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The Las Cruces City Council voted unanimously Nov. 2 to approve $400,000 in Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) funds for LaSen, Inc., a Las Cruces company that specializes in aerial inspection and mapping services.
The State of New Mexico will invest $750,000 in LEDA funds in the expansion.
In exchange for the state and city support, LaSen promised to reach employment of 75 full-time positions by Dec. 31, 2026, with a total payroll of more than $4.85 million per year. The company’s average annual salary is $61,000.
LaSen President Tim Goolsby said the company has outgrown the office on Telshor Boulevard it has occupied since opening in 1989 and will move to a larger facility on West Amador Avenue, in the Burn Lake area. The company has doubled the number of employees and revenue since Goolsby joined the company three years ago, he said, and will hire locally as it expands.
“We focus really heavily on recruiting local talent for our technicians,” Goolsby said.
Using laser technology, the company’s primary function is to look for gas leaks on pipelines in the United States and Canada, Goolsby said. The company has inspected more than 500,000 miles of gas lines since it expanded into the gas- and leak-detection field in 2005, he said. Last year, LaSen inspections prevented the escape of 65 billion tons of methane gas into the environment, Goolsby said.
The company plans to move into electric powerline patrol, the UAV market and other industries, he said. The company owns and operates five helicopters across the country, Goolsby said.
The new facility is expected to be operational in October 2021.
The expansion of LaSen means high-paying, technology-related jobs in Las Cruces, Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance (MVEDA) President and CEO Davin Lopez said. “We want to grow aerospace,” Lopez said, telling Goolsby, “We love to see you growing here.”
“You guys have been very, very helpful to us,” Goolsby said to Lopez. “We couldn’t have done it without you.”
MVEDA helped secure the state and local investment in LaSen’s expansion.
“We’re very proud of your success and we’ve glad to see your business expanding,” Mayor Ken Miyagishima said.