Los Alamos has a unique business climate that’s filled with highly intelligent and innovative thinkers, largely due to the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and it’s growing a reputation as an excellent place to grow a startup. The community’s high quality of life is a major draw, too, and it’s a big reason so many people want to work in Los Alamos.
Los Alamos National Laboratory Draws Top Talent
Focused on protecting the U.S. and promoting world stability, LANL employs many of the world’s leading minds. In addition, LANL is the area’s top employer, with just over 10,500 employees who specialize in fields like science, math and technology, many of whom hold master’s and doctoral degrees.
The laboratory also employs approximately 1,000 students from high schools, colleges and graduate schools, and it has one of the largest postdoctoral programs in the Department of Energy complex. Many of these students stay at LANL after graduation; about 36 percent of all laboratory employees are former students and postdoctoral scholars, and that number increases to 61 percent for research and development scientists and engineers.
“Thanks to the LANL’s presence in our city, nearly everyone who lives here is very well-educated,” says Ryn Herrmann, marketing manager for the Los Alamos Commerce & Development Corp.
Los Alamos’ Entrepreneurs Succeed, Receive Strong Support
Many LANL employees and retirees develop successful startups, which creates more jobs in Los Alamos and enhances the community’s business climate. For example, Descartes Labs – a deep-learning image analysis startup that uses satellite images to identify and study changes on the Earth’s surface – was created by a team of top scientists from LANL. Tibbar Plasma Technologies, which develops plasma technologies for commercial applications, also has ties to LANL as several of its employees used to work at the laboratory.
“Many of our startups are spin-offs from the LANL,” Herrmann says. “The LANL is trying to focus more on technology transfer, and we’re trying to capture that business.”
Los Alamos Small Business Development Center, located on the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos campus, supports entrepreneurs by offering services such as one-on-one business counseling in areas like business planning, market planning and research, cash flow analysis and basic bookkeeping. Most of the center’s services are free, and workshops are available throughout the year.
High Quality of Life in Los Alamos
Los Alamos’ excellent quality of life is a big reason it draws and retains so many talented people. Employees have short, quick commutes to work, and during off-time, there are plenty of activities to keep them busy and entertained. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the area’s many hiking and biking trails, and Pajarito Mountain Ski Area is perfect for those who enjoy skiing and snowboarding.
Los Alamos is also a great place for families as there are dozens of kid-friendly attractions, and the Los Alamos Public Schools system is ranked the No. 1 public school district in the state by U.S. News & World Report. To learn more about the community’s amenities and advantages, check out 8 Reasons to Move to Los Alamos.
“We’re finding that companies being wooed by other cities are choosing to stay in Los Alamos because of our high quality of life,” Herrmann says.