FARMINGTON — Process Equipment and Service Company, known as PESCO, will create as man as 150 jobs by next year as it expands its Farmington headquarters, company president Kyle Rhodes announced on Friday in a factory building filled with more than 100 people, including Gov. Susana Martinez.

The oil-field servicing company, employing 340 workers, has grown in the last nine months by about 80 jobs.

By April 1, Rhodes hopes to open a new 16,000-square-foot shop, enlarging the Farmington factory by 70 percent. PESCO is now trying to fill the remaining positions in the factory and will begin hiring more employees once the expansion is complete, Human Resource Assistant Nashota Yazzie said in an interview after the announcement.

Workers and attendees applaud Friday as PESCO officials gathered in at the company’s building in Farmington to discuss an expansion that could create
Workers and attendees applaud Friday as PESCO officials gathered in at the company's building in Farmington to discuss an expansion that could create as many as 150 jobs. (Alexa Rogals / The Daily Times)

Entry-level employees make $11 or more, and PESCO adjusts its wages based on a worker's experience, she said.

New employees will also need training, which can take one to three weeks, she said.

PESCO's announcement comes less than a week after The Daily Times reported BP American Production Company is attempting to sell its San Juan Basin South assets, putting at least 120 jobs at risk.

During the PESCO ceremony, Martinez said the state will give PESCO $500,000 to help the company build its new factory. The funding will come through the New Mexico Economic Development Department's Local Economic Development Act.

Martinez, a Republican, is running for a second term as governor and faces Attorney General Gary King, a Democrat, in the Nov. 4 general election.

In an emailed statement, King questioned the quality of the planned jobs and whether New Mexicans will be hired.

"What if they then outsource these jobs to Arizona or Texan workers like Gov. Martinez did with the behavioral health service providers?" he said. "We need answers about who this will benefit before we start spiking the ball and celebrating."

Martinez praised PESCO.

"I love this family attitude that you have in your company," Martinez told Mary Lou Rhodes, Kyle Rhodes's mother, who sat in the factory.

New Mexico Economic Development Department Cabinet Secretary Jon Barela introduces Gov. Susana Martinez on Friday as attendees gathered at the PESCO
New Mexico Economic Development Department Cabinet Secretary Jon Barela introduces Gov. Susana Martinez on Friday as attendees gathered at the PESCO building in Farmington to discuss an expansion that could create as many as 150 jobs. (Alexa Rogals/ The Daily Times)

Mary Lou Rhodes and her now-deceased husband helped create PESCO in 1972 after the closure of a Farmington manufacturing company on Maple Street where her husband worked, she said in an interview after the ceremony.

They didn't want to leave Farmington, she said, so they built the PESCO factory in 1978, just down the road from the Bloomfield Highway.

"And this is where we've been ever since," she said, adding that her family purchased more land and expanded the factory.

When they were first beginning, Kyle Rhodes and his brother, Jim Rhodes, then just 12 and 13, worked for their parents.

But now, Kyle Rhodes said, Martinez is making her fourth or fifth visit to the factory. And still, the company is family-run, he said.

Jack Fortner, San Juan County Commission chairman, said during the ceremony that PESCO isn't just a family business — it is a "family-type business." It is a business, he said, "where every one feels part of the family, where everyone looks out for one another."

Kyle Rhodes said his business' primary objective is to promote their employees' success, not just PESCO's.

"I want to tell you I really appreciate every one of you," he told the crowd, his voice wavering, "and let's go PESCO."

Dan Schwartz covers government for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4606 and dschwartz@daily-times.com. Follow him @dtdschwartz on Twitter.