Operation Soundstage


Operation Soundstage is a pilot program for military veterans and reserve component members in New Mexico administered through the Film Crew Advancement Program (FCAP) of Job Training Incentive Program (JTIP) for Film & Multimedia.  This multi-state agency partnership aims to increase the hiring and training of veterans and includes the New Mexico Film Officethe New Mexico Department of Veteran’s Services and the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions.


Through Operation Soundstage, resident veterans and reserve component members interested in transitioning into the industry may obtain job opportunities with participating companies.  Currently the Film Office administers training reimbursements to companies for crew members that advance their profession.  As part of FCAP, this pilot program will provide a 50% (fifty percent) reimbursement of the qualified participants’ wages to the participating company for up to 1040 hours physically worked by the crew member. This training incentive is in addition to the refundable film production tax credit up to 30% (when residents file their state personal income tax forms as full-time, in-state resident).  These funds are available for a limited number of positions and Operation Soundstage will add an additional position on each production to be available specifically to a New Mexico veteran.


Military veterans provide an excellent pool of skilled and talented professionals that would be ideal candidates for entry-level positions such as production assistants, caterers, and security. Veterans and reserve component members will gain set experience to segue into more advanced industry positions.  Examples include carpenters, electricians, editors, makeup artists, costumers and drivers.


Learn more about industry job positions and the Chain of Command at nmfilm.com.


To be eligible for Operations Soundstage, make sure you are registered with the New Mexico Workforce Connection.


For questions about NMWC contact: Chris Zaffra, State Veterans Coordinator, Jobs for Veterans State Grant (JVSG) Program, Tribal Liaison and Agency Point of Contact for Federal Contractors

New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions

401 Broadway Boulevard NE

Albuquerque, NM 87102

Phone:  (505) 841-8517

Email:  christian.zafra@state.nm.us


Although not a requirement to participate, the New Mexico Film Office periodically conducts orientations to give participants an overview of industry basics; and, in turn, this will give productions more confidence when hiring those new to the industry.  The list of veterans and reserve component members who complete the workshop will be submitted to participating companies.  To be notified about upcoming workshops, email your resume to Chris Zafra, State Veterans Coordinator. 

Please note: orientations and other aspects of the program are not considered job fairs – this program provides an incentive to productions during the hiring process and provides information for those who are interested in the NM film and media industry. The New Mexico Film Office does not have the authority to hire local residents or veterans for any production shooting in the state – those decisions are made by the film and television production companies. “Operation Soundstage” is one of the many outreach initiatives provided to assist resident veterans, reserve component members and NM residents across the state, as part of the division’s mission.  The film division strives to provide learning opportunities to those interested in transferring their skill sets to this industry and to understand the potential work available in the New Mexico.

Additional Incentives

In addition to the Film Crew Advancement Program and the Refundable Film Production Tax Credit, productions may consider the following available resources for veterans:

  • Federal Work-Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) to Hire Veterans:  https://www.dws.state.nm.us/Business/Resources/WorkOpportunityTaxCredit.
  • State of NM Employer Tax Incentive to Hire Veterans:  https://www.dws.state.nm.us/Veterans/VetInformation/VeteranEmploymentTaxCredit.
  • Federal *GI Bill Education benefits for eligible veterans:  www.gibill.va.gov.  There are eight chapters in the GI Bill education program.  Each chapter covers a specific military, veteran or dependent demographic and they are: four are for active duty service members, two are for the National Guard or Reserves and two are for dependents (spouses and eligible children).
  • NOTE:  Employers can utilize the Federal WOTC program and State Employer Tax Incentive to hire qualified veterans, provided the employer meets all of the eligibility criteria for both programs