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Classified Ready Employee Workforce Program


The mission of the CREW program is to develop a diverse pool of classified-ready professionals with the necessary technical, professional, and interpersonal skills required to pursue successful careers in support of national security.  

Students selected for the program, participate in a series of national security and classification seminars, and are employed through cooperative education experiences in national security research and emerging technology innovation and application.



CREW Instructor

Alan A. Wierniki 

Chief Quality Officer

El Paso Independent School District

Colonel, U.S. Army, Retired


Alan A. Wiernicki was appointed as Chief Quality Officer for the El Paso Independent School District in July 2018. In that role, he ensures proper operational controls, administrative procedures and systems are in place for the effective efficient operation of the District. He also supervises the Maintenance, Building and Grounds Department, the Facilities and Construction Department, and manages the District's 2016 Bond Program valued at $668 million.

Mr. Wiernicki is a decorated Army veteran, retiring as a Colonel in 2018 after 26 years of active service. His occupational specialty was air and missile defense operations, and he commanded at every level, from Battery to Brigade. Key staff assignments include Assistant Professor of Military Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Senior Advisor to the Commander of the Kuwait Air Force - Office of Military Cooperation Kuwait, and Deputy Commander of the Army's largest Air Defense Command, the 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command at Fort Bliss. He is also a veteran of several combat and operational deployments.

Given his expertise in areas of public education and the military, Mr. Wiernicki was appointed in September 2018 by Governor Abbott as a member of the Governor's Committee to Support the Military. The Committee is charged with developing suggestions to maintain and enhance the military value of installations across Texas. The majority of the committee's recommendations for action during the 2019 and 2021 Texas legislative sessions were adopted into law, including a law that provides for the transfer and acceptance of licence's and certifications for military spouses and teachers.

Mr. Wiernicki earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from the State University of New York College at Cortland, a Master of Arts in Administration from Central Mighigan University, and a Master of Science in National Strategy from the National War College in Washington, D.c. He and his wife of 26 years have three children.



Program Overview

  • NMSU students are hired by employer sponsors to complete co-ops during the academic semesters of Fall, Spring and Summer. During the Fall and Spring semesters, CREW students are able to work up to 20 hours a week. During academic breaks and summer sessions they can work up to 40 hours per week.  
  • CREW employer sponsors can hire students directly or through a negotiated contract with PSL. PSL utilizes Handshake to find and hire qualified NMSU students with the skills and experience needed by employer sponsors.   
  • During the Fall and Spring semesters, CREW students also participate in the CREW national security seminar series which meets for 90 minutes every other week.
  • PSL initiates CREW student’s national security clearance upon hiring by the CREW employer sponsor. Though it can vary, most CREW students are cleared by the end of the Fall semester.


Become a CREW Co-Op Sponsor

Strengthen your cleared workforce pipeline; partner with New Mexico State University and sponsor a CREW Co-Op. We work with your team to match qualified students with your Co-op on the NMSU campus at the Physical Science Laboratory in Anderson Hall, a cleared contractor facility.

The deadline for employers to participate in the 2022-2023 program is May 1, 2022. Contact Marcella Shelby at or 575-646-9201.

Employer Flyer


Program Cost

  • Program cost per student includes the student’s co-op wage and a program fee. 
  • An individual or company wishing to partner with PSL, can make a contribution through the NMSU Foundation or negotiate a contract with PSL.
  • The program cost for individuals or companies able to use philanthropic funds is $27,000 per student.  
  • For entities unable to use philanthropic funds, a contract between the company and PSL is required.  Under the terms of a contract the program cost per student for FY22/23 CREW Program is $38,000 per student.

Note: A contract with PSL includes fringe and other indirect rates that are reviewed and approved by NMSU’s cognizant federal agency annually (Effective July 1).  

Inaugural CREW Members and Co-op Placements


PSL Information Security Operations Center
Tommy Abeyta-Sosa
Gabriella Garcia, Graduated December 2020
PSL Quality Assurance
Christian Apodaca
Adam Flores, Graduated May 2020
Brandon Gama
PSL Telemetry and Missile Systems
Dawson Drake
Erika Tanuz
Thomas Wilkinson
General Dynamics
Jorge Ortiz Jr.
Terrell Stewart
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Alex Binder
Hunter Sedillo
Northrop Grumman
Ash Fried
Jaime Gomez, Graduated May 2020
Karen Black, Graduated May 2020
Samuel Jacintho

2021-2022 CREW Members and Co-op Placements


Los Alamos National Laboratory
Micah Cheng-Guajardo - Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
Mason Curtin - Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
PSL Facility Security
Irene Richter - Human Resource Management
PSL Information Security Operations Center
Kaia Garley - Information and Communication Science
PSL Information Science and Security Systems Division
Kaia Garley - Information and Communication Science
PSL Quality Assurance
 Gabriela Salas - Industrial Engineering
PSL Telemetry and Missile Systems Division
Robert Armendariz - Electrical Engineering
Queztal Soto - Electrical Engineering
Sandia National Laboratories
George Sandoval - Computer Science
X-Bow Systems
Scott Komar - Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

Special thanks to our program partners and co-op supervisors

2020-2021 CREW Highlights

As a Minority Serving Institution (MSI), who is military and veteran friendly, we are proud of the diversity of our 26 CREW students (2020-2022):  

  • 18 are from diverse racial/ethnic Backgrounds-Hispanic (17), African-American (1)
  • 2 Veterans (U.S. Army)
  • 8 Women
  • 5 first-generation college students
  • Range in age from 20-31 years’ old
  • Represent the following majors:
    • Electrical, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering Physics
    • Information and Communication Technology
    • Business Management and Human Resources

CREW Student Feedback

PSL is invested in the experience of our students and has included internal assessment throughout the program. Below is a sampling of the feedback we have received:

Supporting the National Security Workforce of the Future

The CREW Program was developed by PSL with the guidance of an Advisory Council composed of former PSL student employees and NMSU Alumni that are leaders in the national security, defense and research fields.  Our notable Advisory Council members see first-hand the looming workforce pipeline crisis ahead, and know that the CREW Program and graduating NMSU students represent a solution that can serve as a national workforce development model.


CREW Advisory Council
Christopher Long, General Dynamics
Manny Mora, General Dynamics
Steve Omick, Riverside Research
Linnea Sands, Sandia National Laboratories
Mike Steinzig, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Allyson Yarbrough, Aerospace Corporation

CREW Program Fund



The CREW Program Fund was founded by the generous support of former PSL student employee and distinguished NMSU Alumni, Manny Mora the VP and General Manager of Space and Intelligence Systems for General Dynamics Mission Systems.  

INVEST in the CREW Program and CREW Students by contacting Marcella Shelby, Strategic Initiatives Officer at PSL at or 575-646-9201


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