by Brandon Waller - The World Journal
RATON — Recognizing the need for the City of Raton to have dedicated resources for Economic Development, the city commission has created the position of Economic Development Director. The city formally introduced a call for applicants for the position in November of 2019, and through a competitive hiring process, including a panel review, Jessica Barfield was hired for the position on Nov. 19, 2019.
Until now, Raton has been one of the very few cities in the state of New Mexico without a dedicated economic development tax or budget, nor an economic development director. Barfield comes highly qualified to the position, with an extensive educational background in marketing, as well as having worked with the Raton business community for the last several years. She began working with the Center for Community Innovation in Raton in 2017, and through her role at the center she has become much more involved with the community, working on business development projects, tourism marketing, et cetera. “It became very obvious to me early on that the City of Raton had a lot of needs to fill and Geoff, myself, and the Center Board worked diligently as a city partner to help fill some community gaps.” says Barfield.
In addition to the new Director of Economic Development position, Barfield also hold a membership on the board of the North Central New Mexico Economic Development District (NCNMEDD). Barfield was contacted by the NCNMEDD board and then voted into membership by the Colfax County Board of Commissioners at their January 13 2020 meeting, citing her knowledge, experience, and expertise making her the ideal selection to sit on the board as a representative of the county. Speaking on the appointment, Barfield says “I am honored and excited to be a part of it. I am looking forward to familiarizing myself with the (organization) and the services they offer to connect Raton to the State.” The North Central New Mexico Economic Development Board meets four times per year- quarterly- in Santa Fe. #EconomicDevelopment #ruraldevelopment