By David R. King
County Manager

Las Cruces’ simultaneous listings in Forbes and Money magazines as a highly desirable place to live and conduct business represents an opportunity for attracting economic development upon which government and private industry absolutely must capitalize. Spearheaded by the Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance, a consortium of public and private entities have come together to insure that the opportunity is captured.

For the next 10 months and beyond, Doña Ana County will direct resources toward this public/private partnership whose collective mission is to get the word out to the world that Las Cruces and Doña Ana County represent the very best environment for workers, families and CEOs who are looking for a quality place to move or start their businesses. Given that all of Doña Ana County is included within the Las Cruces Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area (SMSA), this effort has a direct effect on the entire county.

Elizabeth Janeway said, “If one is going to change things, one has to make a fuss and catch the eye of the world.”

It is our mission over the next several months to catch the eye of the world by capitalizing on this momentous opportunity to showcase all that we have to offer. Clearly, Las Cruces is Doña Ana County’s crown jewel, but we will also seek to showcase our smaller, more rural communities that feed Las Cruces’ economic engine and make it such a desirable place to live and work. Santa Teresa is the next New Mexico boomtown in the making. Like Rio Rancho in the 80s and 90s, we can expect to see an explosion of growth in Santa Teresa over the next decade.

Capitalizing on the Forbes and Money rankings can help to capture that growth, thereby benefitting the entire region as jobs are created, average incomes increase and Doña Ana County takes it place as one of the nation’s premiere areas to live and do business.

Those of us who have lived here any appreciable length of time already know what Forbes and Money magazines have only recently discovered. Now is the time to carefully cultivate the exposure afforded by these well-respected magazines and use it to improve our collective quality of life by expanding the tax base with meaningful employment opportunities.

Since the Forbes and Money articles appeared last month, the Chamber of Commerce reports that commercial and residential relocation inquiries have increased tenfold across the board. We must reach out to these potential new neighbors and employers and prove to them that the rankings were not a fluke. We really ARE the best place in America.

I’m proud to commit to Doña Ana County’s role in this initiative, and I want to thank our private and governmental partners in progress who have teamed up to unveil a new logo and an accompanying marketing initiative. Rest assured that the county will do its part to celebrate the achievement of its largest city, while simultaneously promoting responsible growth in other areas of our 3,800-square-mile diamond in the rough.