This week on New Mexico in Focus, KUNM reporter and first-time In Focus correspondent Nash Jones sits down with a special roundtable to discuss why government agencies continue to struggle with hiring and retaining employees in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the first of two conversations, Jones asks the panelists to identify the scope of the employment problem and detail what it's like to work at hollowed-out agencies throughout New Mexico. In their second discussion, Nash asks the roundtable how residents are impacted by the short-staffed public sector and how government agencies can best compete against the private market. 

A 23-year-old man wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat is accused of shooting Native American activist Jacob Johns during a prayer event last week in Española, where local officials were planning to reinstall a statue of Spanish conquistador and war criminal Juan de Oñate. Ryan David Martinez is charged with first-degree attempted murder, as well as a fourth-degree felony count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. New Mexico in Focus correspondent Antonia Gonzales speaks with two indigenous community leaders about the shooting and the violent history surrounding colonial monuments like the Oñate statue. 

The Legacy Project is a new archival endeavor from the National Hispanic Cultural Center to preserve a dying Spanish dialect spoken in Northern New Mexico. Senior Producer Lou DiVizio speaks to center director Zack Quintero about the project. 

NMiF airs on NMPBS 5.1 (KNME HD) Friday, Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 8 at 7 a.m., and streaming on the PBS video app.  

NMiF Segments

Public Employees Shortage in New Mexico  
Correspondent

Nash Jones 

Guests
Dylan Lange, acting director, New Mexico State Personnel Office 
Casey Padilla, president, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 18: New Mexico and Colorado 
Sarita Nair, secretary, New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions 

Searching for Solutions to Staffing Problems in NM State Agencies 
Correspondent

Nash Jones 

Guests 
Dylan Lange, acting director, New Mexico State Personnel Office 
Casey Padilla, president, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 18: New Mexico and Colorado 
Sarita Nair, secretary, New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions 

Indigenous Community Leaders React to Española Shooting at Planned Oñate Statue Site 
Correspondent

Antonia Gonzales 

Guests
Janene Yazzie (Diné), Southwest Regional Director, NDN Collective 
Nathana Bird (Ohkay Owingeh and Kewa Pueblo), Three Sisters Collective 

Saving a Dying Spanish Dialect in Northern New Mexico 
Correspondent

Lou DiVizio 

Guest
Zack Quintero, director, National Hispanic Cultural Center 

Host
Lou DiVizio

New Mexico in Focus is the New Mexico PBS prime-time news magazine show covering the events, issues, and people that are shaping life in New Mexico and the Southwest. NMiF takes a multi-layered look at social, political, economic health, education, and art issues, and explores them in-depth with a critical eye to give them context beyond the "news of the moment.

NMPBS Executive Producer, Public Affairs, is Jeff Proctor. New Mexico in Focus Senior Producer for Public Affairs is Lou DiVizio. “Our Land” Senior Producer is Laura Paskus. The producer of New Mexico in Focus is Antonio Sanchez and Co-producer is Kathy Wimmer.

Funding for New Mexico in Focus is provided by the McCune Charitable Foundation and Viewers Like You.

Funding for the Your New Mexico Government Project comes from the Thornburg Foundation and New Mexico Local News Fund.

Funding for Our Land: New Mexico’s Environmental Past, Present & Future, is provided in part by the Neeper Natural History Programming Fund for KNME-TV.