Manufacturing officials explained how their entities have succeeded and extended their reach beyond Rio Rancho during Thursday’s webinar, reiterating their roles as part of Manufacturing Awareness Month.

Sandoval Economic Alliance hosted the webinar.

Jennifer Sinsabaugh, CEO of New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership, told SEA her company’s primary goal is to overcome barriers to growth, from inventors to manufacturers.

The organization specializes in computer electronics, petroleum and coal-related products, plus food and beverage manufacturing.

The latter has been the fastest-growing industry over the last three years, she said. She also said New Mexico MEP is trying to create a culture of cuisine going “outside of our borders” from New Mexico.

She wants to create awareness of manufacturing in New Mexico by hosting tours and speaking at schools.

David Patterson, CEO of a florescent and LED light products company called Insight Lighting, said in a pre-recorded video presentation that his business “matured” from creating LED products to be displayed on big buildings to using them inside office buildings and conference rooms.

Despite noting employment being an issue prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, he said Insight Lighting retained a large number of its employment base via advantageous wage levels.

“Our wage rate has stayed the same or increased,” he said.

Gordon Moore, CEO of a Rio Rancho-based television production company called Lectrosonics Inc., said in a pre-recorded video presentation that his company kept its state exemption to resume business during the COVID shutdowns because of its involvement with the media production industry.

He said receivers, antennas and other parts are made under Lectrosonics’ roof, and the company makes wireless microphones for harsher, demanding environments while filming.

Moore also said Lectrosonics, which has 135 employees, generates $10.5 million annually toward the local economy.

“Employees take a great deal of pride in what they are contributing to… It’s a fun industry,” he said.

Alex Koglin, CEO of Nature’s Toolbox, said his company’s exploring developing mRNA-based technology. Christopher Cisneros, senior human resources generalist of U.S. Cotton, said items like cotton swabs used for COVID testing are being manufactured in Rio Rancho as part of a contract with the U.S. government.