An Interview with Lorraine Ruggles, State of NM Economic Development Department

An Interview with Lorraine Ruggles, State of NM Economic Development Department Main Photo

14 Nov 2022

Recently 4CED sat down with Lorraine Ruggles of the State of New Mexico Economic Development Department (NM EDD) and member of the Community Business and Rural Development Team. She has responsibility for serving San Juan County and Northwest New Mexico. Lorraine and the NM EDD are great resource partners to 4CED and area businesses.

1. Tell us about the role of the Community Business and Rural Development Team in the NM EDD?

The Community Business and Rural Development Team is made up of Regional Representatives (Reps) who serve as NM EDDs “boots on the ground” in their respective multi-County regions. Regional Reps like myself are the NM EDD’s “Ambassadors.”

Our team serves the six NM EDD regions. We educate and support businesses, local economic development organizations like 4CED, nonprofits, counties and communities in accessing the many services and resources offered by the NM EDD and our partners. The bottom line: Stimulate New Mexico’s economic growth by helping communities and businesses build capacity to achieve their full economic development potential.

2.  What areas and communities do you serve?

My service area includes Cibola, McKinley, Sandoval and San Juan Counties. I’m regularly in all the communities I serve so I drive a lot of miles!

3. How can you and the NM EDD assist San Juan County businesses?

In addition to supporting economic development organizations like 4CED, I can help individual businesses access several NM EDD programs specifically designed for businesses. I’d like to highlight four:

i. LEDA (Local Economic Development Act): This program can provide direct financial assistance for land, building and infrastructure, to an expanding or relocating economic-base business through grant funds. The grants are distributed to the local government to be passed on to the business on a reimbursement basis. The qualifying entity ideally will provide economic impact and public benefit equal to or greater than the amount of the grant.

ii. JTIP (Job Training Incentive Program): JTIP funds classroom and on-the-job training for newly created jobs in expanding or relocating businesses for up to six months. The program reimburses 50-85% of employee wages. A related “Step Up Program” serves incumbent employees and their employers through training and reimbursements. (San Juan College’s Center for Workforce Development and the San Juan College School of Energy are two superb local workforce training suppliers for San Juan County employers.)

iii. CAP (Collateral Assistance Program): CAP encourages banks and other financial institutions to make loans to small businesses in under-served markets. The NM EDD can pledge cash to cover a collateral shortfall of a loan to enable financing that otherwise might not be available to a small business. Awards are up to $250,000.

iv.  The NM EDD Office of Science and Technology has two competitive grant programs that support the development of early stage science and technology companies and innovation support like intellectual property assessment, prototype development, etc.

4. Where can I learn more about these services and tools?

You can learn more about all our services on our website. Also check out our NM EDD Toolkit resource. It’s a PDF directory for downloading. Click here for the Toolkit. My email address is My telephone number is (505) 490-7662.

5. What can businesses in San Juan County and 4CED do to help you and the NMEDD come alongside San Juan County in supporting economic growth and diversification?

Reach out to Arvin Trujillo at 4CED or directly to me to ask for a site visit to your business. I am better equipped to help businesses I know and have seen. I’m here to advocate for San Juan County businesses! Invite me to speak at a service club. See me as the key connector on services provided by the NM EDD to your business and community.