Archive for Employment

Everyone Knows It’s Windy

by John Weckerle

In a September 4, 2015 article, The Independent’s Leota Harriman reports on a Moriarty City Council meeting at which the Estancia Valley Economic Development Association (EVEDA) provided a semi-annual report on economic development activities.

The article is replete with opportunities for our admittedly nerdy penchant for looking things up and analyzing them – so many so that they simply cannot be covered in a single article, so we suppose we’ll have to call this one the second of a series, with the first being Saturday’s article.  At a minimum, we envision examining the following issues:

  • The Iberdola El Cabo project and wind energy impacts on county economies (today’s article)
  • The concept of amenities as a means of “attracting millenials” and, as a result, technology/manufacturing businesses
  • The Local Economic Development Act, including what it says (and perhaps more importantly what it doesn’t say), and the status of the Certified Communities Initiative and other State economic development programs.

And that’s probably just a start; economic development is a complex subject.

For today, we focus on the first item in the list above.  This comes in two parts; statements on the El Cabo wind energy project contained within the article, and some interesting studies involving economic impacts on county and state economies as a result of impacts.

El Cabo, or Not El Cabo

From The Independent article, reporting on a presentation by Myra Pancrazio, Executive Director of EVEDA discussing the potential for Torrance County obtaining a hospital using Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT):

Those PILT funds will expand greatly with the Iberdrola wind farm project, which is still “alive and kicking very hard,” she said. Iberdrola recently entered a 25-year contract agreement with Tri-State Generation and Transmission for purchase of wind-generated electricity.

According to that press release, the wind farm is expected to be completed in 2017, when it will produce 76 megawatts of energy, all of which will be purchased by Tri-State.

The idea that the Iberdrola project was moving forward (acknowledging that having a power purchase agreement [PPA]) is no guarantee that a project will be completed) was certainly new information; as reported in an August 28, 2014 Albuquerque Journal article, construction on the project had stopped and there has been little heard about it since.   This would be great news for at least some part of the local human population – although potentially less so for local birds and bats – hoping for the economic benefits arising from wind projects.  We enthusiastically scoured the web, including the sites of both Iberdrola and Tri-State, both of which post their press releases, and were disappointed to find no indication of a press release announcing a PPA for the Iberdroga El Cabo project in Southern Torrance County.  The text in The Independent’s article appears to refer to a press release involving Iberdrola’s  Twin Buttes project in southeastern Colorado (previously reported by the Mountain View Telegraph).

While the press release is at least a little good news for the good folks of Bent County, Colorado and renewable energy advocates within Tri-State’s region of influence (and perhaps the aforementioned Torrance County birds and bats), we fail to understand how this development would affect PILT funds, or any other aspect of economic development, in the Estancia Valley.  And we also have to wonder how news that Iberdrola is focusing successfully on a project elsewhere, while the local project is halted, is cause for optimism here.

Of course, if we’re wrong about this, we’d invite anyone with information to that effect to click the comment icon (the little word bubble at the top right of the article) and let us know.  We’ll be glad to acknowledge the error.

Hang Your Hat on the Wind

At the outset of this discussion, we refer our readers to two sources: Economic Development Impact of 1,000 MW of Wind Energy in Texas published by the National Renewable Energy Technology Laboratory (NREL), and this summary of Ex post analysis of economic impacts from wind power development in U.S. counties. As the latter article states: “…total county personal income increased by $11,150 over the 2000 to 2008 period…  And, for every megawatt of wind energy installed in a county, one half of a job was created.”  Of particular interest are Tables 3 and 4 of the NREL report, which show that the “local” share of the project tends to represent a relatively small percentage of the total project cost.  According to the State Land Office, of the 80,000 acres envisioned for the project, 39,000 would be State land.  In terms of acreage essentially half is owned by the state- so it is unclear just how much revenue would be collected by local landowners in terms of leases for tower locations, and how that would relate to local economic benefits in terms of increased economic activity and tax revenue for Torrance County.  Unfortunately, as the NREL article notes, the inputs into the JEDI model, which projects economic impacts of wind projects, are often proprietary, so we can’t easily apply it here.  While we agree that the project would be of benefit to economic development at the county and state level (assuming that it restarts), we caution that the benefits of wind energy projects may not be what is sometimes envisioned.

We’d like to let our readers know that we will probably be taking a few days off to attend to other things, but should be back next week.

A Titanic Sinking: Google Drones Fly Away

by John Weckerle

In April 2014, your editor and a number of other people received an e-mail message containing very good news: Titan Aerospace, a solar-powered drone startup operating at the Moriarty Municipal Airport – had been purchased by Google, and the project was to stay in Moriarty. As reported in the Mountain View Telegraph less than sixteen months later, Google abruptly announced its decision to abandon Moriarty and move the operation to California, reportedly so that it could better facilitate coordination with its other aviation-related operations.  Google leaves behind a $15 million, 60,000 square-foot facility at the airport, and will be repaying a $1 million dollar grant for water and sewer upgrades.

State and local officials, while expressing disappointment, have variously downplayed the negative and emphasized the positive, seeking to find a silver lining in this particular cloud.  Governor Martinez was reported to have called the move disappointing and expressed support for the community (KOAT), while U.S. Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham was somewhat more pointed in her expression of disappointment (Albuquerque Business First).  New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela emphasized that the State would recover its million-dollar infrastructure investment, and noted that the situation leaves Moriarty with assets that “will be able to benefit from water and sewage lines built with the state grant. Barela said the structural improvements ‘can help attract future projects to the state.'” (Santa Fe New Mexican). Moriarty Mayor Ted Hart, quoted in several of the previously referenced articles, characterizes the economic impacts as minimal (and in a direct and immediate way, at least, he may be right) and cited some apparent, though vague, commitment by Google to work with the City to find a use for the facility.

Reactions, at least in the form of responses to news stories, have been varied.  Some cite problems with in-state higher education, others point to workforce issues, others mentioned inexperience in aviation and excessive optimism on Google’s part, and still others blame Governor Susanna Martinez (while our positions often do not align with Ms. Martinez’s, we acknowledge that blaming her directly for this one is similar to blaming her for a meteorite strike or the weather.  More likely suspects would include the Easter bunny, Godzilla, or extraterrestrials. Or maybe the East Mountain Tea Party.).

It’s clear that much of the general reaction was surprise.  Our reaction was two fold: surprise (we were surprised by all the surprise, because we were surprised by Google’s initial decision to operate here in the first place) and something more typical…

A drive to look at some data.  We admit it; we’re nerds. Acknowledging that Google’s decision election to move was clearly business-based, we wondered what local factors might have influenced the decision and started to pull some economic data together.  As we worked through the data, we recognized that one of our regional economies is clearly in distress.

That’s right; we said one of them.  There are, at the very least, two.

»» A Titanic Sinking: Google Drones Fly Away

Job Openings at the NM Long-Term Services Department

by John Weckerle

Checking in on our friends at Mountainair Announcements, we find that the New Mexico Aging and Long-Term Services Department has vacancies for three positions: two in Albuquerque and one in Santa Fe.  For more information, including position descriptions, instructions for applying, and contacts, see the Mountainair Announcements article.

Employment Opportunity: Nurse-Family Partnership

by John Weckerle

Checking in on our friends at Mountainair Announcements, we find employment opportunities in the Nurse-Family Partnership, in which Bachelors-prepared nurses work in-home with low-income, first time mothers.  For more information, see the Mountainair Announcements article.

It is certainly nice to be able to post an employment opportunity.  As a reminder, if you’re hiring, please feel free to send us an announcement and we’ll post it under our Employment category.

Wind Technology Training Coming To Moriarty

by John Weckerle

Residents of the Estancia Valley and the surrounding area will soon have the opportunity to receive specialized training in the area of wind energy technology, according to a recent press release issued by Mesalands Community College in Tucumcari.

The program comes as a cooperative effort between Mesalands, the Estancia Valley Economic Development Association, the City of Moriarty, and the New Mexico Workforce Connection of Central New Mexico.  According to North American Wind Research and Training Center Director Jim Morgan “This pilot project provides the essential technical courses needed to assist students in obtaining a wind industry job and in turn supply area wind farms with wind energy technicians that will already have basic knowledge of the industry.”  Courses will cover safety issues, and will include subjects such as basic electricity, mechanics, hydraulics, and turbine safety.  Classes for the 8-week training program will be held in Moriarty, and some training will take place at the NAWRTC, including climbing the college’s 1.5 megawatt wind turbine.  Students who successfully complete the program will receive an Occupational Certificate in Basic Wind Energy Technology.

Those interested in applying should contact the New Mexico Workforce Connection of Central New Mexico at 832-6774.

According to the Mesalands wind energy technology program web site, the college also offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Wind Energy Technology, as well as customized training programs.  Completion of the NAWRTC facility is scheduled for September 2010, and Mesalands has already installed a 1.5 MW General Electric wind turbine.

Public Service Announcement: Job Fair

by John Weckerle

U.S. Representative Martin Heinrich will be hosting a job fair Monday, March 8 at  St. Anne’s Catholic Church (1400 Arenal Road SW, Albuquerque, NM 87105).  For more information, see the announcement at Mr. Heinrich’s Congressional web site.

Job Opening In Mountainair

from Mountainair Announcements:

There is a job opening for an experienced butcher at the Mountainair Meat Processing Plant. Please contact: Renee Julien,, 505 603 0559.

Employment Opportunities

Corrections Corporation of America CCA has 35 Job Positions available.  They have openings for Clerks, Case Managers, RN’s, Correctional Officers, and other positions.   Applications are available at the Workforce Connection Office in Moriarty, or call 832-6774 for more information.

Employment Opportunity

From the Central New Mexico Electric Cooperative:

Central New Mexico Electric Cooperative is accepting resumes for a full time Billing Technician in the Mountainair office.  Must be proficient in generalized computer skills with a strong emphasis on Microsoft Excel.  Bookkeeping experience and strong communication skills are required.  College education is preferred. Please send resumes to CNMEC, PO Box 669, Moriarty NM 87035.  Att: Alena  Closing 6-5-09

An Experiment…

by John Weckerle

While the economy is improving somewhat, unemployment is higher than any of us would want, so we’re going to run a little trial here at New Mexico Central.  Once a week, we’re going to run classified-style employment ads free of charge.  We’ll try this for a week or two, and then evaluate it to see if it’s worthwhile to continue.  Employers seeking applicants may send  the following information to by Friday of each week and we will try to post it early the following week:

  • Name of company
  • Contact phone number and name
  • Brief  description of position (about 50 words)
  • Address to which resumes, etc. should be sent (snail and e-mail)

We won’t be posting links to corporate/organizational web sites, as we’re trying to run a sort of free “classified jobs article” rather than create a link farm situation.  We will consider posting links to specific job announcements or job descriptions on others’ web sites; however, we will not be posting detailed descriptions directly on the web site. Announcements must be for real jobs that are currently available and employers must identify themselves, as we are trying to connect people with jobs and are not looking to facilitate corporate “fishing expeditions.” New Mexico Central accepts no responsibility for the veracity of the information provided in the ads or the employment practices of employers providing us with announcements.

Public Service Announcement – CNMEC Job Openings

by John Weckerle

We’ve received the following information from the Central New Mexico Electric Cooperative via the Estancia Valley Economic Development Association:

Central NM Electric Cooperative has one  full- time and one part-time night dispatcher position open.  Please send resumes to Workforce Connections or to the Moriarty or Mountainair CNMEC Office.  Beginning pay is $11.63. CNMEC will accept applications until May 15th.

The addresses for the two CNMEC offices are:

Moriarty Office
Central New Mexico Electric Cooperative, Inc.
P.O. Box 669
810 1st Street
Moriarty, NM 87035

Mountainair Office
Central New Mexico Electric Cooperative, Inc.
P.O. Box 157
301 N. Summit Ave.(Hwy 55)
Mountainair, NM 87036

So, You Want To Be In Pictures?

by John Weckerle

A background casting call for “Did You Hear About The Morgans?” starring Hugh Grant, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Sam Elliot will be held in Santa Fe this Sunday at The Lodge at Santa Fe from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Shooting will be from May 5 to June 5, in Santa Fe, Galisteo, Los Alamos, and Roy, NM.  Pay is $9.50, with overtime after 8 hours.  The producers are looking for Western/cowboy/cowgirl/rural/rodeo types, and I imagine that a good bunch of our local folks fall into at least one of those categories.  They’re also looking for pictures of pickup trucks and horse trailers for potential participation in the film.  For more information, see the announcement.

Wildlife West Summer Job Application Date Changes

by John Weckerle

The deadline for applications for Wildlife West Nature Park’s Youth Conservation Corps positions has been extended to May 1, 2009.  Young people ages 14 to 25 may apply.  For more information on a great summer job opportunity, see the Park web site or contact Wildlife West at 281-7655.

Public Service Announcement – City of Moriarty Seeking Call Center Applications

The City of Moriarty is seeking applications for positions for a potential employer at the Moriarty call center.  For more information and a copy of the call center application, see the City of Moriarty web page for the recruitment.

Summer Jobs at KAFB

by John Weckerle

The Kirtland Air Force Base Summer Hire program is accepting applications and resumes for a variety of summer employment positions.  Salary starts at $8.40 to $11.57 per hour.  Applicants must be at least 16 years old (18 for some positions) and must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as degree seeking students taking at least half-time (6 credit hours) at an accredited high school, technical, vocational 2 or 4 year college or university, graduate, or professional school. Applications must be received no later than March 20, 2009.  For more information, see the program flyer.