Greater Gallup Economic Development Corporation Receives 2 IEDC Awards!

19 Oct 2023


GGEDC Was Recognized for its Industrial Workforce Training Program and its 2023 Economic Development Week Programming

Gallup, New Mexico, October 2023 – Greater Gallup Economic Development Corporation (GGEDC) was recognized in September by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) with the presentation of two IEDC Excellence in Economic Development Awards. In the Innovation in Economic Development Week category, GGEDC received a Silver level Award for the event, Using Our Home Field Advantage to Grow Gallup & McKinley County, New Mexico. In the Best Use of Federal Economic Development Resources category, GGEDC won a Bronze level Award for Creating the Greater Gallup Industrial Workforce Program. Both awards signify the measurable impacts GGEDC is making in the Gallup-McKinley County area. GGEDC is a leader in innovative economic development practices and demonstrates effective solutions to significant challenges.

The Innovation in Economic Development Week (EDW) category spotlights organizations that bring creative and robust programming to their EDW events. To celebrate EDW 2023, GGEDC and 11 local and state partners jointly planned and closely collaborated to deliver a week’s worth of activities, panels, and seminars highlighting the various economic achievements occurring in Gallup’s flourishing community. The theme for the week was “Using Our Home Field Advantage to Grow Gallup and McKinley County.” Bruce Armstrong, Economic Development Manager at GGEDC, states, “The Silver Award acknowledges the consistent and creative work we do with our partners to highlight economic development initiatives in McKinley County and the broader region. Economic Development Week widely broadcasted the work GGEDC does to promote local economic growth and to improve the quality of life of the people and communities we serve.” Armstrong stated that the week was “an inspiring demonstration of the community coming together to celebrate our respective economic programs and achievements.” Armstrong further observed that the week also generated important new connections between local businesses and workforce and education providers.

The Best Use of Federal Economic Development Resources category honors organizations that utilize federal resources in dynamic, impactful ways. With grant funding from the U.S. Economic Development Association (EDA), GGEDC created the Greater Gallup Industrial Workforce Program (GGIWP), a 3-year industrial workforce training program pilot project. Multiple community partners collaborated to implement the project that helps combat regional workforce shortages and provides residents with in-demand work skills. Armstrong states, “The GGWIP directly resulted from GGEDC listening to our industry partners and deciding to act to provide them with a better-skilled workforce. We used federal funds to create and launch a workforce training program that was tailor-made for our area. Receiving the bronze award in this category demonstrates that the work we’re doing alongside our partners is uniquely needed and productive.”

In 2021, GGEDC won a Gold Award previously in the category of Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) for supporting a critical expansion of the McKinley Paper Company. The success of the McKinley Paper plant was a direct result of GGEDC’s BRE Program. Through the program, GGEDC learned that the shuttering in 2019 of the Escalante Generating Station, a coal-fired power plant that provided steam to McKinley Paper Company, would likely result in the closure of the company. GGEDC collaborated with the State of New Mexico Economic Development Department (NMEDD) to facilitate McKinley Paper to obtain a Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) grant in the amount of $5 million. The result was that the factory and 125 economic-base jobs were retained and 10 new economic jobs were created. The grant also was the first time NMEDD had allowed state LEDA funds to be used for business retention and expansion rather than for recruiting new businesses to the state.

These three IEDC awards signify that GGEDC is receiving much-deserved national recognition for its highly effective and impactful programs and initiatives. GGEDC hopes that other economic development organizations can learn and benefit from its innovative economic development practices and experiences.

Obviously, this year’s IEDC awards were delivered “on the wings of immeasurable community, intergovernmental, and interagency efforts, energy, resources, and collaboration,” Armstrong states. He emphasizes, “It takes a village to raise a community!”

GGIWP collaborators included EDA, GGEDC’s Executive Director Patty Lundstrom, Deputy Director Michael Sage, and Johnny Gonzalez, Master trainer, and first GGIWP Manager, United States Representative Teresa Leger-Fernandez, the State of New Mexico Departments of Economic Development (NMEDD) and Workforce Solutions (NM DWS), State Representative Patty Lundstrom, McKinley County, the City of Gallup, Northwest New Mexico Council of Governments (NWNMCOG), the Navajo Housing Authority, Gallup McKinley County Schools (GMCS), the Southwest Indian Foundation (SWIF), HELP-NM,  Associated General Contractors, the National Consortium for Construction Education and Research (NCCER). GGEDC is especially thankful for the GGIWP Leadership Team, which consisted primarily of local business leaders, and various other individuals, consultants, community members, and volunteers.

This year's EDW collaborators included:  GGEDC, NMEDD, gallupARTS, the University of New Mexico - Gallup, Small Business Development Center at the University of New Mexico - Gallup (SBDC-Gallup), the New Mexico Tourism Department and Cabinet Secretary Jen Schroer, New Mexico DWS & Cabinet Secretary Sarita Nair, the City of Gallup Marketing & Tourism Department., the City of Gallup Community & Economic Development Program, NWNMCOG, GMCS, SWIF, HELP-NM, and McKinley County Government.


About the Greater Gallup Economic Development Development Corporation: Greater Gallup Economic Development Corporation (GGEDC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 2012, with a mission to drive economic growth through building on local assets and strategic partnering to target attraction and recruitment of business and industrial employers that provide economic-base jobs in the Gallup-McKinley County area. As a professional economic development organization serving the City of Gallup and McKinley County, GGEDC adheres to the Code of Ethics of the International Economic Development Council, is managed and staffed by Certified Economic Developers (CEcD), and governed by an 8-member board of directors with a combined business experience exceeding 250-years.