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State aims to tackle tourism workforce shortage with training reimbursement funding for new and promoted employees

For Immediate Release
December 6, 2021



State aims to tackle tourism workforce shortage with training reimbursement funding for new and promoted employees


(Albuquerque, NM) – Today, the New Mexico Departments of Workforce Solutions and Tourism announce the launch of a 16-week training reimbursement program for the hospitality industry to assist them with training costs and increase their workforce to pre-pandemic levels.  

"This project stems from our collaboration and conversations with employers across the hospitality industry," said Ricky Serna, acting Secretary for Department of Workforce Solutions. "In addition to financial support for employee training, we're working in partnership with other agencies to help New Mexicans overcome barriers that make it difficult for them to return to work." 

“While we have many reasons to be optimistic about the return of visitation to the state, New Mexico cannot realize complete economic recovery without building back capacity within the tourism workforce,” Tourism Secretary Jen Paul Schroer said. “This partnership with the Department of Workforce Solutions will provide tourism-related employers with much-needed resources to fill priority positions and create career opportunities for staff members.”

Funding is available to assist tourism-related businesses with their new hires or promotions of staff who need training to be successful in their career path. Businesses must meet certain requirements to be eligible for funding, and positions must meet specific criteria to qualify. The program will cover up to 16 weeks with a range of total reimbursement per employee from $816-$4,480.

There are several requirements a business must meet to be eligible for the program including:

  • The business must be in the hospitality industry.
  • The business must be located and have operations in the state of New Mexico.
  • The business cannot request funding for more than 10 workers per business location.
  • Application must be submitted by the business within 30 days of a new hire or promotion of at least one full-time or part-time employee.
  • The business must be current on Unemployment Insurance taxes, penalties, and/or interest or related payment plan.
  • Position(s) cannot already be subsidized by other state or federal funds.
  • The business must certify they are providing the trainee’s worker’s compensation and general liability coverage.
  • The business must allow auditing of I-9 documentation for employee eligibility purposes for a minimum of three years unless records are audited, then records will be maintained for five years.
  • The business must provide a complete list of those individuals hired or promoted, their social security number, occupation, start date, rate of pay, hours per week, and pay of increase after the training if applicable.
  • The business will submit monthly training reimbursement certifications with required documentation as specified in signed application (e-signature).

Hospitality industry employers may apply for this program by contacting a Ready NM Employer Representative at 1-800-303-3599, Monday-Friday, 8am-4pm.

Qualifying position(s) for the training reimbursement program include:

  • Positions must pay at least $12.50/hr
  • They can be full-time or part-time, tipped or non-tipped
  • New employees must be hired or promoted within 30 days of completing the Hospitality Training Reimbursement Program application.
  • Promotional employees must receive a pay increase
  • For food services businesses, 25% of the new hires must be tipped FT server staff

Reimbursement rates are per eligible position for a 16-week period. Payments will be prorated if the employee does not stay the full 16 weeks.

Position Type

Total Reimbursement Amount

Length of Time


Full-time (non-tipped) eligible employee


16 Weeks

32-40 hours/week

Part-time (non-tipped) eligible employee


16 Weeks

20-31 hours/week

Full-time (tipped) eligible employee


16 Weeks

32-40 hours/week

Part-time (tipped) eligible position


16 Weeks

20-31 hours/week

More information on the Hospitality Training Reimbursement Program as well as information on how to apply is available at https://ready.nm.gov/businesses/hospitality-training-reimbursement-program.








Media Inquiries
Workforce Solutions Department
Stacy Johnston, 505-250-3926


Tourism Department
Cody Johnson, 505-470-0060

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