WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) will travel to Rio Arriba and Colfax Counties for an economy and jobs tour this week. The tour will focus on a range of issues focused on growing New Mexico's economy and strengthening the middle class, including workforce development, job training, making college affordable, fire recovery and water supply, and veterans health care.
On Thursday, August 29, Senator Heinrich will meet with Española Mayor Alice Lucero and members of Española Valley Chamber of Commerce, and visit local small businesses in the area.
While in Española, Senator Heinrich will also deliver the keynote address for the Workforce Development, Economic Development, and Education Summit at Northern New Mexico College in Española. The summit will allow representatives from nearby universities to discuss the role that northern New Mexico secondary education institutions play in workforce and economic development in the region. Regional education leaders from K-12 and higher education, local businesses, Los Alamos National Laboratory, local elected officials, and tribal leaders will collaborate on industry and educational partnerships and job-training programs that provide pathways for New Mexico students to secure quality jobs in the state.
On Friday, August 30, Senator Heinrich will travel to Raton where he will tour the Track Fire Recovery Site and meet with City of Raton Officials, County Officials, and representatives from the State Park and Natural Resources Conservation Services for a briefing and to discuss the continued progress in the recovery effort. The Track Fire of June 2011 severely damaged nearby Lake Maloya, burning nearly 75 percent of the watershed. This watershed, which is part of Sugarite Canyon State Park, serves as Raton's primary water supply and provides habitat for many species of wildlife.
Also on Friday, Senator Heinrich will visit the Community Based Outpatient Clinic for Raton-area veterans where he will talk with veterans and staff and tour the site where construction has just begun on a new clinic. The new VA clinic in Raton will be more than double the size of the current clinic and provide greater access to quality health care for veterans throughout northern New Mexico. Senator Heinrich has been advocating for much-needed improvements to the quality of care and chronic infrastructure problems at VA clinics in northern New Mexico. Last month, in a meeting with U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Under Secretary for Health Dr. Robert Petzel, Senator Heinrich received assurance that the VA will address the issues with clinics in Santa Fe, Raton, Gallup, Las Vegas, and Taos, including expediting upgrades, addressing infrastructure problems to ensure safety, confidentiality, and timely access to care, and meeting the January 2014 deadline for opening the new clinic in Raton.