New Mexico: Intel Plans $3.5 Billion Expansion In Rio Rancho

The semiconductor giant will create 700 high-wage jobs at its chip fab in Sandoval County.

By the BF Staff
From the September/October 2021 Issue

Intel plans to invest $3.5 billion in its New Mexico operations and hire more than 700 new workers to create a domestic hub for advanced semiconductor manufacturing at its fabrication facility in Sandoval County.

In what will be one of the largest capital investments in New Mexico, Intel plans to modernize facilities to accommodate its Foveros technology, a breakthrough innovation to meet increasing customer demand for stronger microprocessing performance.

Intel New Mexico
Semiconductor giant Intel (Sandoval County complex pictured above) has invested more than $16 billion since 1980 on its chip-fab operations in New Mexico. Intel recently announced it will spend $3.5 billion to modernize the complex. (Photo: Intel Corporation/ Walden Kirsch)

“Intel’s $3.5 billion investment in New Mexico will create 700 new jobs in the next three years and establish the Rio Rancho campus as the company’s domestic hub for advanced semiconductor manufacturing,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said.

The governor added, “With this exciting development, we are already seeing the benefits of this year’s legislation expanding LEDA, generating high-quality and high-paying jobs for New Mexicans. The state and Intel have a 40-year partnership, and today, with innovative economic development tools and global demand for this technology, we can celebrate a new generation of workers and job growth at Intel’s New Mexico manufacturing plant.”

“A key differentiator for our IDM 2.0 strategy is our unquestioned leadership in advanced packaging, which allows us to mix and match compute tiles to deliver the best products. We’re seeing tremendous interest in these capabilities from the industry, especially following the introduction of our new Intel Foundry Services,” Keyvan Esfarjani, Intel senior vice president and general manager of Manufacturing and Operations, said. “We are proud to have invested in New Mexico for more than 40 years and we see our Rio Rancho campus continuing to play a critical role in Intel’s global manufacturing network in our new era of IDM 2.0.”

The Rio Rancho investment was solidified after Gov. Lujan Grisham and Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes asked state lawmakers in a special session to reform the Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) to allow for a portion of construction-related Gross Receipts Tax to be rebated back to companies for large, significant, job-creating projects.

Gov. Grisham signed the measure into law on April 7, 2021.

Intel is expected to hire 1,000 construction workers starting this year and spend $550 million on construction and new infrastructure. Intel New Mexico employees’ average total compensation, as of the end of 2020, was $145,000 per year including salary, benefits and bonuses.

“The time has come in New Mexico for better paying jobs and a faster growing economy,” Secretary Keyes said. “Intel’s investment in the state signals again that New Mexico has a skilled workforce and a strong business climate, with the financial and logistical advantages to help businesses manage essential supply chains.”

In addition to the GRT, which is expected to total $14 million with both state and local sharing, the state has pledged $5 million from its regular LEDA fund, paid out after Intel meets specific economic development goals. Sandoval County, home to the Intel plant, is pledging an additional $500,000, with specific job goal requirements, and will serve as the fiscal agent for the project.

“Sandoval County has a long history of partnering with Intel beginning with the county’s initial $2 billion IRB back in 1980,” Sandoval County Commission Chair Dave Heil said. “Since that time, our partnership has resulted in the creation of over 8,000 great jobs, almost 5,000 of which have gone to New Mexico residents.”

Pending approval, the City of Rio Rancho has pledged $250,000 to the expansion from its job-creating LEDA fund and will consider action at an upcoming city council meeting.

Since 1980, Intel has invested more than $16 billion to build high-tech manufacturing capacity in New Mexico. Over the past five years, the company has spent more than $1 billion with state-based organizations. Intel has an annual total economic impact in the state of approximately $1.2 billion, based on 2019 data.


BlueHalo, an integrated national security and technology company, has chosen the Max Q site in Albuquerque, NM for a campus to facilitate BlueHalo’s acceleration into production and its long-term commitment to investing in New Mexico and creating high-wage manufacturing jobs.

The Max Q location, at Gibson and Carlisle Blvd. in Albuquerque, was selected as the site for the company’s new 200,000-square-foot New Mexico campus. The development will bring hundreds of BlueHalo’s Albuquerque-based employees into a consolidated ecosystem. Its decision to expand in New Mexico over other locations preserves the existing 260 New Mexico jobs and creates an additional 64 jobs with an average salary of $90,000.

The total economic impact for the project with existing and expanded operations is $3.2 billion over the next 10 years.

“High-quality and good-paying careers, a massive economic impact for our state and the metro area, a significant capital investment—this is the kind of economic expansion and partnership that New Mexicans can get excited about,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “Improved economic security and expanded opportunity for New Mexicans is what this administration will continue to promote, and BlueHalo represents an excellent investment in our ongoing efforts to diversify and accelerate our economy.”

“BlueHalo’s new, state-of-the-art technology campus will host the type of innovation that we do so well in New Mexico. I’ve been proud to support New Mexico’s growing role as a leader in emerging defense and space technologies—and the new careers that brings to our state,” U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich said. “The ecosystem we have created, both inside and outside the fence line at Kirtland Air Force Base, has become the ideal location for leading innovators like BlueHalo to put down roots.”

“We are excited about the selection of the Max Q site for our new franchise technology campus in Albuquerque,” BlueHalo Chief Executive Officer, Jonathan Moneymaker, said. “This site represents BlueHalo’s long-term commitment to New Mexico and will not only enhance the company’s ability to support current and future programs at Kirtland Air Force Base, but will also serve as one of the major hubs across the BlueHalo Labs national infrastructure designed to fuel future innovations to solve some of the most complex technology problems and transition those to full production, getting real capability into the hands of those who need it most.”

The new space includes an office complex, laboratories, manufacturing facilities, test areas and secure spaces. BlueHalo will manufacture several critical products at the new facility in support of space, directed energy and air and missile defense for the government and commercial customers.

The BlueHalo team working at the New Mexico campus will be focused on continued technology innovation and rapid transition to manufacturing for the Space Technologies across Advanced Radio Frequency (RF) Systems; Laser Communications; and Space Qualified Electronics and Systems, including Stabilized Precision Optics and Tracking (SPOT).

Additionally, BlueHalo’s Directed Energy (DE) division, which includes its LOCUST DE Weapon System, key Acquisition, Tracking and Pointing (ATP) systems and advanced DE instrumentation solutions, will be developed and manufactured at the new complex. The expected completion date is October 2022.

The New Mexico Economic Development Department (EDD) has awarded BlueHalo $2.25 million from its LEDA job-creation fund. The City of Albuquerque Economic Development Department has pledged $250,000 through its LEDA fund, and will also act as fiscal agent for the state’s funding.

BlueHalo will also apply for an Industrial Revenue Bond (IRB). All incentives are pending and contingent on approval by the Albuquerque City Council. The company is planning $60 million of capital investment into the site.

“Albuquerque is a national leader in space and directed energy technology research and development and the word is out that if you are working in these industries, this is the place to be,” Mayor Tim Keller said. “Our city is an ideal location for BlueHalo’s new campus, with our strong partnerships with Kirtland Air Force Base, Sandia Labs, the Air Force Research labs, as well as our highly skilled workforce and unmatched quality of life.”

“Albuquerque possesses key assets that make it a low-cost, high-value magnet for the aerospace and high-tech manufacturing industry,” Synthia R. Jaramillo, City of Albuquerque Economic Development Department Director, said.


MTX Group Inc. a premier global technology consulting firm, announced plans with public officials to establish a Southwest regional office in New Mexico as part of its continued expansion. MTX partners with public sector agencies and organizations to advance outcomes in happiness, health and economics of the communities they serve worldwide. MTX is committed to creating 250 high-tech jobs in Albuquerque in the next five years.

MTX plans to lease office space and hire 250 New Mexico employees over the next five years with an average salary of $90,000 to $175,000.

The State of New Mexico is pledging assistance for training employees under the Job Training Incentive Program (JTIP). MTX also announced a workforce collaboration with Central New Mexico Community College with their “Deep Dive Coding and Data Science” intensive boot camps. MTX will also be connecting with the 18+ community colleges and universities via Handshake in order to engage the local student community in information sessions, career fairs, future case competition opportunities and hackathons.

“New Mexico is more competitive than ever in being able to recruit innovative companies which can bring quality jobs to the people of New Mexico,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “MTX will now make Albuquerque its regional hub and with that bring 250 new high-paying jobs that will keep our young professionals in New Mexico and build a more resilient economy.”

The company will invest over $2 million in its New Mexico office complex. The MTX payroll is expected to reach $20 million and the direct economic impact of MTX in New Mexico is estimated at $347 million over 10 years. The Economic Development Department is pledging $2 million from the State’s LEDA Job-Creation Fund to assist MTX as it opens operations in New Mexico.

“MTX’s decision to expand in New Mexico is a result of another successful partnership between state and local governments, higher education and the private sector,” said EDD Cabinet Secretary Keyes. “Gov. Lujan Grisham has focused on using these important collaborations to build wealth in the state and diversify the economy. This is what that success looks like.”

MTX currently provides technology solutions in over 35 states, including health monitoring, disease tracking, unemployment insurance claims, emergency child care licensing, isolation services for higher education and vaccination management.

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