Issued by the City of Santa Fe:
Santa Fe Young Professionals Growing and Going Strong
Santa Fe, NM – August 19, 2015 – This summer the City of Santa Fe completed its annual session of the Santa Fe Young Professionals program (SFYP). The program, initiated last year through the Economic Development division, matches local employers to juniors, seniors, or recent graduates of New Mexico colleges and universities. Individuals are placed in a position related to their academic field and interest and worked full-time for 8-10 weeks over the summer. The City also partnered with the Santa Fe University of Art and Design (SFUAD) by offering the City interns with free housing on the 60-acre SFUAD campus.
This summer, the program saw a 60% increase in placements. Placing in total 24 students and adding an estimate of $75,000 in new wages to the Santa Fe economy. The degrees of these participants ranged from various backgrounds, some of which included: water resource engineering, hospitality and tourism, and public health. When asked about their experience in a survey, 85 percent of participants said the program helped them in their professional career. 10 took advantage of the free housing made possible by SFUAD.
“Santa Fe University of Art and Design was pleased to collaborate with the City of Santa Fe on its Santa Fe Young Professionals initiative for the second consecutive year, and we are excited by the program’s growth,” said Larry Hinz, President of SFUAD. “The City offers a dynamic environment for young people who are interested in living and working in a naturally beautiful atmosphere alive with art, culture, outdoor activities, street festivals, performing arts and entertainment venues, as well as world-renowned cuisine. It’s a community ripe for emerging talent, new ideas and students interested in obtaining hands-on educational opportunities and internships from one of the most artistic and widely cited tourist destination cities in the world.”
To wrap up the program, Mayor Javier Gonzales hosted a lunch and focus group with the young professionals to learn about their experiences. The focus group said they had made a meaningful professional connection and were pleased to find many summer activities to participate in.
Mayor Gonzales said, “This program started out small, but it’s growing, and the outlook points to a big impact on Santa Fe’s economy and culture over the long term. Every young professional we can bring to Santa Fe to showcase our city is one more chance to build an economy that attracts and keeps talented young people here to build their families and chase their dreams.”