High-Tech Firms Are Major Employers Across Albuquerque, NM
A glance at AeA’s 2008 “Cybercities” report suggests just how much Intel has affected the region’s economy since opening in Rio Rancho in 1980.
The organization, formerly the American Electronics Association, ranks Greater Albuquerque 10th in the country for concentration of high-tech jobs. The study found that high-tech firms accounted for 113 of every 1,000 private-sector employees in the Central New Mexico region that includes Sandoval County, home to Rio Rancho and Intel, as well as Bernalillo, Torrance and Valencia counties. The area ranked 12th nationally for employment associated with research and development and testing laboratories.
“Intel has made a world of difference to the quality of development in the region and the state,” says Gary Tonjes, president of Albuquerque Economic Development. “When you see Intel in New Mexico, that makes it easier for the next company to make a decision.”
After nearly 30 years, Intel’s presence remains a draw. Early on, the company helped create a climate for startups and other microelectronics manufacturers. The newest wave involves solar energy. “A solar cluster is developing,” Tonjes says, adding that some solar companies are hiring former Intel employees.