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Summit highlights the region’s potential for economic growth

Members of Congress Luján and Lujan Grisham emphasize the strengths of Northern New Mexico.
October 2, 2017
Congressman Ben Ray Luján

Congressman Ben Ray Luján addresses the REDI Summit.CREDIT: David Moore

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“By identifying and exploiting our strengths, we can determine an economic future that’s vibrant and robust."- Michelle Lujan Grisham

More than 200 community leaders from across Northern New Mexico gathered at Buffalo Thunder Resort on September 21 for the 2017 Regional Economic Development Initiative (REDI) State of the Region Summit.

At the event, titled Navigating our Economic Future, speakers were broadly positive about the potential for regional economic growth and job creation.

Congressman Ben Ray Luján gave the welcome address, stressing the need to recognize the many positive elements of life and business in New Mexico. “We can break the mold and challenge all the why nots and why we can’ts. Let’s celebrate all the positive and inspirational attributes that New Mexico has and turn this negative trend on its head.”

Deputy Cabinet Secretary Barbara Brazil from the New Mexico Economic Development Department described the range of financial and training resources available to support economic development in the region.

The importance of broadband access and cooperation between educational institutions on workforce development issues came to the fore in a panel discussion on assessing regional economic needs, moderated by Richard Bailey, president of Northern New Mexico College.

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Congresswoman Lujan Grisham pointed out that New Mexico has great potential in pecan production and other agricultural areas.

Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham gave the keynote speech, identifying areas in which Northern New Mexico had the potential to be world-class. These included cultural tourism and the creative economy, with Lujan Grisham noting that Taos Pueblo and Chaco Culture National Historical Park are both UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Renewable energy, agriculture and technology transfer from Los Alamos National Laboratory were other growth areas highlighted by Lujan Grisham. “By identifying and exploiting our strengths, we can determine an economic future that’s vibrant and robust.”

REDI is a collaborative effort with public and private sector partners to strengthen and diversify the economy of Northern New Mexico. The summit was hosted by the Regional Development Corporation and received sponsorship support from Los Alamos County; Los Alamos National Laboratory; Los Alamos National Security, LLC; Huntington Ingalls Industries; and the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities.

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