Tag: NM

Otero County, New Mexico

Metro Spotlight

Metro Spotlight: Albuquerque, NM

Albuquerque: Colonial Past, Sustainable Future

Dubbed the "Land of Enchantment," Albuquerque is an arid, sunny metropolis of about 840,000 people, making it New Mexico's most populous city. Spread over four counties in the heart of the state, Albuquerque's essence is difficult to define-both the Sandia Mountains and the Rio Grande run through the city, a former Spanish colonial outpost set within the Chihuahuan Desert. But today, Albuquerque has a modern face thanks to its central location in New Mexico's Technology Corridor, home to Sandia National Laboratories, Intel, and soon, Hewlett Packard. Sustainable energy also is part of the city's forward-thinking outlook; 20% of Albuquerque's electricity is drawn from wind turbines, and a cluster of renewable energy companies has formed in Mesa del Sol, a master-planned community in southern Albuquerque. SCHOTT AG, a German solar power company, recently broke ground there, which is a smart move since the sun shines over Albuquerque more than 300 days per year.

Getting Around ABQ

Albuquerque MSA Population: 840,000 Labor Force: 407,921 Employment: 392,965 Unemployment: 14,956 NM Unemployment Rate: 3.7% U.S. Unemployment Rate: 5.5% Source: New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, May 2008
The Albuquerque metropolitan area is serviced by two interstate highways, I-25 and I-40. The local transit agency, ABQ RIDE, operates a series of city buses, while a commuter rail line called the New Mexico Rail Runner Express has serviced Albuquerque since 2006. A rail extension linking to Santa Fe, NM is expected to be finished by the end of 2008. For jet setters, Albuquerque International Sunport is just three miles from the central business district. Also, Double Eagle II Airport is available for both charter and private flights.

Rio Rancho Says Howdy to Hewlett

Hewlett-Packard announced in June plans to open a technical support center in Rio Rancho, a growing city within Albuquerque's MSA. Several hundred workers will be hired when the center opens, and the workforce could swell to 1,300 employees by 2012. "This is one of the most significant economic development agreements we've ever made," says New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. The state has offered the computer giant a bevy of financial incentives that could total $40 million. The largest portion of incentives-$20 to $30 million-would come from New Mexico's high-wage jobs tax credit program, while the remaining $10 million would come in the form of job training initiatives. Richardson also will lobby the state legislature to approve $12 million in funding to help offset infrastructure costs. The center could open by next summer, though an exact location has not been determined. Rio Rancho's officials expect the site to fall within its 160-acre central business district. Salaries for the new jobs are expected to average $45,000 annually. Most of the employees will be hired from the local area, according to Jon Flaxman, Hewlett-Packard's executive VP.

Las Cruces, New Mexico Metro Spotlight

New Mexico BorderPlex—ROCKET-POWERED DEVELOPMENT

CITY OF LAS CRUCES

Type of Government: City Manager,   City Council Councilors/Commissioners: 6   Elected by district Leadership: Mayor, Elected at large Employees: 1,505 Police/Sheriff's Department: 164   Officers Other Law Enforcement: Do–a Ana   County Sheriff's Dept., New Mexico   State Police Fire Department: 123 firefighters Fire Insurance Rating: Class 4 Planning Commission: Yes Zoning Regulations: Yes
The BorderPlex Region, comprised of the Las Cruces NM MSA (Do–a Ana County), the El Paso TX MSA and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico is the largest metropolitan area along the U.S.-Mexico border. This dynamic area is home to more than 2.7 million people and offers unlimited opportunities for business location and expansion. Situated in the middle of the Rio Grande River basin, it offers a superb quality of life with more than 330 days of sunshine and a multitude of recreational and cultural activities. Since 2000, the Las Cruces NM MSA labor force has grown at twice the national rate in the U.S., and employment has grown at almost three times the national annual average. The Las Cruces area is an aerospace hub that is home to the White Sands Missile Range and Spaceport America, a commercial launch facility. Year-end reported gross receipts (all industries) for 2007 increased 10.2% over 2006 and retail sales gross receipts increased 12% during the same period. Manufacturing and business services led all sectors with increases ranging from 19.8% to 46.7%.

Spaceport America—Sending Commerce into Outer Space

The nation's first purpose-built commercial space facility, Spaceport America, is under development 40 miles north of Las Cruces in Southern Sierra County. Spaceport America will provide commercial space launch services for a wide variety of space-related industries. Construction of the spaceport is funded primarily by the State of New Mexico as well as Do–a Ana County and Sierra County residents, who have passed tax referendums to support the project. Working together with Virgin Galactic, New Mexico Spaceport Authority unveiled the design of the spaceport in September 2007. Since then, Memorandums of Understanding have been signed with future tenants including Virgin Galactic, Lockheed Martin, UP Aerospace, and Microgravity Enterprises. Pending licensing by the FAA, construction of the main terminal is scheduled to begin in early 2009. Welcome centers will be built in Hatch (Do–a Ana County), home of world-famous Hatch chile, and Truth or Consequences (Sierra County) from which visitors will be able travel to the spaceport to view launches. Located just east of Las Cruces, White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) is the nation's largest overland joint test and training complex. It covers an area of 3,565 square miles and has the largest restricted air space in the U.S., more than 10,024 square miles, ground to space. These physical assets, along with its ability to contract with private industry for test and evaluation, make WSMR a natural choice for commercial space ventures associated with Spaceport America, as well as much of the research, development, and testing for the Department of Defense's Future Combat Systems (FCS) initiative. An engineering battalion of 750 soldiers will arrive at WSMR this summer, and the Army plans to place a Brigade Combat Team, with up to 3,500 troops, at WSMR by 2013. This expansion is related to the Base Realignment and Closure process which will send nearly 30,000 additional soldiers to neighboring Fort Bliss by 2013. Due to its expertise and relationship with NASA's White Sands Test Facility located 17 miles east of Las Cruces, WSMR will be involved in NASA's planned return to the moon. Construction was recently completed on a new facility that will be used by NASA's Constellation Program to support tests of the launch abort system that the program is designing for its new spacecraft, the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle.

Santa Teresa is a BorderPlex Transportation, Trade Hub

Union Pacific is developing a new 900-acre terminal and intermodal facility four miles west of Santa Teresa that will handle 100,000 containers annually and connect with a Juarez rail by pass and border crossing into Santa Teresa. An expansion of the 1,200-acre Santa Teresa Foreign Trade Zone will allow manufacturers, suppliers and logistics suppliers the opportunity to locate on the US-Mexico border adjacent to the Santa Teresa-San Jeronimo Port of Entry, near Union Pacific's intermodal facility. Manufacturing firms will be able to establish operations on both sides of the border "within a stone's throw from each other."

Rocket Racing League Makes its Home at Las Cruces International Airport

The international Rocket Racing League recently broke ground on the first of its facilities at Las Cruces International Airport, two hangars that will house league aircraft and teams. The hangars are part of a 20-year lease agreement between the city and the league for six 100,000-square-foot parcels at the airport, the first part of a larger development that will one day house the league's world headquarters. The League will hold its first exhibition races at the Experimental Aircraft Association's AirVenture 2008 in Oshkosh, WI. Also planned is the development of about 170 acres at the West Mesa Industrial Park adjacent to the airport. Meanwhile, a cooperative agreement has been signed between New Mexico State University and the Federal Aviation Administration that establish the NMSU Flight Test Center as the primary testing site for unmanned aircraft systems. The Flight Test Center will provide research and development that will establish standard regulations for unmanned aircraft systems, and relevant technology for homeland security, agriculture, defense, and science operations.

Green with Energy

New Mexico is becoming a model state for "green" business development and practice.

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