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Local businesses are among 11 receiving training funds


The New Mexico Economic Development Department’s (EDD) Job Training Incentive Program (JTIP) Board has approved grants to train 232 New Mexico workers (230 trainees and two interns) – including more than 150 in Las Cruces, Mesilla Park and Deming – EDD Sec. Alicia J. Keyes said in a news release.

The JTIP grants total $1.77 million and will support training at 11 companies, including cheese manufacturing in Las Cruces, pecan farming in Mesilla Park and winemaking in Deming.

Funds have been approved for the following companies:

  • Saputo Cheese USA, Inc., Las Cruces: 150 trainees. Saputo Cheese is one of the top 10 dairy processors in the world, employing approximately 17,200 people worldwide. The plant in Las Cruces produces Frigo Cheese Heads string cheese. The company plans to expand the Las Cruces facility, investing approximately $30 million to double its production capacity, and will add production lines along with an employee facilities center and wastewater treatment center. This is Saputo’s first JTIP application. Average trainee salary: $16.81; total funding amount is $668,735.60. Visit www.saputocheeseusa.com.

At its Feb. 16 regular meeting, the Las Cruces City Council passed a resolution “declaring the city’s intent to issue taxable industrial revenue bonds of up to $13.5 million for the purpose of inducing Saputo Cheese USA, Inc., to expand its operations by purchasing additional equipment at the City’s West Mesa Industrial Park,” the city said in a news release, adding that Saputo Cheese purchased F&A Dairy in 2018.

  • Worthington Farms LLC, Mesilla Park: one trainee. Worthington Farms produces pecan products, including flavored pecans, oils, syrups, nut butter, soaps, lotions, lip balms and sugar rubs. Last year, Worthington Farms began securing operating capital to build a 5,000-square-foot facility to include shelling lines, a commercial kitchen and other equipment to allow it to become more profitable, keep the full production process local and lease facilities to other pecan producers.

Average trainee salary: $28.58; total funding amount is $102,955.12. Visit https://worthingtonpecanfarm.com/.

  • New Mexico Wineries, Inc. (dba Lescombes Family Vineyards), Deming: one trainee. Lescombes Winery crafts more than 40 different wines under many labels, including Blue Teal, D.H. Lescombes, Soleil and St. Clair. Lescombes also operates a number of bistros and tasting rooms, including

D.H. Lescombes Winery & Bistro, 1720 Avenida de Mesilla in Las Cruces. Average trainee salary: $15.50; total funding amount is $10,230.00. Visit https://lescombeswinery.com/.