Randy Randolph, Safelite’s vice president of real estate and market development; PCM senior sales manager Mark Alexander; and PCM senior talent acquisition manager Charles Walters discussed job recruitment and business in Rio Rancho during Thursday’s NAIOP Rio Rancho Roundtable meeting at Presbyterian Rust Medical Center and hosted by New Mexico Economic Development Department Cabinet Secretary Matt Geisel.
Last June, PCM announced plans to open a call and sales center in a portion of the HP center in City Center. The California-based company projected it would create 224 jobs by 2020, with annual salaries ranging between $45,000 and $65,000.
Two weeks later, Safelite announced it would open a customer contact center in the former Sprint building in Enchanted Hills. The auto glass repair company expected to create 893 jobs by 2019, with wages for full-time employees ranging between $11 and $13 an hour.
According to Randolph and Walters, both companies will meet and exceed their hiring goals by the end of the year. PCM is expected to reach 220 employees by May, Walters said, with plans to have 317 employees by Dec. 31. Similarly, Safelite has hired 696 full- and part-time employees, Randolph said, with expectations of reaching more than 1,000 by the end of the year.
Walters said he was happy with PCM’s decision to expand to Rio Rancho, saying 96 percent of the site’s employees were from New Mexico. Before PCM decided to expand to New Mexico, Walters said the company initially had plans to grow at established sites elsewhere.
“We were evaluating: Can we grow in Montreal, can we grow in Chicago? We were basically looking at which center could house more people and then suddenly we get this phone call from some people in Rio Rancho,” Walters said. “The (state) incentives were a big driving factor, but one thing I like to touch on is that we saw through the process, and we continue to see now, is the community.”
PCM and Safelite received funds from the state’s local economic development act and job training incentive program funds. Geisel, who spoke to both companies last summer about Rio Rancho as the city’s economic development and business relations manager, said discussions about state incentives came late in the process.
“We educated about the tools and talked about the tools, but dollars came at the very, very end which is very common in this business,” Geisel said. “A lot of people think that we lead with incentives, that we talk about dollars on day one and we’re signing blank checks.”
Geisel said the existing real estate for PCM and Safelite helped seal the deals.
“One of the great things about having ‘ready’ real estate is it provides predictability to the process,” he said. “Being able to articulate how quickly you could move their process from A to Z, whether that’s through rock and dirt to a certificate of occupancy, being able to articulate that timeline.”