FARMINGTON — Four Corners Economic Development Inc. will host the 11th annual Economic Development, Growth and Excellence Awards tonight to recognize industrial companies that provide high-paying jobs.
Companies are nominated by members of the public and are evaluated based on providing local jobs that pay above-average wages, bringing in revenue from outside the area, producing goods or services that would otherwise be unavailable locally and demonstrating leadership through business ethics, customer service or corporate citizenship.
A winner, or winners, will be announced at an invitation-only banquet at the San Juan College Henderson Fine Arts Center.
The nominees this year are Adobe Contractors, Antelope Sales and Service, Aztec Urgent Care, BP America, Industrial Cooling Exchanger, Lucky Ridge, Miller and Sons Trucking, Navajo Agricultural Products Industry and Williams Energy.
Last year, Automation-X Corp. and Envirotech took home 
EDGE Awards.
Former New Mexico Gov. Garrey Carruthers will be the keynote speaker. Carruthers serves as dean of the New Mexico State University College of Business.
Carruthers is “back by popular demand” after speaking at the EDGE Awards several years ago, said Margaret McDaniel, director of business retention and expansion for Four Corners Economic Development.
“We have quite a few requests to bring him back,” she said.
The banquet is expected to draw about 260 attendees this year, McDaniel said.
“It looks to be one of our biggest crowds,” McDaniel said. “People are excited about learning about the companies and hearing Garrey Carruthers, and learning a little bit more about the transition from SJEDS to Four Corners Economic Development. Economic development, right now, everybody's interested in it.”
Earlier this year, SJEDS became Four Corners Economic Development, with the aim of raising more private-sector funding.