New Mexico Center for Economic Opportunity

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For more than sixty years, the New Mexico Chamber of Commerce has been the driving force for the advancement of our state’s business community, using its voice to advocate at the Roundhouse and working to make New Mexico a leader in industry, innovation, economic competitiveness, and overall quality of life.

The Chamber is pleased to announce the next phase in our efforts to grow New Mexico’s economy and strengthen our business community with the goal of providing good jobs and economic prosperity for all New Mexicans: the New Mexico Center for Economic Opportunity, or NM CEO. An affiliated 501(c)(3) organization, NMCEO is the education, charitable, and research arm of the Chamber.

As part of its mission to drive positive change by developing and advocating for effective public policy initiatives, the Chamber recently published an economic strategic action plan for the state. Driving New Mexico’s Future: Empowering a Competitive Economy in a Post-Pandemic World identifies areas where New Mexico is lagging behind surrounding states and provides specific best practice recommendations that can make New Mexico more competitive in a post-pandemic world.

NM CEO will support the implementation of the report’s recommendations by conducting data-driven, best practice research for the development and execution of programs to improve our economic competitiveness, expand our workforce, and support our policy makers with educational seminars focused on four key competitiveness factors: Business Climate, Workforce and Education, Infrastructure, and Innovation Capacity.

We are excited for the next chapter for the Chamber, for NM CEO, and for New Mexico. 


“Investments we make today and over the next decade will be key to the future of the next generation of New Mexicans and our state’s prosperity. The Chamber and NM CEO look forward to collaborating with our partners in the business community to build a stronger, more equitable, and a more prosperous New Mexico.”
Rob Black

Board Chair, NM CEO, President & CEO, NMCC

Business Climate

New Mexico’s regulations are complex, confusing and unnecessarily time-consuming compared to neighboring states. This not only makes it harder for New Mexicans to do business but makes it less likely for businesses to choose to move their operations to New Mexico when neighboring states have more straightforward, efficient licensing laws, regulations and permitting processes. 

NMCEO research examines best practices from around the country in order to identify opportunities to simplify and improve New Mexico’s regulatory and business climate.

Workforce & Education

For New Mexico’s economy to grow and diversify we need a flexible, qualified workforce. While New Mexico has the highest percentage of Ph.D.s of any state in the country, we also have the lowest 3rd-grade reading proficiency in the United States. In addition, we are projected to lose just over 3% of our working-age population in the next ten years. And with more than half of New Mexico employers saying that they believe potential employees lacked lack the work-ready soft skills necessary to be successful employees, we must commit ourselves to investing in and supporting the educational and professional development of our next generation.

We must keep our best and brightest in their local communities, while also developing a national workforce recruitment and relocation strategy for bringing more working-age and skilled employees to the state. NMCEO works to identify best practices and develop programs that will help improve our educational system and align our post-secondary training and college programs with careers in the state.


Strong, efficient, resilient Infrastructure is essential for a growing economy. For New Mexico to diversify and thrive we must make smart investments in key infrastructure that positions our state to take advantage of evolving transportation, energy and communications technologies.

From expanding affordable workforce housing, and rural broadband, to investments in water reclamation and resilience to, our evolving energy systems – a strong, effective infrastructure is essential for long-term growth and prosperity in New Mexico.

Innovation Ecosystem

New Mexico must take better advantage of the state’s innovation assets, reduce brain drain, promote lab and university technology commercialization, support entrepreneurship, and target emerging technology clusters such as bioscience, space and alternative energy. Entrepreneurship plays an important role in building wealth in families, communities, and economies, but the opportunity to start and grow a business is not available to many living across the state, especially those living in rural areas. There are many factors that contribute to gaps in small business ownership and performance, including more limited access to capital, business and management skills, experience as well as cumbersome and expensive regulatory barriers.

NMCEO looks at best practices that can support increased access to financial capital, human capital and customers for our New Mexico entrepreneurs.