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The Sandia Science and Technology Park in southeastern Albuquerque continues to be a strong driver of regional economic growth, according to the Central Regional Government Council’s latest semiannual economic impact report released Wednesday morning. It boosts the economy year after year.
Located just north of the Eubank entrance to Kirtland Air Force Base, the park is home to 40 companies, mostly high-tech companies that provide goods and services to Sandia National Laboratories and Air Force Research Laboratories. This includes state-of-the-art R&D and manufacturing operations that provide critical support to the lab while also helping create new technologies for both the defense industry and commercial markets.
Park-based activities will add about $1.05 billion to the region’s Gross Product (the total value of goods and services produced in and around Albuquerque) from 2020 to 2021, according to a new report I was.
This will create thousands of local jobs, including 1,786 employees who will work directly at the park by the end of 2021, with an average annual salary of $97,339, almost double the Albuquerque average of $54,028. And for every park-based employee, about two additional jobs have been created in the region, and as of last December, there were jobs in everything from construction and manufacturing to retail, healthcare, food and professional services. generated 3,177 “indirect” jobs.
This resulted in nearly 5,000 direct and indirect park-related jobs in Central Rio Grande last year, generating $331.2 million in wages and salaries.
In fact, since the park’s creation in 1998, businesses and organizations located there have paid nearly $7.2 billion in wages and generated more than $4 billion in taxable personal income. As a result, since 1998, the state has received her $166.1 million in tax revenue and the city has received her $36.6 million.
“Having a technology park in Albuquerque has contributed to the success of major employers and employees,” Mayor Tim Keller said in a statement. It has supported an incredibly talented workforce, spurring opportunity, innovation and continued growth in the city’s cutting-edge technology and research industries.”
Sandia director James Peeley praised the park’s economic impact.
“It creates jobs, attracts talented professionals to our state, and builds partnerships between labs and the private sector that bring pioneering technologies to market,” Peery said in a statement. .
Yet, despite the park’s continued economic vitality, businesses located there have been hit hard by the global pandemic, with workers starting to work from home, resulting in a significant drop in direct onsite employment.
Park Development Corporation chairman Sherman McCorkle said it was especially difficult for park-based businesses because tech companies typically have to work directly in labs.
“For these tech companies, COVID has doubled the challenge, because most have labs that can’t be managed remotely and everyone has to be onsite,” McCorkle told the Journal. Told. “The pandemic has been very difficult for them, as our employees also travel frequently and visit the company frequently from other locations.”
Nearly 200 park-based jobs were also lost in 2020 after closing two facilities operated by Raytheon Technologies.
Park-wide direct employment is down 25% from pre-pandemic levels, down from 2,369 jobs in 2019 to 1,786 last year.
However, many remote workers are expected to return to the parks as the pandemic subsides. Additionally, Virginia-based engineering firm BlueHalo LLC is ramping up its park-based workforce after leasing two more facilities this year, including his one in the abandoned Raytheon Building. This expands the original park footprint from about 50,000 square feet to he over 200,000 square feet.
Additionally, real estate firm Titan Development plans to build a new high-tech innovation center to attract more businesses to the park.
“While the park has been impacted by the pandemic, it is still drawing people into the region and creating jobs,” said Dewey Cave, executive director of the Central Regional Government Council, in a statement. “The parks company has helped strengthen our community during a difficult time that has affected everyone.”