ABQ one of 30 cities to receive 'community boost' from Facebook | KOB 4
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ABQ one of 30 cities to receive 'community boost' from Facebook

David Lynch
November 09, 2017 10:35 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Facebook is on its way to having a major presence in Los Lunas, and now its founder – and one of the most prominent figures in the business world – is increasing the company’s stake in central New Mexico.

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Mark Zuckerberg in a Facebook post Thursday morning named Albuquerque as one of 30 cities that will be a part of the company’s new Community Boost initiative focusing on strengthening communities by providing their small businesses with the tools to succeed. The other participating cities include Des Moines, Houston and St. Louis.

“70 million small businesses use Facebook to connect with customers. That’s 70 million people who now have access to the same tools the big guys have,” Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook. “Now we need to make it easier for people to start and build new businesses or find jobs and opportunities, and in the process strengthen their communities.”

The announcement comes as, just 25 miles down I-25, construction continues on a $500 million Facebook data center that is expected to create several hundred new jobs in the area. Los Lunas officials told KOB they are already seeing dividends from one of the world’s biggest companies arriving in the Land of Enchantment, in a part of the state where the tech/science industry already has a considerable presence via the Sandia and Los Alamos national labs.

That facility in Los Lunas is expected to be in full operation by 2020.

The Facebook Community Boost program will specifically focus on providing local workers “with the digital education and skills they need to compete in the new mobile economy,” according to the initiative’s website.

Specifically, that means some entrepreneurs in the state’s largest city may expect training from the company on things like social media, and using their digital presence to “find new customers around the corner and around the globe.”

The announcement is receiving praise from local leaders at a time when they are already working on not just bringing companies to Albuquerque, but helping the businesses born in the city succeed and stay.

“We are excited and welcome Facebook to Albuquerque,” Mayor Richard Berry said, following Zuckerberg's announcement. “This initiative will help train our residents in developing key skills to help them thrive in our ever-evolving digital world. We hope this will help bring more tech skills and better job opportunities to our wonderful community.”

Gov. Susana Martinez chimed in and echoed that sentiment, saying “It’s clear when it comes to innovation and economic development New Mexico and Facebook make great partners. We will be working with Facebook to ensure our businesses have access to this exciting opportunity, because New Mexicans deserve a diversified economy for the future.”

Albuquerque certainly believes it's ready for an economic boost, as evidenced by Berry and other city leaders having submitted a proposal to Amazon for bringing the retail giant to the Duke City. 

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David Lynch

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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