New Mexico: A Global Manufacturing And Logistics Powerhouse

Cutting-edge global players in advanced manufacturing are flocking to New Mexico for its superior logistics and one of the fastest border crossings.

By the BF Staff
From the July/August 2020 Issue

Companies in manufacturing and logistics sectors from across the world are making major investments in New Mexico.

New Mexico
The Air Force Research Lab is one of New Mexico’s major research institutes, along with two Department of Energy National Labs — Sandi and Los Alamos. (Image:

Kairos Power, a leader in cutting-edge modular reactor technology, is building a new R&D and manufacturing center, investing up to $125 million and employing approximately 70 highly skilled employees. Jabil is creating a 3D printing center of excellence, investing $42M in equipment and technology and hiring 120 people. Admiral Cable’s new $50M factory—the first by this Taiwanese company in the U.S.—will employ up to 350. Stampede Meat is investing over $35M to acquire and expand a facility that will employ 1,300. Union Pacific has spent over $500M to improve its 2,200-acre intermodal facility. “Those are just a few of the companies that are benefiting from the unique mix of advantages New Mexico offers,” says Melinda Allen, Interim President & CEO of the New Mexico Partnership, which is designated by the state to help companies locate there. “Interest from companies like these continues to grow, and we’ve even seen an uptick during the COVID-19 pandemic as businesses have begun exploring how to better optimize their global footprints and ensure more robust operations.”

New Mexico’s geographic location is a major advantage with a lack of natural disasters or disruptive weather events, providing virtually 100 percent uptime for companies. And it’s centrally located in the southwest connected to important domestic U.S. markets via extensive interstate and rail infrastructure; over 75 percent of the U.S. population can be reached by truck within two days. It also shares one of the fastest and busiest border crossings with Mexico in the region, providing access to companies and consumers throughout that country. New Mexico isn’t just connected to North America; New Mexico provides access to the entire world via strong rail and road linkages to port complexes in Los Angeles/Long Beach and Houston/ Galveston, which move goods westward via the Pacific or eastward via the Gulf of Mexico. In fact, in 2019 New Mexico’s global exports increased by 31 percent, the fastest growth rate of any state in the United States.

Experienced talent is plentiful in New Mexico, with over 180,000 people employed in manufacturing, production, logistics and construction roles. This talent spans a broad range of industry sectors from food products and automotive components to microprocessors and satellite solar panels, and encompasses everything from skilled artisans that craft complex products by hand, to those who can design, operate and work in highly automated 21st century production environments.

When companies need specialized research and development or scientific expertise—whether it’s materials scientists, experts in additive manufacturing, process control scientists and engineers or world-class product design specialists—New Mexico offers one of the highest concentrations of talent in the U.S.

It’s home to a host of major research institutes like two Department of Energy National Labs—Sandia and Los Alamos—and the Air Force Research Lab as well as top universities that constantly partner with industry to apply cutting-edge innovation to the commercial realm.

Combine this robust and diverse supply of experienced talent with the strong pipeline of new talent being produced among the top tier research universities and renowned vocational institutions within the state, and New Mexico provides companies with unparalleled access to the workforce they need.

The state also continues to offer a strong value proposition via lower costs and strong incentives. While New Mexico is in the fastest growing region in the U.S., lower cost of living along with a lack of intense competition for talent has helped keep compensation costs as much as 15%-20% lower than in many of the large high-cost metros in the West. The state has leveraged abundant solar and wind resources to put itself at the forefront of generating extremely low-cost renewable energy. Coupled with abundant traditional energy sources in the state, this has resulted in some of the nation’s lowest electric rates. The state has also focused proactively on maintaining a business-friendly environment, implementing some of the strongest incentive programs in the U.S. Industrial Revenue Bonds allow companies to abate a significant amount of the state’s already low property tax burden. The Job Training Incentive Program funds on-the-job and classroom training for newly created jobs in expanding or relocating businesses by reimbursing employers for 50%-75% of employee wages for up to six months. The state’s discretionary closing fund, the Local Economic Development Act program, serves as a cash-grant incentive to reimburse the costs associated with land, building and infrastructure improvements. These are just some of the many tools the state has created to help business succeed.

“During the 21st century the Southwest has been the fastest growing region of the country and New Mexico is at the center of this growth,” says Allen. “Businesses of all types and sizes, coming from any region of the world, are welcome and valued here, and everyone—from the local business community up to the political leadership in the state—is eager to help companies succeed when they choose New Mexico.”

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