SANTA FE ― Gov. Susana Martinez announced Tuesday that New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions Secretary Celina Bussey will step down to serve as the chief workforce development officer at Central New Mexico Community College effective Aug. 10.
“I’m proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish for New Mexico’s workforce with Secretary Bussey’s hard work and dedication,” Martinez said. “She has dedicated her career to improving opportunities for New Mexicans through her commitment to education, skills development and meaningful training for New Mexico’s workforce.”
Martinez appointed Secretary Bussey in 2011 shortly after taking office.
“It has truly been an honor to serve the Governor and the State of New Mexico over the past seven and half years,” Secretary Bussey said. “The Governor’s vision and leadership have been absolutely critical to all of the success that NMDWS has achieved and continues to achieve.”
During Secretary Bussey’s tenure, New Mexico became the first state in the nation to implement a modernized, integrated unemployment insurance tax and claims system. As a result, New Mexico has been ranked among the top 10 states in the nation by the US Department of Labor (DOL) for administration of unemployment insurance, consistently exceeding DOL’s performance and accountability measures.
Additionally, because of integrity measures instituted since 2011, New Mexico’s unemployment insurance fraud rate has seen a 60 percent reduction and the overpayment rate has been reduced by 67 percent.
Deputy Secretary Erin Thompson will serve as acting cabinet secretary, upon Secretary Bussey’s departure. Prior to her role at NMDWS, Erin served as the deputy manager for EXPO New Mexico. She returned to NMDWS as the deputy secretary in November of 2017, after a brief stint as the chief of staff for the secretary’s office several years earlier. She has 23 years of experience at various levels of government, including as the director of communications for the City of Albuquerque and as a cabinet director in the Governor’s office working directly with workforce and education agencies.