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Governor celebrates economic development money

Gov. Susana Martinez visited the newly constructed Accurate Machine and Tool/ACIM facility in Los Lunas Tuesday to celebrate an increase of more than $12 million in Local Economic Development Act funding.

“I am proud to announce that we secured another $12.5 million, giving us $50 million in LEDA money that is critical,” Martinez said.

The purpose of the event was to highlight the effectiveness of the state’s LEDA funding and how it affects small businesses, especially in rural areas such as Valencia County, said New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela.

Accurate Machine and Tool/ACIM is an Albuquerque family-owned business that recently relocated to the Los Morros Business Park, west of Interstate 25 in Los Lunas, in order to expand. The company was awarded $400,000 in LEDA funding earlier this year.

Last year, there was $15 million in LEDA funding, and during this year’s legislative session LEDA funding was increased to $37.5 million. During the June 8 special session, another $12.5 million was appropriated.

Barela also said an additional $7.5 million was put into the Job Training Incentive Program that reimburses eligible businesses when they provide on-the-job training for New Mexico residents.

“New Mexicans can, of course, be proud of the progress that we’ve made just in growing and diversifying our economy,” the governor said. “We just had a 32nd consecutive month — 32 months in a row of year-over-year private sector job growth.”

Earlier Tuesday, Martinez visited Rio Rancho to thanklegislators for their work in helping pass a capital outlay package in the  special session.

The Legislature passed a $295 million capital outlay package during the special session. It awaits the governor’s signature.

Of the capital outlay deal, more than $2 million will be used to purchase rights-of-way for Paseo del Volcan. Martinez complimented the local legislative delegation for its work pooling money for the project, comparing its work to the multimillion-dollar Paseo del Norte/Interstate 25 interchange project.

“We’ve seen what can happen when we commit a significant amount of state infrastructure money behind a large critical highway project,” she said. “… When we invest in major highway projects, we’re creating jobs and making it easier to develop and grow our economy.”

Antonio Sanchez of the Rio Rancho Observer contributed to this report.