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LANL: Research shows lab’s economic impact is $3.1B a year

SANTA FE – University of New Mexico research shows that Los Alamos National Laboratory’s average annual economic impact on New Mexico from 2015 to 2017 was $3.1 billion, according to the lab.

The lab, in a news release this week, also touted that it is increasing preferences for local contractors and creating a new office on business partnerships.

The “preliminary independent research” on economic impact was conducted by UNM’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research. LANL could provide no additional detail on the BBER findings.

The lab released some its own statistics on employment and payroll at LANL, the lab’s spending on goods and services and its stimulation of local business growth.

Those include:

– The lab employed 11,743 people in 2018 — up 660 from 2017. Forty-five percent of the workforce lives in Los Alamos County, 21 percent in Santa Fe County and 16 percent in Rio Arriba County.

– The lab paid out more than $1 billion in salaries in the 2018 fiscal year. LANL’s total budget was $2.7 billion.

– Of the more than $756 million in goods and services purchased by the lab in fiscal 2018, 55 percent (more than $420 million) went to New Mexico businesses, up from 45 percent the year before.

– The contracts awarded to New Mexico businesses in FY2018 totaled $269 million, compared to $262 million in 2017.

– Los Alamos worked on 534 economic development projects with New Mexico small businesses in 2017. The lab provided grants, and through the New Mexico Small Business Assistance program, lab expertise and resources went to help local businesses solve various issues or challenges.

– The laboratory’s economic development projects created or retained 1,494 jobs at New Mexico companies in 2017, with salaries totaling more than $52.6 million.

LANL also said it is doubling from 5 percent to 10 percent the local price preference given to contract bids from businesses based in the seven counties surrounding the lab and that there is an additional preference for qualifying pueblo businesses.

In addition, the lab is establishing a new Office of Partnerships and Pipeline to stimulate new industry partnerships and high-tech start-ups.

“Los Alamos National Laboratory is a key economic driver in the region, and we are committed to both growing the local workforce and strengthening the local companies that are crucial in supporting the work we do,” LANL director Thom Mason said in the news release. “Our impact is felt not just in the number of people we employ and the goods and services we procure, but also in the economic development and workforce development initiatives that we proudly support.”

Mason has been lab director since Nov. 1, when LANL’s new operating contractor Triad National Security LLC took over. Triad consists of the University of California, Texas A&M and Ohio-based scientific non-profit Battelle Memorial Institute.