New Mexico Showing Signs of Growth
Hopefully you saw the great news coming out of New Mexico this week! A report issued by the Federal Bureau of Economic Analysis reveals that New Mexico’s gross domestic product, which is a key economic indicator, grew by 2.8 percent in the first quarter. It’s the third-highest growth of any state. The state’s most recent Labor Market Review shows a noticeable uptick in the construction industry, no doubt due in part to the construction happening at the Facebook data center campus in Los Lunas. Many of us in Albuquerque are acquainted with businesses in the construction trades that have dozens of employees working at the site. This steady employment base for our construction trades is incredibly important in keeping skilled workers in New Mexico. Your membership investment in AED powers the organization’s ability to lead projects such as Facebook that help improve the local economy, generating much-needed jobs and opportunities for all of us.
Facebook Expands in New Mexico…Again
Last year, Facebook selected the Albuquerque metro area for its newest state-of-the-art data center. Fast forward 10 months, and the company announced that it is again investing in the metro area. Here’s a snapshot of how New Mexico and its residents are benefiting from the project:
- Facebook broke ground on its initial 510,000-square-foot building last October, and announced in July it’s adding a second, 460,000-square-foot building to the data center campus in Los Lunas. The area of the buildings is equal to the size of 17 football fields.
- The two buildings represent more than $500 million in investment to the local community.
- Perhaps beginning as early as the 4th quarter of 2017, Facebook estimates the campus will have as many as 1,000 workers on site at the peak of construction.
- Facebook is creating several permanent positions and supporting thousands of jobs by way of construction, operations and service positions over the next several years. Currently, the company is looking for local talent to fill 15 permanent positions, primarily in operations, design and facilities management.
- Albuquerque-based Affordable Solar and Array Technologies were selected by Facebook to build three power facilities for the project, creating 40 full-time jobs and the potential for up to 300 construction jobs.
- The Economic Impact Analysis (EIA) commissioned by the Village of Los Lunas projects more than $75 million in gross receipts tax to the State of New Mexico on the construction costs alone.
- The EIA shows that that Village of Los Lunas will see an 18 percent increase to its general fund from the revenue generated by the project.
Facebook’s confidence in Los Lunas sends a powerful message to other employers about the attractiveness of the Albuquerque metro area for investments in mission-critical operations.
Growing the Outdoor Industry in New Mexico
Did you know? New Mexico’s natural resources and increased awareness as a tourism destination are setting the stage for economic development opportunities. In New Mexico, state outdoor recreation generates:
- $9.9 billion in consumer spending annually
- 99,000 direct jobs
- $2.8 billion in wages and salaries
- $623 million in state and local tax revenue
It’s a huge industry with the potential to attract more economic base jobs, injecting new dollars into our community. That’s why AED joined forces with state leaders and representatives from partner communities at the Outdoor Retailers Show in Salt Lake City, where the team spent four days meeting with companies and promoting the metro area as a great place for business investment.
Pictured here, from left to right, are Warren Unsicker, Four Corners Economic Development; Annemarie Ciepiela Henton, AED; Governor Susana Martinez; Keith Gardner, Chief of Staff for Gov. Martinez; Tim Nitti, New Mexico Partnership; Eileen Yarborough, Cibola Communities Economic Development Foundation; and New Mexico Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Matt Geisel.
Educate Voters About the Healthy Workforce Ordinance
AED is a member of the Albuquerque Coalition for a Healthy Economy (AHCE) a group of organizations that is educating voters about the effect the proposed Healthy Workforce Ordinance would have on businesses and employees alike. AED is concerned that the proposed ordinance could impede business recruitment efforts, cause companies to eliminate Albuquerque as a potential business location, or cause businesses that are already located here to consider relocating outside the city limits.
Albuquerque voters need to understand how the ordinance will affect them. Research shows that after voters are educated about the consequences of the proposed ordinance, they are less likely to support it. That’s why ACHE is raising money to get the word out. Visit the ACHE website at www.abqche.org to contribute to the effort. A donation of $1,000 is suggested, and a calculator at the ACHE website can help your business compare the cost of a donation vs. the potential hard costs of complying with the ordinance.
Albuquerque Featured in Southwest Airlines Magazine
If you’re taking a Southwest Airlines flight in August, make sure you check out the in-flight magazine. There’s a 26-page feature on Albuquerque, which includes a submission from AED on page 86 that highlights the benefits of business investment in the metro area. More than 12 million passengers will be on Southwest flights this month, giving us significant reach and helping us build awareness about what the community has to offer.
By: Gary Gordon (AED Chair)
Click here to view source article.