Legislative Jobs Council Recommends New Legislation

The New Mexico State Capital/Courtesy www.newmexico.gov


SANTA FE–With a blueprint in hand, the bipartisan Legislative Jobs Council has started the legislative process of creating jobs in New Mexico. A legislative package based on the recommendations of the Jobs Council has been drafted and is ready to be introduced in the House of Representatives.

The legislative package includes:

  • Appropriations to improve economic development efforts toward job creation which includes significantly more funding for the Economic Development Department and the State Tourism Department.   
    • $10 million dollars (EDD) for a discretionary closing fund for projects pursuant to the Local Economic Development Act;
    • $2.0 million dollars (EDD) for a Cooperative Marketing program which will allow participants in the certified cities program to hire additional people to help regions focus economic growth in targeted fields.
    • $1.5 million dollars (EDD) for New Mexico Partnership to hire additional people for outreach and marketing.
    • $1.5 million dollars (EDD) for the Job Training Incentive Program (JTIP) to make it permanent;
    • $250,000 (EDD) to develop and test a job-creation program focused on solo workers;
    • $200,000 (EDD) for certified business incubators;
    • $100,000 (EDD) to fund and support regional efforts to pilot a program for forest restoration and biomass development on US Forest land. 
    • $2.5 million dollars (Tourism) to expand marketing and develop visitor-experience activities
    • $500,00 (Tourism) for on-line customer service training
  • $150,000 for the Higher Education Department (HED) to develop a work force gap forecasting model that will identify the number of jobs that will be needed in the future, the skills, knowledge and experience that those jobs will require;
  • Legislation to create the Economic Development Grant Program which would provide matching state grants to local and regional economic development agencies to expand economic development and job creation. The Economic Development Grant Program would require those entities to report back on their job-creating progress.
  • Legislation that would fund a physics early-education pilot program for middle schools. Earlier access and encouragement in the sciences is critical to developing the skills necessary to get jobs at the labs, universities, Spaceport, military bases, and other tech job opportunities in the state.

“The thinking in the past has been when government is shrinking because of the recession you take money away from job creation, which is very counterintuitive,” House Speaker Ken Martinez, D-Grants said. “Having lost so many jobs, we need to work harder to create jobs. We need to create 16,000 jobs a year for the next 10 years and this legislation gets the ball rolling.”

“Jobs are important for New Mexico. This plan hits all parts of the state and all sectors.” Senate President Pro Tem Mary Kay Papen said. “It’s not just about bringing in new business, it’s also about re-tooling. If we can figure out what kinds of jobs can be created here in New Mexico, we can prepare and train our students for those jobs so they can stay here.”