CCU Alum Appointed New Mexico Secretary of Labor, Unifies State Workforce Programs

In early 2007, Colorado Christian University alumna Betty Sparrow Doris was appointed New Mexico Secretary of Labor by Governor Bill Richardson. Doris brought more than 30 years of workforce management experience to the state.

Since assuming office, the secretary has combined the New Mexico Department of Labor with the Governor's Office of Workforce Training and Development. Legislation on the merger passed during the 2007 New Mexico Legislative Session that ended in March. The legislation was signed into law by Richardson in April and the newly titled Department of Workforce Solutions was introduced in July. The goal: to better align the state with its growing economy by leveraging available staff and resources and developing a single, unified response to industry needs.

Secretary Doris has a long-standing relationship with CCU, whose main campus is based in Lakewood, Colorado. In 2001, she received a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction (MACI) from the University, where she had previously earned a bachelor's in organizational management. "After completing the undergraduate program, I then looked at the MACI program and thought 'This is fantastic!'," she commented. "It was a perfect choice for the career path I had chosen."

Doris credits the program for preparing her both professionally and spiritually to take on the challenges of public service, especially helping her to hone skills as a servant-leader.

"At CCU, I learned how to help people help themselves--to look at ways to better citizens and help them follow a path that allows them to feel purposeful," Doris stated.

Doris also has strong ties with the city of Denver. The former executive director of the Workforce Development Office in Denver, for six years she managed seven branch offices throughout the metro area and surrounding region. Prior to that she served as the city's Director of Youth and Categorical Programs, helping provide at-risk youth with school- and work-based learning opportunities that included job training, mentoring, and internships.