The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (NMDWS), whose mission is to Educate, Empower, Employ, is committed to being a leader in and a facilitator of a competitive workforce for the benefit of all New Mexico. The department’s goals are: to be a business-driven department, understanding the needs of employers with a focus on the employability of all New Mexicans; to be an integral part of all economic development and education initiatives; to be efficient and responsive to the diverse needs of New Mexico’s employers and workforce; and to be a “gateway” to employment.
NMDWS has statewide oversight of workforce development programs, for both youth and adults, funded by Wagner-Peyser, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, and the Veterans Act. NMDWS administers various federal programs including: Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA); Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC); and Rapid Response (RR). NMDWS also enforces minimum wage, payment of wages, and overtime labor laws under the New Mexico Minimum Wage Act in addition to enforcing the payment of scale wages to laborers and mechanics under the New Mexico Public Works Minimum Wage Act. The department accepts and investigates claims of discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, ancestry, sex, age, physical and mental handicap, serious medical condition, disability, spousal affiliation, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The department also produces labor market information by collecting, analyzing, reporting, and publishing information about economic conditions and trends such as the unemployment rate, job growth and wage levels. Information is also provided on the types of jobs and how they are changing, the available workers and their characteristics. Lastly, NMDWS administers the Unemployment Insurance (UI), the largest program in the department, which pays benefits to people who are out of work through no fault of their own and who meet certain qualifications. NMDWS processes claims for unemployment benefits, manages the UI Operations Center, and authorizes the weekly payment of benefits to claimants submitting their UI certifications.
In order to achieve these goals and serve all New Mexicans effectively, the department has various divisions and bureaus which enhance, support, and complement one another. Below, you will find information and descriptions of these divisions and bureaus.
The Administrative Services Division provides leadership, direction, and administrative services support to each agency program to achieve organizational goals and objectives. The division is made up of the General Services Bureau and the Financial Management Bureau.
The Economic Research & Analysis Bureau (ER&A) is the principal source of labor market information for the state. ER&A collects, analyzes, and disseminates this data in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Employment and Training Administration (ETA).
The Employment Services Division was created to build a strong partnership between business and the public workforce system. The Employment Services Division will use a combination of proven and innovative strategies to provide greater solutions, tools, and services to the business community of New Mexico. Working with Local Workforce Boards and their Business Service Units, the department helps disseminate agency policy and employee business-driven best practices. These activities include bi-annual workforce forms and a statewide conference. Additionally the division provides on-going technical assistance.
- Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) is federally funded and was created to assist workers who are dislocated due to foreign imports or the transfer of production to Mexico or Canada. The program offers retaining, and reimbursement for job search and relocation expenses. It also provides monetary benefits, referred to as TRA, for those who enroll in TAA approved training.
- Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) the Department of Workforce Solutions administers a Federal Tax Credit program that may earn businesses as much as $2,400 to $9,000 per qualified employee. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit provides federal tax credits to businesses who hire new employees from the nine population groups who are in need of funding and retaining employment. The nine population groups are: TANF recipient; Veterans receiving food stamps or discharge from the service; Ex-Felon, high risk youth living in designated area; workers referred by summer youth; 18-39 year old food stamps recipients; receiving supplemental social security income; and long term family assistant recipient.
- Rapid Response (RR) is early intervention service to assist both employers and employees affected by layoffs or plant closures. It provides access to user-friendly resources and information to help transition affected workers into re-employment. When a company has to lay off employees it is difficult for both the employer and the affected workers. The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions provides Rapid Response assistance statewide to help employees gain access to all Federal and State programs that have resources available to help them. In addition, the State working with Economic Development can in some cases help the company avert the layoff.
State Workforce Board - Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA)
The mission of the Labor Relations Division (LRD) is to administer, enforce, and execute state labor laws regulating hours of labor, employment of minors, public works Minimum Wage Act, and the Apprenticeship and Training Act. LRD enforces minimum wage, payment of wages, and overtime labor laws under the Minimum Wage Act. LRD also enforces the payment of scale wages to laborers and mechanics under the Public Works Minimum Wage Act. The division takes claims for unpaid wages from employees and ex-employees under both acts. The bureau also provides seminars and materials to employer and employee groups on the compliance requirements of the various state labor laws.
Human Rights Bureau
The Human Rights Bureau accepts and investigates claims of discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, ancestry, sex, age, physical and mental handicap, serious medical condition, disability, spousal affiliation, sexual orientation and gender identity. The Human Rights Bureau also offers free training and technical advice to employer and employee groups or any other interested groups about preventing discrimination in the workplace and the Human Rights Act.
The Division of Workforce Technology provides a full range of information technology services and support to the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions. Application support is provided to both Tax and Claims Unemployment Systems. Workforce Transition Services’ Virtual One-Stop System, Labor and Industrial systems and various other administrative support applications. Workforce Technology hosts a Data Center with mainframe and server hardware, a large network connecting state-wide DWS regional offices, data and network security, help desk, desktop support, and production services. Workforce Technology is an important component of the Department of Workforce Solutions in that we strive to implement technology which will deliver services to our citizens in a more efficient and timely manner and to extend our services so that every citizen in our State has easy and quick access to these services.