The County Commission established a new Department of Community and Economic Development in 2013 with the following strategic objectives:
- Conduct ongoing outreach to our entrepreneurial, business, farming and ranching communities throughout the County, listen to them and understand their needs in order to direct them to timely and relevant resources based on their objectives and priorities.
- Establish and further develop key partnership and collaborative efforts in order to promote a more effective and efficient system of support for our entrepreneurial, business, farming and ranching communities with the development of strategic networking system.
- Provide support to the economic and community development efforts of other public institutions, nonprofit organizations and private sector entities.
- Offer timely leadership and support on strategic priorities as they arise such as: last mile broadband; state and federal small business contracting; electric rates as current examples.
- Public-Private Partnership between Rio Arriba County ($390,000 capital outlay), City of Espanola ($600,000 building), Siete del Norte ($700,000 multi-year operating grant), NMED ($75,000 Phase I Environmental) and other local partners to establish Regional Food Hub to support local farming, ranching and value added food producers.
- Worked with the Greater Espanola Valley Community Development Corporation to contract with the Chamber of Commerce to establish the “VEN” Valley Entrepreneurial Network initiative that will conduct outreach to the entrepreneurial and business communities to understand their need and connect them with resources. This partnership helped the Chamber move forward and secure a full time Executive Director to serve our region.
- “VEN” established a monthly networking meeting, the first Thursday of each month, where to community comes together to hear from one another and offer peer to peer networking support.
- A group of citizens in the Chama Valley have organized to establish a sister Network Facilitation Organization
- Passed Resolution and advocated to support the Consortium of LANL Subcontractors with regards to the negative impact of the NNSA central procurement mandates out of Kansas. Already, we have lost hundreds of jobs. Our Congressional Delegation has since intervened on behalf of our region as a result of this effort.
- Passed Resolution and advocated to support Jemez Electric Cooperative in its effort to assure wholesale electric rates are properly regulated by the PRC. This effort has saved the citizens of our community several millions of dollars to date.
- Supported the inception and continuation of joint City Council-County Commission meetings that have allowed these key community institutions to identify opportunities for collaboration; prioritization of objectives and working more effectively on behalf of our constituents. This new established formal practice of collaboration has enjoyed proven successes.
- Worked effectively with private sector last mile providers to expedite the provision of last mile broadband to our rural communities.
- Assisted one manufacturing company and one farm to secure a combined $80,000 in LANL Venture Acceleration Funding. This was the first time in the history of the VAF program that a Rio Arriba company received an award and this year we enjoyed two successful applicants.
- Collaborated with local and statewide partners to secure $40,000 to develop a plan to re-establish a local commercial kitchen to support farmers and local value added food producers