Manufacturing is the biggest fish to catch, and a sector the region has been wooing for some time. The high economic multiplier, good wages, and jobs with benefits are just some of the reasons for focusing on the manufacturing sector. New Mexico never had a strong manufacturing base, because while the rest of the nation was industrializing and serving a customer base, New Mexico was developing infrastructure to serve military bases, mining activities and agriculture. The relatively small manufacturing base of the state was hit disproportionately hard during the recession and is just now climbing back with some gains in food manufacturing, and computer and electronics manufacturing. The region is trying to diversify its manufactured products and exports so as not to over-rely on one industry.
Part and parcel with manufacturing comes the need to bring in suppliers and export products; in other words, a seamless logistics and freight transportation network. The Transportation and Logistics Hub Study (see www.mrcog-nm.gov) outlines strategies that facilitate freight logistics.
The region has an opportunity to promote itself to manufacturers who want few business disruptions due to severe weather, and who require reliable and inexpensive renewable energy. New Mexico is 28th out of 50 states for total number of disaster declarations since 1952. Albuquerque is one of the top 10 sunniest cities. The region has a low cost of solar and wind energy. All of these factors create an environment ripe for manufacturers who need competitive operations, distribution, and logistics.