Updated: November 29, 2020 10:32 PM
Created: November 29, 2020 08:50 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic, New Mexico has seen some surprising job growth this year.
Around 3,500 new jobs were created in New Mexico in 2020 alone. The majority of those jobs came from existing companies that were expanding.
“There have been several large projects across all industries and across all locations in the state,” said Melina Allen, interim president of New Mexico Partnership.
In recent years, several big-name companies have come to New Mexico. Most recently, Netflix announced a major expansion to its studio complex in Albuquerque to make it the main production facility in North America.
“People will literally be thinking of Albuquerque as the home of Netflix studios,” said Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller.
Other big names that have come to New Mexico include NBC Universal, which arrived in 2019, and Amazon, which announced the construction of a massive fulfillment center earlier this year.
An Amazon spokesperson said they picked Albuquerque because of the customer demand, and wanted to make sure fulfillment centers were close to their customers. They also said Amazon received “strong support from county and state leaders.” Amazon will create 1,000 jobs with benefits when it launches next year.
Business recruiters with New Mexico Partnership work around the clock to make deals with these big-name companies. Melinda Allen, with New Mexico Partnership, said there are a lot of other expansions that people don’t hear as much about.
“We also see companies like Faneuil, which is a customer care center and a big project with 700 jobs. We see Admiral Cable coming down to the southern part of the state,” Allen said.
The state and the city of Albuquerque offer incentives to draw companies to the Land of Enchantment. In the case of Netflix, the state and city offered tens of millions of dollars in financial assistance. For plenty of other companies, that state has started offering two-year interest free loans
Alicia Keyes, cabinet secretary for the New Mexico Economic Development Department, said the state is receiving federal help to continue the plan for growth for the next few decades.
“We got $1.5 million of federal funds to put together a 20-year strategy for the state of New Mexico,” she said.
Despite the incentives, some larger companies have turned down offers to expand in New Mexico. One of the most notable rejections came from Tesla.
KOB 4 reached to Tesla to get to the bottom of why they decided not to build a massive battery factory in New Mexico back in 2014, but they never responded.
Allen said one of the biggest challenges the state has to overcome is making sure New Mexico is on people’s’ radar.
“It's not that people have a negative perception of New Mexico, it's that they don't have a perception,” she said.
Even in the age of COVID-19, Allen said New Mexico is trying to take advantage of every opportunity.
“So COVID has highlighted some specific issues in the global supply chain, which for food manufacturing, medical manufacturing, warehouse logistics—those specific industries are really struggling right now to reassess, redefine, find new locations, and those are industries that New Mexico does extremely well,” she said.
Allen said those are some of the only industries growing right now, which is where state leaders are starting to focus their efforts.
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