New Mexico’s top economic development official is stepping down after over four years of guiding expanded state investments and incentives in various industries such as outdoor recreation, aerospace ventures, the film industry, and venture capital.

State Economic Development Department Secretary Alicia Keyes will conclude her tenure at the agency in mid-July.

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Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced the secretary’s departure Thursday in a news release that praised Keyes’ commitment to expanding employment and improving the state’s economic health.

Unemployment rates have significantly decreased across New Mexico following coronavirus lockdowns, though the state’s workforce participation rates still lag far behind the national average.

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Alicia Keyes, the secretary of New Mexico’s economic development department, is stepping down. The last day of her tenure will be in mid-July.

“My greatest joy has been collaborating with New Mexicans in every corner of the state to create higher-paying jobs and build economic security for future generations,” Keyes said in a statement.

Appointed in January 2019, Keyes oversaw the creation of the state’s outdoor recreation office. She recently helped the Lujan Grisham administration lobby legislators successfully for the creation of a media academy to support training in the local film industry.

NYNNC 

The governor on Thursday described progress in job creation at higher wages under the Local Economic Development Act that underwrites infrastructure investments for businesses that expand or relocate in New Mexico, citing support for more than 8,500 over the past four years.

An analysis late last year from the budget and accountability office of the Legislature found that taxpayer-funded incentives aimed at expanding private employment and investments in New Mexico sometimes create fewer high-quality jobs than projected, and money is not consistently clawed back for unfulfilled promises.

Keyes plans to take time off before pursuing opportunities in the private sector while remaining in New Mexico.

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