New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela – a graduate of Las Cruces High School – has been named CEO of the Borderplex Alliance, a nonprofit organization that promotes business growth and expansion along the border.
Effective Oct. 1, Barbara Brazil, deputy cabinet secretary, will serve as acting cabinet secretary.
“Jon has been critical in helping us diversify our economy, and now, in his new position, he will be able to continue building on our record of success along the border,” Governor Susana Martinez said.
“During his tenure as secretary for the New Mexico Economic Development Department, the New Mexican economy and business environment has improved tremendously, from a significant drop in the state’s unemployment rate to a jump in private-sector job creation. Jon is someone who knows what it takes to create jobs and attract businesses to the region,” said Tom Hutchinson, Owner of La Posta de Mesilla.
In recent months, Martinez and Barela have announced nearly 2,500 new jobs in communities across New Mexico in a broad and diverse spectrum of industries, including high-tech and traditional manufacturing, healthcare, information technology, insurance, and finance. Some are homegrown New Mexico companies; others are national leaders in their industries. Recently, the Albuquerque metro area experienced its best year-over-year job growth since 2007, and home sales in the metro through the first half of 2016 have already outpaced all of last year.
“As I return to the private sector, my work to diversify New Mexico’s economy and build on the Governor’s bold reforms is far from done,” Barela said. “I’m grateful for the Governor’s support and friendship over the past six years, and I am excited to continue building on the progress we’ve made in building up a key corridor for trade between the U.S., Mexico, and the rest of the world.”