• YouTube Twitter/XTwitter/X Instagram Facebook
  • Office Locations Contact Us
/ Categories: Department News

Workforce Solutions prepares to assist dislocated workers who qualify for assistance under the Energy Transition Act

On Thursday, March 30, 2023, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed into law House Bill 449, expanding the eligibility for funding to help displaced electricity facility workers. This bill, sponsored by Representatives Anthony Allison, Mark Duncan, T. Ryan Lane, and Rod Montoya will assist more than 350 identified displaced workers who were affected by the closure of the San Juan Generating Station and adjacent coal mine in San Juan County, New Mexico. The Department of Workforce Solutions (DWS) oversees the $12 million Displaced Worker Assistance Fund and will begin a plan to disburse funds to eligible workers this spring.

“We stand with the Governor, who strongly supports the workers who lost their jobs when the power plant and mine closed. Our department will be reaching out to eligible workers to connect them with the application for Displaced Worker Assistance Funds over the next two months,” said DWS Secretary Sarita Nair. “Our outreach started last year, and included individualized help with unemployment benefits, a bridge course at San Juan College, and local job fairs. By meeting with displaced workers one-on-one to get them signed up for the Fund, we will have another chance to connect the community with the wide range of services we offer for finding a new job or training for a new career. We are excited to leverage our federal workforce funding and programs to help the community recover from the loss of these jobs.”

“I was proud to be the primary sponsor of HB449,” said Representative Anthony Allison. “I am thrilled our displaced workers are finally getting the funds rightfully due them. I enjoyed working with Secretary Nair and others, on this initiative.”

The Energy Transition Act established the Displaced Worker Assistance Fund for New Mexico residents who were terminated from employment, or whose contracts were terminated, due to the abandonment of a New Mexico facility producing electricity that resulted in the displacement of at least 40 workers. During the 2023 legislative session, House Bill 449 expanded eligibility for the Fund by taking out the requirement that limited it to workers who had been laid off in the past year. The bill passed unanimously in both the House and the Senate.

The Energy Transition Act, passed in 2019, set a statewide renewable energy standard of 50 percent by 2030 for New Mexico investor-owned utilities and rural electric cooperatives, and a goal of 80 percent by 2040, in addition to setting zero-carbon resources standards for investor-owned utilities by 2045 and rural electric cooperatives by 2050. The Act created three funds to help communities after a power plant closes, one for displaced workers, one for economic development, and one for addressing issues in tribal communities. The closure of PNM San Juan Generating Station and Westmoreland San Juan Mine in Waterflow, New Mexico was the first closure covered by the Act.
Previous Article New Mexico's Unemployment Rate was 3.6% in February 2023
Next Article Unemployment Insurance Operations Center closed at noon on Friday for seasonal observance


  • Do you want to become an

    Applications Developer?

    Develop, create, and modify general computer applications software or specialized utility programs. Analyze user needs and develop software solutions. Design software or customize software for client use with the aim of optimizing operational efficiency.

  • Do you want to become a


    Assemble, install, alter, and repair pipelines or pipe systems that carry water, steam, air, or other liquids or gases. May install heating and cooling equipment and mechanical control systems.

  • Do you want to become an


    Raise, place, and unite iron or steel girders, columns, and other structural members to form completed structures or structural frameworks. May erect metal storage tanks and assemble prefabricated metal buildings.

  • Do you want to become an


    Perform preliminary work with the material and tools of the trade; residential and commercial rough wiring and finish work including the installation of various kinds of wires, cables, and conduits per the National Electrical Code; industrial lighting and service installation; motors controls and installation including emergency generators, relays, and timing devices.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Contact us and we'll do our best to answer your questions.