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Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category


By: Jami Grindatto
President & CEO, Sandoval Economic Alliance

Economic development is a “game of hurry and wait” – you have to pounce on opportunities when companies decide to move and grow (that’s the hurry), yet most companies entertaining growth realize that it is not trivial to commit to capital investments and adding jobs to the payroll (that’s the wait). And most opportunities we seek out don’t materialize as a result of these companies going cold and choosing to wait. It is extremely rewarding when a company finally commits to step up and trust our community to support their move and growth with services like incentive and tax credit support, workforce recruitment, and financing and commercial real estate selection. Our job is to help them mitigate the risks and costs during their critical move.

Another lesson we recently learned is that economic development is a “game of anticipation.” We are tasked to know as much as we can from existing businesses, and we have deployed an “early warning system.”

Sprint is a good example of a business that has been confidentially discussing the possibility of renewing their lease, moving to another building in the Albuquerque area, or closing their doors as part of a national consolidation project.

Sandoval Economic Alliance engaged early with the brokers and property management, and steered several companies looking for a new location to them. We’ve been able to quietly show the building since November to prospects. Since, several site relocation consultants visited the building as a result of our outreach efforts – this includes working with our peer organizations like Albuquerque Economic Development and the NM Partnership who had additional prospects interested in this location.

Our goal is to be prepared when companies leave, fill the building as soon as possible, and give our citizens opportunities for jobs sooner than later. It is always painful for our families that are affected by layoffs, and I view our work to a certain extent as a trust and service to these families.

In addition, we have worked with the Department of Workforce Solutions (DWS) to direct companies we know are hiring to their Rapid Response team working with Sprint employees. We’ve had several inquiries from employers who wanted to reach out to Sprint employees – we referred them to the DWS team and Sprint leadership directly.

The collaboration of multiple organizations to support affected employees and their families is necessary to successfully transition the workforce into new jobs. We can’t do this alone, and are fortunate with a willing community of organizations who spring into action – that’s what makes our economic alliance special and able to deliver beyond job creation services.

We are very proud of being part of a great community in Sandoval County and Rio Rancho that rallies in support of businesses. Being business-friendly not only benefits new businesses moving here, but existing businesses and their employees that have to live through exciting growth or painful transitions. That’s what I believe makes a community business strong.

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By: Jami Grindatto
President & CEO, Sandoval Economic Alliance

As you’ve probably heard, New Mexico did not make the shortlist for GE’s HQ relocation. I’d like to take this opportunity to share what we learned. Before I go into detail, there are a few things you need to understand about our mission, and our goals as an organization.

Sandoval Economic Alliance was established in 2014 to support job creation, and to provide opportunities, and enhance the quality of life in Rio Rancho and Sandoval County. We use digital marketing methods in addition to conventional marketing to recruit companies and attempt to attract them with information about available commercial real estate, state and local incentives, financing mechanisms and quality of life factors.

When the State of Connecticut changed its tax policy earlier this year to the detriment of their business community, we generated a marketing campaign to attract Connecticut companies to our positive business climate in New Mexico. New Mexico had just passed a new incentive package including the extension of Single Sales Factor formula to regional and national headquarters. GE responded to us by requesting a proposal from our alliance. They made their displeasure about the new Connecticut tax law known publicly, and many states and even countries have submitted proposals including Texas, Georgia, Florida, and Indiana.

Sandoval Economic Alliance generates many quality proposals for companies of all types and sizes each month, and GE’s proposal was one of many – this does not require extra effort, and we’ve received great support from the NM Economic Development Department and our Congressional delegation with letters of support to bolster our case. Even though large corporations may represent a long shot for New Mexico, we all remember that Intel and HP were willing to start new operations in our beautiful state as a result of the bold efforts of government leaders, economic developers, and local businesses.

This proposal rallied community support, which is crucial in economic development. Having your state and its people advocating for New Mexico as a great place to live and a great place to work is invaluable when trying to attract new companies to our area. As a result of this project, we have established new relationships at the highest levels at GE, who may consider other operations for New Mexico in the future. After all, GE ran a manufacturing operation in Albuquerque for over 30 years before consolidating during the Great Recession – they now know we want them back.

Economic development is a business of ‘hurry and wait’ and after all the greatest efforts, the ‘no’ answers still outnumber the ‘yes’ answers by a wide margin. But don’t get discouraged by the low odds – we’re in this to win for the long-term, and “we don’t win if we don’t get on the field.” You will continue to see us market our community aggressively and strategically target small and large companies alike for recruitment.

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