Rio Rancho Observer
Posted: Wednesday, February 25, 2015 8:00 pm

Economic achievements and future goals, including attracting hundreds of jobs to the county each year, highlighted the discussion at a Sandoval Economic Alliance luncheon Tuesday at Club Rio Rancho.

Jami Grindatto, alliance president and CEO, said 923 existing and new economic base jobs have been created since July. Of those, 313 are filled positions, 301 are committed in 2015 and 309 are committed in 2016.

Grindatto said the new jobs create a ripple effect in Sandoval County: The 313 filled jobs will create $6.5 million of payroll and result in $451,190 in state and local taxes; the committed jobs in 2015 and 2016 will generate a payroll of $13 million and result in $890,775 in state and local taxes.
The alliance has a goal to add 750-plus jobs each year to the county. Grindatto said he is confident the alliance will reach it.

“Just from the first six months that we’ve worked together, being able to have those 920 jobs already on the books is a huge accomplishment. We still have a long way to go, but it felt to me like I haven’t even scratched the surface,” he said.

The alliance has begun a number of campaigns to lure companies to the area, according to Grindatto. It has researched companies in seven states and concluded that Sandoval County pre-qualifies for 155 companies and contacts. In order to pre-qualify, the alliance determines if building sizes and acreage available in the area meets with a company’s needs. The alliance also determines if the county has enough workforce and skill set needed for the company.

Discussing the alliance’s branding efforts, Grindatto said an article about SEA published in Business in Focus magazine will reach 360,000 business leaders in North America.
“The first six months have been very organizational and getting things in motion, and today kind of marks the day where we start doing more attraction and branding,” said Grindatto after the event.
DHF Technical Products, which moved its operation to Rio Rancho from California last year, was honored at the event with the “Business of the Year” award and presented a plaque by Grindatto. The company specializes in precious metal manufacturing and refining.

“DHF Technical was just a great example of a small manufacturer that we wanted to attract here and we felt that the success that they’ve had and really the community involvement that they’ve demonstrated since they started here has been a differentiator,” Grindatto said.

Jason Espinoza, vice president of government affairs for the Association of Commerce and Industry, spoke at the event about the state’s job growth from December 2013 to December 2014.
Espinoza said there has been growth with a number of industries, including construction, which ended 12 straight months of job losses, and education and health seeing a particular increase in jobs.
Espinoza spoke in favor of right-to-work legislation saying, “We want to have a chance but we don’t even get a chance because we don’t have a right-to-work law.

“The facts show that right-to-work states have faster job growth, more jobs and better jobs. In fact, of the 24 states with right-to-work, 19 have higher per capita income than New Mexico,” he said.
After the event, Espinoza said he encouraged Sandoval County residents to be informed about the work being done in the legislative session.

“The important thing is to get involved. People must speak up for right-to-work, procurement reform, tax reform and the other proposals we discussed today, because they will all ultimately impact Sandoval County,” he said.

For the original article in the Rio Rancho Observer, click here.

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