News

Making an impact

By Nancy Salem

Photography By Randy Montoya

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Small, NM businesses key factor in Sandia’s 2017 economic impact

TEF Construction Inc. vice president Tom Foster, left, TEF owner Mary Foster, center, and accountant Emily Miller, their daughter, study plans for a building project at Sandia National Laboratories. The small, woman-owned business has been a Sandia contractor 22 years.   (Photo by Randy Montoya)

Sandia increased its spending with small companies in New Mexico and nationwide in fiscal year 2017, according to the Labs’ latest economic impact report.

“These annual numbers show that Sandia continues to make a positive impact on the New Mexico and national economies, particularly through utilization of small businesses,” says Delfinia Salazar, manager of the Labs’ Supply Chain Risk Management and Supplier Diversity department.

Sandia spent more than $1.09 billion in subcontracts and $85 million in procurement card payments for a total of $1.17 billion in goods and services from suppliers in FY17, up more than $55 million from the previous year. Combined subcontract and procurement card purchases to New Mexico businesses topped $420 million.

New Mexico businesses received more than $404 million in subcontracts, or 37 percent of the total subcontracting amount. US small businesses received 53 percent of the available subcontract dollars, about $581 million in Sandia subcontracts. New Mexico small businesses received $267 million, or 66 percent of subcontract payments to New Mexico companies.

Compared with fiscal year 2016, subcontract spending was up more than $23 million with New Mexico businesses and up $27 million with the state’s small companies, while procurement card purchases to New Mexico businesses were up $680,000. Total US small business spending increased by $51 million.


The 2017 Sandia National Laboratories Economic Impact brochure breaks down Sandia’s spending and spotlights its role in the economy. The 2017 data, reflecting actual payments made, is based on Sandia’s fiscal year from Oct. 1, 2016, to Sept. 30, 2017.

“We continue to set and achieve aggressive small business and supplier diversity goals,” Delfinia says. “Examples of our commitment include our increased subcontract awards to Historically Underutilized Business Zone [HUBZone] companies, where those dollars are critically needed, and to Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned companies that continue to contribute to our national security missions.”

Small businesses, diverse suppliers wanted

Sandia reaches out to local businesses through a variety of programs. It holds public forums with suppliers and civic leaders to discuss subcontracting opportunities and lists subcontracts on its Business Opportunities website. It supplies small and diverse business owners with information on doing business with Sandia and seeks qualified suppliers.

In October 2016, Sandia began hosting open houses to meet personally with business owners and representatives. In the first year, more than 330 visitors from more than 260 companies attended, meeting with subcontract managers, supplier diversity advocates, other Sandia personnel and members of the Labs’ Small Business Procurement Technical Assistance Program.

In FY17, Sandia added more than 510 new small businesses to its supplier base.

Sandia’s overall economic impact in 2017:

  • $1.858 billion was spent on labor and non-subcontract-related payments.
  • $1.092 billion went to subcontract-related payments.
  • $83 million went to the state of New Mexico for gross receipts tax.
  • $85 million was spent through procurement card purchases.

The report demonstrates Sandia’s continued commitment to small business, Delfinia says. The Small Business Act mandates that federal contractors use small businesses, including those that are small disadvantaged, owned by women or veterans and service-disabled veterans, and small businesses in impoverished, HUBZone areas. Sandia’s Supplier Diversity department oversees the mandate and negotiates small business subcontracting goals with NNSA.

“Looking ahead to fiscal year 2018, Sandia is committed to identifying and partnering with a diverse supplier pool in support of Sandia’s national security mission and small business goals,” Delfinia says. “We committed to achieve 60 percent in small business subcontracting within five years and we are on track to meet that goal. More importantly, Sandia values our small business partnerships and we are pleased to see the growing number of new small businesses we subcontract with each fiscal year.”

Sandia also helps the state’s economy through the New Mexico Small Business Assistance program. In 2000, the state Legislature created the Laboratory Partnership with the Small Business Tax Credit Act to help companies get technical support from the national labs. In 2016, the Sandia NMSBA provided $2.4 million in assistance to 198 New Mexico small businesses in 19 counties. It has provided $53.3 million in assistance in all 33 counties since 2000.

Supporting local nonprofits

Sandia employees gave more than $5.2 million in 2017 to nonprofits in New Mexico, California, and the nation. Sandia also provided $1.4 million in corporate contributions to support the work of local nonprofits. The Labs’ K-12 STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programs encouraged thousands of students to consider STEM careers. In addition to other community volunteer projects, Sandia employees worked with Girl Scout Troop 47 to transform a former jail into a winter shelter for the homeless on Albuquerque’s west side.

Delfinia says Sandia is committed to strengthening its existing relationships in the New Mexico business community and building new and enduring partnerships. “Sandia has a long and distinguished record of partnering with highly qualified, diverse small business suppliers,” she says. “We value their professionalism, innovation, and responsiveness. Sandia continues to be fully committed to maximizing small business opportunities and making a difference to the New Mexico economy.”