February 24, 2023 –
Nine Companies Receive Funding Approval from EDD’s Job Training Incentive Program

Contact: Bruce Krasnow
(505) 795-0119

February 24, 2023

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham

Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes

Deputy Secretary Jon Clark

February JTIP awardees include firms in Roswell, Albuquerque, Santa Fe

SANTA FE, N.M. – Economic Development Department Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes announced today that nine companies were approved for Job Training Incentive Program (JTIP) funds during the February 2023 JTIP board meeting.

Out of the nine companies, five are first-time JTIP applicants (Archer Labs, Blue Eye Soft Corp, Moten Salt Solutions, Safe House Distilling Co, and WiseChoice Foods). Wages ranged from an average of $18.81 to $78.93 for trainees.

To further extend the reach of JTIP, STEM Boomerang LLC has been awarded $48,000 to train up to 40 New Mexico human resource professionals and hire executives to develop recruitment strategies to better grow STEM jobs. STEM Boomerang is a woman- and minority-owned business that provides ongoing recruitment and retention support for small businesses and career coaching for hundreds of N.M. graduates.

“It’s exciting to see so many new companies taking advantage of JTIP. It has become such a powerful tool for growing our economy throughout the state,” Secretary Keyes said. “We’ve found that we can not only help businesses grow, but with a little creativity, JTIP can be used to expand the workforce and support New Mexico’s high-potential industries in new and innovative ways like the program at STEM Boomerang.”

Each month the JTIP board approves funding to several New Mexico companies to encourage the hiring of New Mexicans and make it easier for those companies to continue doing business and expanding in our state. The award covers a portion of trainee wages (50-75% depending on location) for up to 6 months, with those higher percentages going to businesses offering wages that align with the High Wage Job Tax Credit, that hire trainees who have graduated within the past 12 months from a New Mexico institution of higher education, or who hire U.S. Veterans. Training expenses are reimbursed after training is completed.

In addition to STEM Boomerang, those approved for February JTIP grants are:

Archer Laboratories LLC (Archer Labs), Albuquerque, 1 trainee at a wage of $78.93 and  1 intern at a wage of $25 for a total award of $50,925.04. Archer Labs is a service-disabled veteran-owned small business that designs and manufactures high power radio frequency devices and plasma application systems. The company currently supports several DoD contractors, NASA, and is currently working on bringing ALPACA, their first agricultural plasma system to market this Spring. Boasting the ability to increase seed germination rate, plant hardiness and vigor, and reducing time to root, ALPACA can be added to any nursery to enhance your growing potential.

Blue Eye Soft Corp., Inc. (BES), Albuquerque, 4 trainees at an average wage of $58.25 for a total award of $134,776. BES is an IT and ITES company that focuses on business intelligence and predictive analytics using artificial intelligence. BES provides custom software and data solutions to large and medium enterprises and nonprofit organizations. The company is working to build and mature the Space Anomaly Forensics & Environment Resolution (SAFER) platform that predicts potential satellite anomalies based on historic space weather data. In its later versions, SAFER will provide real-time anomaly predictions using real-time space weather events.

General Airframe Support, Inc., Roswell, 25 trainees at an average wage of $18.81 for a total award of $253,754.48. General Airframe Support is an Aviation Supplier Association (ASA) accredited distributor of aircraft parts and is accredited by Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association (AFRA) in the disassembly and recycling of aircraft. The company maintains a large inventory of aircraft parts in a 150,000-square-foot facility along with 5,200 acres of airport property. General Airframe Support offers comprehensive disassembly and reclamation services.

KiloNewton, LLC, Albuquerque, 4 trainees at an average wage of $43.98 and 2 inters at an average wage of $25 for a total award of $118,131.96. KiloNewton is a unique service-based business providing technical and engineering analysis and software design for the renewable energy sector. The company provides a mixture of consulting and software R&D, primarily focused on the optimization of large-scale solar, wind, and renewable technology.

Molten Salt Solutions, LLC, Santa Fe, 2 trainees at an average wage of $46.66 for a total award of $54,629.04. Molten Salt Solutions was founded to address the emerging needs for specialty materials in advanced nuclear power generation like Molten Salt Reactors (MSRs) and fusion energy. The goal of the company is to provide advanced materials – specifically, isotopically enriched materials – that will be required by the companies commercializing new nuclear power generation technologies.

BTK LLC, dba: Safe House Distilling Co (SHDC), Albuquerque, 7 trainees at an average wage of $25.78 for a total award of $87,441.04. SHDC is a production-focused distillery. The company cans and bottles vodka-based products three days per week and mash and barrel whiskey the other two. SHDC is in the process of converting their tasting room into barrel storage to allow continued expansion of the whiskey line. The company produced 30 barrels their first and second years, 300 barrels are projected for this year, and 780 barrels next year.

Vibrant Corporation, Albuquerque, 2 trainees at an average wage of $43.27 for a total award of $49,500.88. Vibrant Corporation was formed to license Process Compensated Resonance Testing (PCRT) technology (a high-speed automated system for Tier 1 suppliers to the big three auto makers) for application to new markets. The company support the aerospace, automotive, and power generation industries, as well as materials laboratories with unparalleled nondestructive testing (NDT). Applications range from quality assurance and process capability assessment for original equipment manufacturers to in-service structural assessment and life monitoring for maintenance, repair, and overhaul organizations.

WiseChoice Foods, LLC, Albuquerque, 3 trainees at an average wage of $40.64 for a total award of $70,982.52. WiseChoice Foods launched the revolutionary frozen pizza line, WisePies Pizza – A Smarter Way to Pizza, as a crossover between the natural foods and traditional premium pizza categories that carry a clean label, all-natural promise, and is known for their Hatch green chile products. WisePies Pizza products now include an expanded line of pizzas, calzones, pizza bites, and a new line of sauces for pizza and pasta. WiseChoice Foods is the first and only frozen pizza company from New Mexico and is certified minority-owned by the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) Southwest Division.

WiseChoice Foods is locally owned by Steven B. Chavez and operated in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is the first and only frozen pizza company from New Mexico and is certified minority-owned since 2018. WisePies Pizza is now available in thousands of grocery stores and through food service distributors across the country.

EDD’s mission is to improve the lives of New Mexico families by increasing economic opportunities and providing a place for businesses to thrive. EDD’s programs contribute directly to this mission by training our workforce, providing infrastructure that supports business growth, and helping every community create a thriving economy.

New Mexico Economic Development Department