SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) -- The world's largest PC maker, Hewlett-Packard Co., will open a customer service and technical support center in New Mexico that's expected to employ 1,300 people by 2012.
The center is to open in Rio Rancho in mid-2009 and initially will have several hundred workers. The payroll ultimately could reach $50 million to $60 million a year.
The economic development project was announced Thursday by Gov. Bill Richardson and Jon Flaxman, HP executive vice president and chief administrative officer.
The state will provide tax breaks and other financial incentives to HP for locating the plant in New Mexico.
The company could receive as much as $8 million to $10 million in state subsidies for training workers and more than $20 million in state tax credits for creating high-wage jobs, according to Economic Development Secretary Fred Mondragon. The governor also will ask the Legislature to provide $12 million in capital improvement financing for the project.
HP also plans to open a similar customer service and technical support center in Conway, Ark.
Flaxman said the company selected Rio Rancho and New Mexico because of several factors, including the availability of a ''substantial and educated labor force'' as well as the community's ''education opportunities, amenities, lifestyle.''
''We were looking for a state government that was also eager to bring high quality jobs to the state,'' said Flaxman, who declined to identify other cities that had been considered for the support center.
HP, which is based in Palo Alto, Calif., is the world's largest technology company, based on revenue.
Rio Rancho, with an estimated population of 71,000 residents, is the fastest-growing community in New Mexico and is just northwest of Albuquerque. The University of New Mexico and Central New Mexico Community College are planning campuses in Rio Rancho, which also is home to a computer chip plant operated by Intel Corp.
Richardson just returned from a trade and economic development trip to Europe and the Middle East and said ''we expect to announce new business deals as a result of the trip very soon.''