hope is to include both traditional and non-traditional trades, as well as careers that are obtainable via those certificate programs, on-the-job training and Associates degrees. “We would like to also include career fields such as heath/medical, hospitality, IT, professional/office and personal services.” 

If you are interested in sharing your expertise at such an event, please reach out to Ronda Trujillo at (505) 663-2595.