Labor office stays open

William Thompson

The New Mexico Department of Labor’s Tucumcari office will remain open indefinitely, according to Carlos Castaneda, the labor department’s public information officer.

The local office at 421 W. Tucumcari Boulevard offers employment services to Quay County residents. It had previously been slated to close Dec. 31. Castaneda said there will be a change in office staff. “Through a partnership with the Workforce Investment Board, the labor department will be able to keep the Tucumcari office open,” said Castaneda. “A workforce investment representative from the ENMU community college system will be staffing the office full time. A New Mexico Department of Labor employee will be splitting time between the Tucumcari office and the Santa Rosa office.”

Castaneda could not say who that labor department employee will be. Currently, two department of labor employees staff the Tucumcari office. Many local job seekers have received employment help from Bill Griffin, the office’s employment representative supervisor.
“We don’t plan on terminating Bill Griffin,” said Castaneda. “He may be the person we ask to split time between Santa Rosa and Tucumcari.”

Griffin said he could not comment. He has been working at the Tucumcari office for more than five years.
Earlier this summer labor department officials said the Tucumcari office would be closing Dec. 31 due to budget constraints. When news of the planned closing reached County Commissioner Jeff Lewalling, he became active in getting city and county officials to write letters, make telephone calls and send e-mails to labor officials, state senators and the governor. “Good things happen when municipalities and county governments work together,” said Lewalling. “We called lots of people.”