Forum to discuss city’s future

Tony Parra

The 2003 Portales/Roosevelt County Economic Development Forum takes place today at noon in the Zia Room of the Campus Union Building on the Eastern New Mexico University Campus.
The program goes to 3:30 p.m. and the cost is $10 per person. Topics concerning the future of Portales and Roosevelt County will be addressed at the forum.
Items on the agenda for discussion will be to review where the city and county stand at this time in their development. City officials, Eastern New Mexico University officials and citizens of the community plan on attending the forum.
“I look forward to talking to people who invest their time and money into the community,” said Kim Huffman, executive director of Roosevelt County community development. “We can say that we want 20 businesses to move to the community, but I won’t know what to do unless I know what to do, to make it (the community) appealing to businesses wanting to expand.”
Huffman added that the forum will provide plans for economic development for city, county, ENMU, hospital officials, along with members of the community.
“We need to get more people trained and educated,” Huffman said. “ENMU is a big part of that. People want to know that the community has good health care before they move here.”
A buffet lunch will proceed a brief welcome from ENMU president Steven Gamble. During the buffet Noreen Scott, director of the Rio Rancho Economic Development Corporation, will give a New Mexico/U.S. economic overview.
Scott has been the director for the RREDC for 13 years. Scott co-authored the Texas/New Mexico Community Development Training Manual. The RREDC has created 4,500 jobs by locating such companies as Gateway, Victoria’s Secret and Nations Bank Credit Card center according to www.tel.occe.ou.edu.
Scott helped bring a call center to Rio Rancho in August. Intersections, Inc. has reserved 28,000 square-foot call center in the New Mexico Business Tech Center. The facility is expected to employ over 100 people. Several attempts were made to contact Scott, but she was unavailable for comment.
There will be a roundtable to talk about the local economic development and to close out the ceremony Scott will discuss what happened during the forum and what everyone has learned. Over 50 people have RSVP’d for the event.