The Sun Shines Bright on Greater Albuquerque's Economy
Albuquerque is a member of just about every "Best Of" list there is, making it one of the nation's top locations to live, work and invest.
With its cache of assets – a sunny climate, central location, bustling business environment and talented workforce – this region is luring forward-thinking companies and new development on a regular basis.
"The success of this place is a direct result of the people," says Terri Cole, president and CEO of the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, "We are an enthusiastic, smart bunch who are willing to take intelligent risks."
Albuquerque has enjoyed a history of steady, moderate growth, making it a survivor during some tough economic times.
"We are a community of entrepreneurs and innovators," Cole says. "We have a strong spirit and an uncanny ability to survive and thrive in the hardest of times."
The chamber is helping businesses through this challenging time, she says, by providing support and opportunity for members to sell more of their product or services.
"Our rate of growth has allowed for a nice pace of development for the community," says Gary Tonjes, president of Albuquerque Economic Development Inc. "When new or expanding companies are looking for a place that is attractive to site their new office or manufacturing plant, they look to Albuquerque. We have a well-educated workforce, a young and growing population, an excellent business climate and a place where businesses are confident they will not only find the talent they will need, but a community that is interesting and vibrant."
Albuquerque sits at the top of the mountain when it comes to the successful recruitment of technology-related companies. The film industry is exploding, with new film-based companies and millions in investment. The next frontier, Tonjes says, is renewable energy, especially solar, and it's being spurred by incentives, local support and the region's central location.
"These firms are attracted to the resources here in the national labs and universities, the high-tech base of support through workers and contractors, and they are encouraged with the programs that have been put in place at the state and local level to help attract their investment," he says.
The impressive Sandia Science and Technology Park has generated investments approaching $500 million, with the average salary exceeding $70,000.
Mesa del Sol, a 20-square-mile development on the outskirts of Albuquerque, will create thousands of new jobs and homes for a projected 100,000 residents. The $92 million Albuquerque Studios was one of the first residents of the development, which is billed as a place "where innovative spirit and respect for the environment result in a healthier, simpler way to live."
"Mesa del Sol is a terrific economic development project for our city and state," says the chamber's Cole. "This project will literally grow the boundaries of our region like no other project in my lifetime. It's a big idea supported by a great company. All of us are very excited to celebrate its success."