This week, the Solar Foundation released its 2016 job census. Nationally, solar was the top source of newly-installed energy capacity. Environment New Mexico Executive Director Sanders Moore pointed out that at the end of last year, there were nearly 3,000 New Mexicans working in the solar industry. Women hold just under half those jobs, 33 percent of the workers are Latino or Hispanic, and almost 9 percent are veterans. Unlike many other economic indicators, New Mexico is ahead of the curve when it comes to job growth in solar.
Just three years ago, the New Mexico Legislature significantly changed what manufacturers owe in taxes in the state. Legislators squarely aimed the changes at one big company: Intel. Next year, the tax changes will fully eliminate payroll and property taxes for manufacturers and instead only tax them on their in-state sales. Related Story: After report of layoffs, Intel future in NM still unclear
Over the years, the computer microprocessing giant has enjoyed at least $2.6 billion worth of state and local subsidies for its facility in Rio Rancho. But the company also fell on hard times this decade as personal computers, which Intel’s microchip is used for, ceded ground to cell phones and mobile devices.
Employment at Intel’s Rio Rancho plant fell to 1,900 people at the beginning of the year, a drop of 400 people from the beginning of 2015, the company said Tuesday. Those lost positions were the result of retirements, relocations and resignations, and not layoffs, Intel’s Rio Rancho plant spokeswoman Natasha Martell Jackson told ABQ Free Press. The Rio Rancho plant had 5,500 employees in the mid-2000s. Intel announced Tuesday that it is cutting 12,000 jobs, or 11 percent from its worldwide workforce, by mid-2017. The company did not give specifics about those cuts and it did not say how they would affect the Rio Rancho facility.
Intel Corp. said Tuesday that it will eliminate 12,000 jobs worldwide by mid-2017, an 11 percent reduction in its work force. Those reductions are part of Intel’s attempts to transform itself “from a PC company to one that powers the cloud and billions of smart, connected computing devices,” the company said. The cuts will come “through site consolidations worldwide, a combination of voluntary and involuntary departures, and a re-evaluation of programs,” Intel said. This piece originally appeared on the ABQ Free Press website.
The governor of New Mexico and a Republican presidential candidate each weighed in on how speaking Spanish would impact job prospects in New Mexico. The Albuquerque Journal wrote about the needs for qualified bilingual workers, especially as New Mexico becomes a bigger target for call center companies. Martinez said how “border spanish” wasn’t necessarily useful when seeking jobs. From the Journal:
“Border Spanish” was the descriptive term Martinez used, recounting her own experience in losing what was her first language as a child to institutional prejudices at parochial school and pressure from her parents to assimilate into the mainstream English-speaking culture. The unschooled Spanish spoken by many bilingual residents, often passed down from generation to generation, evidently lacks the sophisticated fluency needed in an increasingly international business world, particularly in terms of call center work.
[box type=”info” style=”rounded”]MICHAEL PADILLA is a Democratic state senator representing District 14 (Bernalillo) and currently serves as the Majority Whip for New Mexico’s state senate.[/box]
The 2015 Legislative Session now has less than a week to finish all its work, but there is still plenty of time to address the most pressing need in New Mexico today: more jobs. Early in this 60-day meeting of the legislature, Senate Democrats laid out our priorities through an ambitious ‘Ready to Work’ Jobs Plan. The plan creates 73,000 jobs over the next five years and stimulates greater economic activity across New Mexico. The plan is comprised of more than 50 bills introduced in the current session that promise new employment and economic activity in urban and rural areas of the state, across a broad range of occupations. Our plan also meets two significant challenges.
Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, D-NM, made an appearance in the Roundhouse on Thursday afternoon. The congressman spoke to the Senate and House in a joint session and spoke about revitalizing New Mexico’s economy and encouraging job growth. Here is a recap of what Lujan said, through tweets from his speech. [View the story “New Story” on Storify]
Senate Democrats said in a press conference on Wednesday afternoon that right-to-work will not pass the Senate. This came as Democrats touted their package which they say will create over 73,000 jobs if they become law. From the answers of two conservative members of the Senate, it looks like Democrats expect right-to-work legislation to be tabled in the committee process and never make the floor. Both Senate President Pro Tem Mary Kay Papen, D-Las Cruces, and Sen. John Arthur Smith, D-Deming, are conservative Democrats. Each said they respect the committee process when asked if they believed the bill would pass the Senate.