Jobs? Hewlett Packard opens Rio Rancho center

Hewlett-Packard Co. has opened a customer service and technical support center in Rio Rancho, NM, making good on a commitment to provide 1,300 jobs that pay at least $40,000 in exchange for more than $20 million in incentives.

Gov. Bill Richardson and HP president and CEO Mark Hurd led a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday in front of the three-story, 218,000-square-foot building as politicians, business leaders and employees of the computer firm waited in the cold.

The governor told the crowd the opening was good news, given that New Mexico and the rest of the nation are grappling with economic uncertainty and high unemployment.

However, the expected economic boost of having HP in New Mexico came with a price. New Mexico invested millions of dollars in the form of tax incentives, job training and capital outlay funds to attract the Fortune 500 company to the state.

Some of the Republican whiners are too funny – even knowing they’re duty bound to oppose anything that looks like stimulus funds are achieving anything. 600 folks are already trained and start work, next Monday.

One favorite chuckle is that Rio Rancho is only charging $1 for the land. If you saw the land beforehand – it was mostly noted for tumbleweed attacks.

I’m happiest that construction beat the stereotypes of mañana that are often the standard around here. The building came in under budget and two months ahead of schedule.

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