NEW MEXICO – New Mexico Economic Development Department (EDD) Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes asked legislators that the vision for the state’s economic future is to have a diverse and robust economy that attracts local talent, cultivates innovation and delivers prosperity through empowerment and collaboration.
In presenting EDD’s budget before the Legislative Finance Committee, Keyes reported that FY21 was a record year with the most job creation since 2008 – creating more than 10,000 jobs – as a result of the Job Training Incentive Program (JTIP) and the Local Economic Development Act (LEDA).
It was also reported that EDD is requesting increased funding to support projects in all of its divisions, part of that request includes $2.25 million for a new Office of Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, in support of minority-owned businesses, with three new full-time employees.
In addition, $4.5 million in funding was requested to strategically market the state and its nine target industries, including marketing initiatives for the Outdoor Recreation Division (ORD).
Separately, to address infrastructure deficiencies, special credit requests included one-time funding of $30 million for traditional LEDA projects, which helps businesses expand by offsetting land and building costs.
An additional $50 million was also requested for business infrastructure projects and industrial parks to improve competitiveness against other U.S. states.
“With increased interest from businesses looking to migrate away from major urban centers and a push to meet climate goals over the next 15-20 years, it is important to prepare New Mexico to be a landing zone for those businesses,” Keyes said.
To support the growth of New Mexico businesses, $800,000 was also requested for grants to business incubators throughout the state. Also contemplated is $500,000 to add six full-time employees to serve as regional representatives.
In addition, at least $12 million was requested for the JTIP program, which reimburses companies for a portion of the cost of training new workers or upgrading existing ones.
Also, $10 million would be for the Trails+ grant and the Outdoor Equity Fund to improve equity of access and provide the necessary infrastructure that will energize the region’s economy.
Another $450,000 is intended to support the rapid growth of the film and television industry, such investment would be for the training of minority filmmakers and an additional $50 million would be to establish and operate a film academy through the New Mexico Film Office (NMFO).
Source: MEXICO-NOW Staff