The town of Raton, New Mexico is finally starting to see some economic growth. Recently, two restaurants, an aviation training school, a yoga studio and a technical trades education center have opened in the area. This may not seem like much, but if you consider Raton’s past, it’s a big deal. The town used to be bustling, once was surrounded by eight coal mines that employed more than 2,000 men. But they all disappeared in the late 1990s as many of the steel mills that relied on the coal moved overseas to China. This had a crippling effect on the community, but the town’s officials and leaders have created a new approach and economic strategy to boost the town’s economy.
Raton’s new economy has gone away from coal mining and changed to a mix of small manufacturing businesses, health care services and hospitality for tourists to come through. The town is capitalizing on its cheap commercial real estate and position in a major transportation corridor to attract new business ventures in the area. The town’s goal is to bring in small manufacturers to prevent what happened in the 1990s. They want to make sure that by having small manufacturers that employ 20 to 30 people, instead of two big companies making the town dependent on them again for jobs, they can diversify the economy.
Read the full story here (via The Santa Fe New Mexican)
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Photo: Next City
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