New Mexico passed a bill in March 2022 that waived tuition for students attending state public schools or tribal colleges — and changed how Las Cruces Utilities could approach its popular internship program . The legislative change has provided even more opportunities for students interested in pursuing an associate degree in water technology at Doña Ana Community College and working with LCU.

“Since tuition is now covered by the state, we can essentially get more for our money,” said LCU Principal Delilah Walsh. “When the bill was passed, we knew we could probably expand internships to more students by supporting their education by converting the money we were using for tuition to help fund additional students or expand their learning experience with additional classes, like CDL A driver’s licenses.”

The competitive internship had paid for tuition and other reasonable education-related expenses, including a monthly stipend for room and board. It also paid for on-the-job training and assistance with education and living expenses, including, but not limited to, parking fees and necessary equipment rental for laptop computers.

After:The Grappler takes before and after photos of the pick-ups

While studying, interns selected for the program would work 20 paid hours per week during semesters and up to a maximum of 40 paid hours per week during school vacations.

“During the school year, the intern will receive a paycheck every two weeks for their work while continuing their education, as they are a full-time student,” Walsh said.

A full-time student is enrolled for 12 to 18 hours during the fall and spring semesters and six hours during the summer. Interns must maintain good academic standing as students and not repeat their courses.

Different from before, LCU requires applying students to have completed at least two courses in the Water Technology program to see if the solution would be right for them. “Some of the classes are even taught by some of our employees so students can ask any questions they may have before committing to the program,” Walsh said.

“The internship will be the same assignments that our full-time employees already do. Plus, the hands-on experience allows students to immediately see their contribution to our community,” Walsh said.

After their internship, depending on the amount LCU has invested in the student, the intern commits to work from six months to nine years with LCU after graduation. Graduate trainees will work in one of the following industries: water operation and maintenance; Wastewater operation and maintenance; or Utilities Environmental.

The application deadline is 5:00 p.m. MDT on June 20, 2022, to be considered for the 2022-2023 Fall/Spring semesters. The application and all supporting documents should be submitted by email to [email protected] or delivered in person to LCU at 680 N. Motel Boulevard.

The LCU website contains the full program brochure, contract and important additional information can be found at https://www.las-cruces.org/1243/Internship-Program.

LCU – Your utility connection. Customer Central can be reached at 575-541-2111 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. LCU provides clean, safe and reliable services to Las Cruces residents and businesses. Learn more about las-cruces.org/180/Utilities. For emergencies, call the dispatcher at 575-526-0500.

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