SANTA FE ― A start-up that helps retailers compete with Internet sellers and a company that builds unmanned solar aircraft are among the firms awarded job-training grants in June, said Economic Development Department Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes.
The most recent grants went to seven companies to train 52 workers in areas from chemistry to electronics and tech assembly to solar installation.
The June awards are the last of the 2019 Fiscal Year for the Job Training Incentive Program (JTIP), one of the top employee-training programs in the United States. JTIP funds classroom and on-the-job training for newly created jobs in expanding or relocating businesses for up to 6 months. The program reimburses 50-75 percent of employee wages.
In 2019, JTIP obligated $16.7 million to train 2,333 New Mexicans. Of the trainees, 274 are in film; 1,433 are in manufacturing; 1,192 live in rural communities; 29 are interns; and 151 were Step Up trainees, those at an existing job learning a new skill.
The average wage for the JTIP trainees was $18.04.
“It’s clear that businesses in every corner of New Mexico are using JTIP as a tool for job growth and expansion,” Cabinet Secretary Keyes said. “We are pleased that more than half the employees that benefited from JTIP were in rural parts of New Mexico and they were able to learn new skills and advance in their own communities.”
Seventy businesses were assisted in Fiscal Year 2019 – a record as far back as EDD can obtain data. From that number 24 were rural businesses in communities that include Belen, Berino, Carlsbad, Church Rock, Clovis, Deming, Farmington, Los Lunas, Loving, Navajo Nation, Portales, Questa, Roswell, Santa Teresa, Sunland Park, and Taos.
The following companies received awards at the June 14, 2019 JTIP Board meeting in Santa Fe.
- SpinLaunch, an aerospace company specializing in the use of kinetic energy to launch satellites into low-earth orbit for research and telecommunications, was awarded $368,000 for 15 trainees at Spaceport America with an average wage of $29.40, www.spinlaunch.com
- Rural Sourcing, an IT provider for cloud storage and maintenance applications, was awarded $245,000 for 12 jobs in Albuquerque with an average wage of $33, www.ruralsourcing.com
- Best Deal Retailer, a technology company that helps brick-and-mortar retailers close the pricing gap for the same merchandise offered online, was awarded $140,722 for 11 jobs in Albuquerque with an average wage of $26 an hour, www.bestdealretailer.com
- Mega Corp., a manufacturer of water and fuel tanks for mining applications, was awarded $37,500 for 6 jobs in Albuquerque with an average wage of $17.46 an hour, www.megacorpinc.com
- Silent Falcon, a manufacturer of solar-electric unmanned aircraft for use in public safety, defense and mapping, was awarded $64,000 for 5 trainees with an average wage of at $27.48 an hour, www.silentfalconuas.co
- RingIR, a startup based in the WESST Enterprise Center that is a spinoff from the University of South Wales in Australia, is trying to commercialize recognition technology. It was awarded $37,527 for 2 jobs with an average wage of $32, www.ring-ir.com
- Affordable Solar, an Albuquerque company which has been awarded JTIP previously, was approved for $22,000 for one additional job at $38.50 an hour, www.affordable-solar.com
JTIP dollars are reimbursed to businesses after employee training is completed and reporting requirements are certified by the Economic Development Department.
The Legislature created JTIP, formerly known as the Industrial Development Training Program, or “in plant training,” in 1972. Since then, JTIP has supported the creation of almost 50,000 jobs for New Mexicans. The Legislature has allocated $10 million for JTIP in the coming fiscal year.
Eligibility for JTIP funds depends on the company’s business, the role of the new jobs in that business, and the trainees themselves. JTIP eligibility guidelines can be found on the EDD website.
The JTIP Board meets monthly to consider proposals & amendments from companies. To learn more about JTIP and other EDD programs, visit http://gonm.biz.