13
Jul

In our experience, it’s not been often that an economic development suitor divulges the name of a company it’s wooing before having fairly firm assurance the target is seriously entertaining the idea.

So, it caught us a little by surprise last week when the year-old Sandoval Economic Alliance revealed it’s making a bid to attract a corporate biggie — General Electric — to Sandoval County.

SEA President and CEO Jami Grindatto said by the end of the work week, he planned to submit a proposal suggesting the Connecticut-based company move its corporate headquarters here. News reports say the company seeks a pro-business state and better corporate tax environment.

Not unexpectedly, the competition would be steep, with the states of Texas, New York and Indiana reportedly among those with keen interest in attracting GE as well.

Maybe we weren’t let in on all the details, but we’d obviously feel more optimistic about this area’s chances to land the company if there was a better gauge of GE’s interest in New Mexico than simply by its prompt reply to SEA’s inquiries and invitation to submit a proposal.

Yet, why not our city or county?

Sure, the idea is bold. But such an operation would be clean, likely employ hundreds and infuse the area with millions of new dollars. Perhaps other companies would follow.

Grindatto rattled off just some of the reasons GE should seriously consider a move to New Mexico.

“I think we have a quality of life that many other metro areas do not provide, and that goes all the way from the weather to public safety, the quality of the Rio Rancho public school system,” he said. “The governor and the Legislature have reduced tax rates, the corporate income tax is down, we have a very good business climate.”

To boot, GE has familiarity with New Mexico, having operated a jet engine component plant in Albuquerque for more than 40 years before it closed in 2010.

Maybe that won’t be sufficient for GE. But no one should dismiss SEA’s proposal as a pipe dream.

We can sit back and lament our still-struggling local economy or things out of our control such as what the future holds for Intel in Rio Rancho.

But with a broad, committed community effort to persuade companies like GE that this is where they should be, who knows what’s possible?

At the very least, SEA should be credited for thinking big. That’s what it’s going to take to get Rio Rancho and Sandoval County back on the move.

Click here for the original editorial in the Rio Rancho Observer.

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