Guest blog post by Matt Erskine, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development
Last spring, I visited one of the premier technology parks in the southwest, the Sandia Science and Technology Park (SSTP) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Over the past five years, the Economic Development Administration (EDA) has invested $1.8 million in this industrial park, funding infrastructure improvements such as new, high-speed fiber optic lines that help the businesses located there leverage advances in technology that have been generated by nearby universities and federal labs.
With the recent release of a report by the Mid-Region Council of Governments, we have learned what a smart investment that turned out to be. According to the authors, the $1.8 billion in economic activity generated by Sandia since it was established in 1998 has brought more than $73 million in tax revenue for the state of New Mexico and $10.4 million for the city of Albuquerque.
The effects on employment in the region are even more impressive. In addition to being responsible for nearly 2,500 direct jobs, the report found that SSTP generated more than 4,100 indirect jobsâ€”meaning that for every job at the technology park, an additional 1.7 jobs were created in the region. Combined, these direct and indirect jobs generated $3.06 billion in wages. Average salaries at SSTPâ€”estimated to be $73,728 in 2011â€”significantly exceed the average for the Albuquerque metropolitan area, which was $42,332.