ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Supporting a growing workforce and a wide range of businesses, Sandia National Laboratories contributed an all-time high of $3.9 billion into the economy during fiscal year 2021. This is about $139 million over the previous fiscal year. The spending includes labor, subcontracts, purchases and other expenditures.
“We are proud of the story these numbers tell,” said Associate Labs Director Scott Aeilts, referencing the newly released 2021 Sandia Economic Impact brochure. “Sandia National Laboratories continues to grow in employment and spending, and we are dedicated to working with businesses — especially small businesses — to support national security objectives.”
Of all subcontract-related payments, totaling nearly $1.37 billion, more than $838 million — or about 61% — went to small businesses. Total subcontract-related payments increased $37 million more than the previous fiscal year.
Nearly 35% of all subcontract-related payments in fiscal year 2021 benefited New Mexico companies. Sandia also paid the State of New Mexico more than $106 million in gross receipts tax, up nearly $9 million from the previous fiscal year.
Sandia spent about $485 million with New Mexico businesses in fiscal year 2021 that ended Sept. 30. That includes $9.5 million in procurement purchases and $475 million in subcontracts within the state. Of the New Mexico subcontracts, more than $360 million — or approximately 76% — benefited small businesses.
“Diverse small-business suppliers are vital to the success of Sandia Labs’ national security missions,” said Labs Director James Peery. “Their skills and hard work combined with ours are a powerful force in bringing cutting-edge technology to the marketplace. We are committed to partnering with small businesses and working together to promote innovation, achieve shared goals, and strengthen the local and national economies.”
In addition to spending, labs employment increased by more than 460 jobs over fiscal year 2020 and more than $2.3 billion was spent on labor and non-subcontract related payments. Sandia’s total employment across all sites is nearly 15,000 with the largest labs site, located in Albuquerque, employing nearly 12,300.
Sandia awarded largest-ever subcontract to small business
“The subcontract with Encantado is one way Sandia proved its commitment to small business,” said Paul Sedillo, Sandia’s small-business program manager. “We are proud of how smoothly the contract transition went. By replacing several contracts with one, information technology efficiency increased throughout Sandia.”
Under the contract, the company provides Sandia IT and telecommunications support for all labs employees. This includes help desk and end-user support services, cloud-based solutions, software development, IT infrastructure services, data science and analytics and automation engineering. The company employs nearly 500 people in New Mexico.
"As a lifelong resident of New Mexico, community stewardship is important to me and is a core value for Encantado,” said Encantado General Manager Rodger Jones. “Encantado promotes and encourages our staff members to participate in local professional and community-based organizations. Additionally, we take a percentage of our revenue to fund a local nonprofit, the Encantado Foundation, that supports STEM-based education and other programs across the state."
The nonprofit supports community needs, aiming to shape the next generation of leaders and foster learning through programs in the Albuquerque area.
Economic development programs support tech commercialization
Sandia manages economic development programs that combine people, innovations and the facilities of the labs to deploy technology in support of Sandia’s mission and create jobs.
During calendar year 2021, Sandia provided $2.4 million in technical assistance to 133 small companies through the New Mexico Small Businesses Assistance program. In addition, Sandia currently has nine active projects in the Technology Readiness Gross Receipts Initiative, a technology maturation program that helps address a critical stage between technology development and commercialization when many companies need additional funding to ready products and services for the marketplace.
In the last fiscal year, there were 131 newly issued patents for Sandia technologies, 238 filed patent applications and 564 active commercial licenses.
Community Involvement supports nonprofits with $1.4 million
Sandia Community Involvement teams continued to support K-12 educational success and family stability programs to address some of the greatest challenges faced in Albuquerque and Livermore. In calendar year 2021, National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia, contributed $1.4 million on behalf of Sandia to the local communities, including $175,000 in the Livermore area.
Sandia employees generously committed $4.7 million through the United Way of Central New Mexico to nonprofits throughout Albuquerque, Livermore and the nation during the labs’ annual Sandia Gives campaign. An additional $85,000 was donated from employees to provide shoes, school supplies and holiday gifts for underserved children.
Sandia provided virtual STEM programs due to COVID- 19 precautions. Offerings included Family STEAM Nights, Family Math Night, Kids Day at the Labs, Department of Energy Regional Science Bowls, and the NM Electric Car Challenge. STEM in the Sun provided outdoor STEM activities for children attending Albuquerque community center programs.
“The last two years have challenged all of us due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic,” said Amy Tapia, manager of Community Involvement. “Sandia employees keep showing up to help our communities and it’s inspiring to witness.”
Sandia continues with aggressive small-business goals
The labs have met and exceeded small business goals for five consecutive years. Sandia is already on track to meet all goals set for fiscal year 2022. The labs focus on working with small businesses fitting the federal categories as small disadvantaged, women-owned, veteran-owned, service-disabled veteran owned, and small businesses in impoverished, HUBZone areas.
“Sandia National Laboratories is determined to support small businesses and our teams are continuously thinking of new, creative ways to connect,” Sedillo said. “The last two years have been especially difficult for many companies during the pandemic, and we’re doing what we can to ease financial burdens.”
Sandia teams seek small businesses through a variety of ways. During fiscal year 2021, the labs hosted four virtual forums viewed by 1,800 suppliers. Through various efforts, Sandia worked with 500 small businesses during fiscal year 2021 that hadn’t supported the labs before.