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Texas healthcare company bringing 244 jobs to ABQ

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Carenet Healthcare Services, a Texas-based health care support company, is expanding to Albuquerque with plans for 244 jobs over the next five years.

The San Antonio-based firm will also invest $3 million in the former Bank of America building at 303 Roma NW. The sum includes a 10-year lease, tenant improvements, furniture, fixtures and equipment, according to information provided by Albuquerque Economic Development Inc.

Gov. Susana Martinez, at a news conference Tuesday, called the Carenet announcement a “positive result of the reforms implemented to grow and diversify our economy.”

Mayor Tim Keller said the city is “ready to work with Carenet to expand our innovative economy while creating quality jobs in Albuquerque.”

John Erwin, Carenet’s CEO, said the company plans to move downtown within three months and will begin hiring “pretty quickly.” Among the positions the company is looking to fill are those for registered nurses and data analysts.

The company will receive $636,566 from the state’s Local Economic Development Act and is expected to apply for reimbursement through the Job Training Incentive Program. Albuquerque will act as the fiscal agent for the LEDA award.

In addition, Carenet will receive $150,000 from the city’s Local Economic Development Act fund, the first city LEDA investment of the Keller administration.

Administration officials have said they want the city’s economic development policies to emphasize local businesses over out-of-state recruitment. But Synthia Jaramillo, director of economic development, said the Carenet investment does not represent a departure from that goal.

“Here at the city, we are committed to making sure that companies that do business here, thrive here,” said Jaramillo in a statement emailed after the press conference. “That includes offering the same type of tools available to out-of-state companies to our homegrown entrepreneurs who need that extra boost. We don’t have to choose between helping an out of state company over our local companies. At the end of the day, we’re grateful to anyone bringing quality jobs to Albuquerque.”

Albuquerque Economic Development President Gary Tonjes told the Journal that Carenet’s 10-year lease was one of the variables that allowed the company to qualify for economic development funding from the city, which has different requirements than the LEDA programs offered by the state or its counties.

At the press conference, Matt Geisel, secretary of the state’s Economic Development Department, said about 70 percent of the companies supported by the state’s incentive programs under Martinez are “homegrown, New Mexico companies.”

A department spokesman said the percentage refers to the number of companies participating in JTIP and LEDA, not the dollar amount of the incentives allotted to each firm.

Carenet is unrelated to Care Net, the organization behind several anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers in the greater Albuquerque area.