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Thu August 28, 2003
MVEDA says Southern NM lacks skilled labor
By Michael Olson
Las Cruces, NM – Economic Development is a phrase used loosely by politicians and business leaders. It isn't always clear what they are talking about. The rhetoric, frequently coupled with notions of job creation and growth, acts like a steamroller through city hall and the state house to influence ordinances and legislation. One organization which seems to have the corner on the phrase "economic development" in Southern New Mexico is MVEDA, the Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance.
The organization serves as a hybrid chamber of commerce infused with a public relations agency which promotes the region to businesses. Since 1996, MVEDA has helped, in some way or shape, bring 45 new businesses to Southern New Mexico. These businesses have created roughly 4,000 new jobs. Considering the per capita income of this part of New Mexico is 59% of the national average MVEDA's place appears secure.
Outside of selling the area to prospective businesses MVEDA also grooms the cities of Dona Ana County to be more attractive to business development. This pro-business molding is evident in a new survey.
MVEDA conducted a survey of 16 industries ranging from 2 person small businesses to the area's largest employers. MVEDA President and CEO Steve Vierck said the survey found that the region is in great need of skilled labor. The survey also found that many respondents value the quality of life offered here. Hospital care, zoning and taxes ranked high among respondents areas of concern.