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New Sandoval County economic development group launched

Months of discussions between Sandoval County Commissioners, local business people and Rio Rancho city officials have come to fruition with the creation of the Sandoval Economic Alliance, a nonprofit organization tasked with bringing jobs and business to the county.

The Economic Alliance will build on work done by the Rio Rancho Economic Development Corp. which ceased operations on Monday, said Joe Sierra Rio Rancho Market President for Century Bank.

Sierra is the chairman of the 14-person Economic Alliance board which includes Rio Rancho City Manager Keith Riesberg, Sandoval County Manager Phil Rios and representatives from local businesses such as Intel, Hewlett-Packard, US Bank and Don Chalmers Ford.

Before disbanding, the RREDC board of directors voted to transfer all of its assets and intellectual property to Sandoval Economic Alliance, Sierra’s release said.

In an interview, Sierra said that the new organization will soon start searching for a president and CEO who will be paid from funding provided by Sandoval County and Rio Rancho. The county and the city each committed $200,000 in their current fiscal year budgets to economic development.

Sierra said theĀ Economic Alliance will also seek support from the private sector.


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He said the new organization will initially operate from the RREDC offices near Southern and N.M. 528 in Rio Rancho and will retain two of the former organizations remaining employees. Noreen Scott, longtime director of RREDC stepped down in March.

He said the board has developed a business plan that will follow some of the recommendations in a report prepared for Sandoval County last year by Mark Lautman. The report estimated Sandoval County needed nearly 11,000 new jobs by 2023 to keep pace with projected population growth and job losses.

The report identified health and social services, manufacturing, agriculture and tourism among the sectors with the most job growth potential.