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The New Mexico Jobs Project

The New Mexico Jobs Project

Full Title: The New Mexico Jobs Project A Guide to Creating Jobs in Advanced Solar Technology
Author(s): American Jobs Project and Bureau of Business and Economic Research, The University of New Mexico
Publisher(s): American Jobs Project
Publication Date: April 1, 2018
Full Text: Download Resource
Description (excerpt):

The American Jobs Project was born of two problems: the loss of middle-income jobs and
congressional paralysis in the United States. It seeks to address these problems by taking
advantage of one of the biggest market opportunities of our era—the advanced energy
industry—and building states’ manufacturing capacity to capitalize on increasing global
demand. The American Jobs Project aims to spur job creation by identifying state-level
economic opportunities in advanced energy manufacturing and crafting customized solutions
for in-state growth. State and local leaders who seek to capitalize on state resources to create
skilled, good-paying jobs can use this report as a foundation for action.

New Mexico faces a growing need for good-paying jobs to address high unemployment and
a significant population of underemployed and low-wage workers. The state’s 6.1 percent
unemployment rate jumps to 11.3 percent when accounting for marginally attached and
underemployed workers, which is among the highest in the nation. Economic growth has
been stifled by New Mexico’s overreliance on revenue from the oil and gas industry and on
employment by the federal government. Efforts to diversify the state economy and foster
good-paying manufacturing jobs could expand workforce opportunities for New Mexicans
and stimulate economic growth.

Extensive research and over sixty interviews with stakeholders and experts in New Mexico
have identified the advanced solar industry as a promising job creator and economic driver
in the state. Whereas New Mexico has seen growth in multiple advanced energy industries,
such as natural gas and wind, the advanced solar industry holds the most potential to increase
manufacturing jobs in the state. (See Appendix 1 for other technology opportunities in the
state.) While Chinese manufacturers have cornered the global market for conventional solar
cells, our research shows that New Mexico is poised to capture a growing segment of the solar
market by becoming a leading producer of advanced solar technologies. These technologies
leverage enhanced form and function to create hyper-efficient, inexpensive, multifunctional,
and easy-to-integrate products. For example, next-generation solar cells can be embedded in
building facades, window film, or roof tiles for on-site electricity generation, and concentrating
solar power with thermal energy storage can quickly meet demand across a utility network

All statements and/or propositions in discussion prompts are meant exclusively to stimulate discussion and do not represent the views of, its Partners, Topic Directors or Experts, nor of any individual or organization. Comments by and opinions of Expert participants are their own.

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