Tag Archives: aerospace

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Lockheed Martin signs lease in Goodyear

Lockheed Martin, a publicly traded aerospace and defense company, announced on Monday, Aug. 11 that it has signed a two-year lease for 31,540 square-feet of office space in Buildings 12 and 13 at 1300 S. Litchfield Road in Goodyear.

Jones Lang LaSalle acted as Lockheed’s broker in the transaction.

The landlord, Reliance Management, is pleased to have a new lease insuring that Lockheed employees will continue to work at the historical site, keeping slightly more than 50 jobs in Goodyear, including its Flight Operations Group and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SARS) program. For more than 80 years, 1300 S. Litchfield Road has been the home to Goodyear Aviation and other aviation companies, and home to the GS & IS Division of Lockheed Martin since the 1990s.

Presently, Lockheed occupies more than 400,000 square feet of space at 1300 S. Litchfield Road (1300 SLR) in eleven buildings which they intend to vacate over the next two years.

The announcement came as good news as the high-paying jobs retained at the Goodyear site will allow Lockheed Martin to maintain its aerospace presence in the city.

“We are pleased and excited that Lockheed Martin has come to an agreement with the property owner to continue working at the Goodyear site,” said Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord. “Lockheed Martin’s commitment to keep part of its operations here underscores that Goodyear remains a great place to do business. The aerospace and defense industry will be key to Goodyear’s future, and we will continue to support those businesses, like Lockheed Martin, who provide quality jobs for our residents.”

A Lockheed Martin official echoed Mayor Lord’s sentiments.

“Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training is excited to be part of the Goodyear community today and into the future,” said Jeffrey Paul, manager of Airborne Ground Surveillance Radar Systems for Lockheed Martin.

“Our Airborne Ground Surveillance Radar Systems have a legacy going back to the invention of Synthetic Aperture Radar at the Goodyear site more than 50 years ago,” Paul added.

Reliance Management working with brokers, Brian Gleason, SIOR and Bonnie Halley, CCIM of Phoenix West Commercial of Litchfield Park have been marketing space in four buildings previously occupied by Lockheed. There are three office buildings totaling 22,837 square feet as well as a 13,138 square foot data center available for immediate occupancy. Phoenix West Commercial is also actively marketing the remaining 11 buildings totaling 412,160 square feet.

satellite

Orbital Begins Building 81 Satellites in Gilbert

Orbital Sciences Corporation, one of the world’s leading space technology companies, announced that it has started production of 81 satellites for the Iridium NEXT program as part of a contract between Orbital and Iridium’s prime contractor, French-Italian aerospace company Thales Alenia Space. Orbital will complete the assembly, integration, test and launch support phases for this second-generation global communications satellite constellation at its satellite manufacturing facility in Gilbert, AZ. The commencement of production also signifies the opening of a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) at the Gilbert facility, which allows Orbital to reduce program costs by importing foreign-sourced hardware from Thales Alenia Space.

“Ten years ago, this factory was created with large scale production in mind,” said Jason Yocum, Orbital’s Senior Program Director for the Iridium NEXT production program. “Today, at the Gilbert facility, we produce cutting-edge satellites that are executed with the highest degree of excellence and professionalism. As always, we appreciate the support we have received from the Town of Gilbert as we begin to use this unique facility for its intended purpose – as an international high-rate satellite production factory.”

Orbital worked closely with the Town of Gilbert to develop the new FTZ, enabling the company to develop a highly efficient satellite production line. Orbital will integrate a total of 81 satellites for the constellation, including 66 low-Earth orbit operational satellites, six in-orbit spares, and nine ground-backup spacecraft, over the next three years. Orbital’s responsibilities also include ground support equipment, primary and hosted payload integration, shipment and launch integration services.

“We thank Orbital for their partnership and cooperation in creating Gilbert’s first Foreign Trade Zone,” said John Lewis, Mayor of Gilbert, AZ. “It takes a tremendous amount of effort to prepare for a project of this magnitude and we are excited for this international effort to be happening here in Gilbert.”

Scheduled to begin launching in 2015, Iridium NEXT will fully replace Iridium’s current satellite constellation of 66 cross-linked low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites that cover 100 percent of the globe. It will dramatically enhance Iridium’s ability to meet the rapidly-expanding demand for truly global mobile communications on land, at sea and in the skies.

“Over the past three years, our teams have been working diligently to produce the best-designed satellite and to validate that design in preparation for production,” said Scott Smith, Chief Operating Officer, Iridium Communications Inc. “Team members from all over the world have been working together to challenge the processes, build hardware for validation testing and work to make this process as efficient as possible. All of this hard work has paid off and we look forward to a steady production of high quality satellites for our new network from this facility.”

A Guide to Applying for a Bank Loan

New look for AERO Federal Credit Union

AERO Federal Credit Union has unveiled their new logo and brand image for the organization. The new look will support the institution’s anticipated growth trend.

“AERO’s history has been a part of the aerospace industry for many years. With the evolution of the organization the strategic direction has changed so updating the brand was only natural, says Angie Avers, AVP Marketing. With the help of President & CEO Jane desGrosseilliers of Mountain View Media, we were able to adjust our logo and image to show strength and stability. Mountain View Media was able to capture the company’s core image of longevity in this new logo. It is our hope this change will help us to be more competitive in the market place.”

“Our goal is to continue building brand loyalty and retention with current members as well as attracting new members to AERO, says President & CEO Preston Sanders. The change was inevitable and we feel confident the image and brand will grow both internally and externally.”

The branding is being spearheaded by new marketing AVP, Angie Avers. With AERO’s plans for growth, Avers came to the organization last November knowing she had a tall order to fill and would be hitting the ground running in 2014. Along with the brand change, AERO will be revamping their website, as well as creating a much needed social media presence. Avers will be heading up both projects.

Aerospace and defense industry - AZ Business Magazine March/April 2012

Aerospace & Defense Forum launches Arizona Chapter

The Aerospace & Defense Forum, a global aerospace and defense organization promoting collaboration and commerce among industry leaders, has established an Arizona chapter which will launch in October.

An impressive line-up of Arizona business leaders will lead the Arizona Chapter Steering Committee and host monthly meetings and networking events. The Phoenix meetings will be hosted by the international law firm Greenberg Traurig and the Tucson meetings will be hosted by law firm Snell & Wilmer. Monthly chapter meetings will take place the second Tuesday of each month, alternating between Phoenix and Tucson, and include networking opportunities, presentations by aerospace and defense industry experts and small group discussions and at least once a year, a tour of an A&D facility not generally available to the public.

Ivan Rosenberg, President and CEO of Frontier Associates is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of A&D Forum. Stephane Frijia, Director, Research and Strategy at the Greater Phoenix Economic Council will serve as Chapter Chair of the Arizona A&D Forum.

In addition, those serving on the founding Arizona A&D Steering Committee include:
* Jerry Fellows, Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, Phoenix
* Brett Johnson, Partner, Snell & Wilmer, Phoenix
* Richard Katz, Counsel, Snell & Wilmer, Tucson
* Bruce Macdonough, Co-Managing Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, Phoenix
* Peter Vedder, Director, Civil Space and Space Services, General Dynamics C4 Systems

“We’re thrilled to bring this proven collaborative format to the Arizona A&D community,” said Rosenberg. “A&D companies have discovered that A&D Forum membership and group involvement provides an unmatched source of new ideas for improving both their top and bottom lines, as well as a forum for learning best practices and solving problems.”

The inaugural meeting of the Arizona chapter will take place Oct. 8, with a keynote presentation by Lt. Gen. Gene Tattini, Deputy Director, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), entitled,  “Dare Mighty Things: Turning Around Two A&D Organizations.” Tattini is also former Commander of the United States Air Force Space and Missile System Center.

Currently, there are more than 700 international leaders involved in the A&D Forum. Other A&D Chapters are located in Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange County, Calif. In Arizona, there are more than 2,000 companies in the aerospace and defense industry providing more than 43,000 jobs and significant positive economic impact.

“The Greater Phoenix Economic Council reported more than $13 billion in defense contracts with Arizona ties in 2012 alone. These high-paying jobs make a significant economic impact in our state and we are proud to support and encourage industry growth,” said Greenberg Traurig Co-Managing Shareholder Bruce Macdonough. “We also look forward to raising the visibility of Arizona a top-tier destination for the best aerospace and defense companies to grow and prosper.”

Each monthly meeting is free of charge, but registration is required. To RSVP for the Oct. 8 meeting, visit: https://adfazoct13.eventbrite.com.

Aerospace and defense industry - AZ Business Magazine March/April 2012

Aerospace & Defense Forum launches Arizona Chapter

The Aerospace & Defense Forum, a global aerospace and defense organization promoting collaboration and commerce among industry leaders, has established an Arizona chapter which will launch in October.

An impressive line-up of Arizona business leaders will lead the Arizona Chapter Steering Committee and host monthly meetings and networking events. The Phoenix meetings will be hosted by the international law firm Greenberg Traurig and the Tucson meetings will be hosted by law firm Snell & Wilmer. Monthly chapter meetings will take place the second Tuesday of each month, alternating between Phoenix and Tucson, and include networking opportunities, presentations by aerospace and defense industry experts and small group discussions and at least once a year, a tour of an A&D facility not generally available to the public.

Ivan Rosenberg, President and CEO of Frontier Associates is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of A&D Forum. Stephane Frijia, Director, Research and Strategy at the Greater Phoenix Economic Council will serve as Chapter Chair of the Arizona A&D Forum.

In addition, those serving on the founding Arizona A&D Steering Committee include:
* Jerry Fellows, Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, Phoenix
* Brett Johnson, Partner, Snell & Wilmer, Phoenix
* Richard Katz, Counsel, Snell & Wilmer, Tucson
* Bruce Macdonough, Co-Managing Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, Phoenix
* Peter Vedder, Director, Civil Space and Space Services, General Dynamics C4 Systems

“We’re thrilled to bring this proven collaborative format to the Arizona A&D community,” said Rosenberg. “A&D companies have discovered that A&D Forum membership and group involvement provides an unmatched source of new ideas for improving both their top and bottom lines, as well as a forum for learning best practices and solving problems.”

The inaugural meeting of the Arizona chapter will take place Oct. 8, with a keynote presentation by Lt. Gen. Gene Tattini, Deputy Director, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), entitled,  “Dare Mighty Things: Turning Around Two A&D Organizations.” Tattini is also former Commander of the United States Air Force Space and Missile System Center.

Currently, there are more than 700 international leaders involved in the A&D Forum. Other A&D Chapters are located in Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange County, Calif. In Arizona, there are more than 2,000 companies in the aerospace and defense industry providing more than 43,000 jobs and significant positive economic impact.

“The Greater Phoenix Economic Council reported more than $13 billion in defense contracts with Arizona ties in 2012 alone. These high-paying jobs make a significant economic impact in our state and we are proud to support and encourage industry growth,” said Greenberg Traurig Co-Managing Shareholder Bruce Macdonough. “We also look forward to raising the visibility of Arizona a top-tier destination for the best aerospace and defense companies to grow and prosper.”

Each monthly meeting is free of charge, but registration is required. To RSVP for the Oct. 8 meeting, visit: https://adfazoct13.eventbrite.com.

deal

OnTrac bringing 850 jobs to Chandler

OnTrac, the leader in regional overnight package delivery service in the eight Western States, is moving its corporate headquarters to Chandler.

The new offices are located in the Price Corridor at 2501 S. Price Road. The new building provides the company with additional space and the opportunity for future growth. It will also allow OnTrac to grow its company culture and continue raising the bar for OnTrac’s standard of excellence. The company will occupy 65,000 square feet of space in the building.

“We’ve begun construction and will spend in excess of $5 million on the relocation of our corporate headquarters,” said Rob Humphrey, President of OnTrac. “And, we expect to bring more than 850 jobs to the City of Chandler over the term of the lease.”

“Chandler’s central location and quick access to the interstate and freeways make it an excellent choice for businesses that have a diverse workforce,” said Jay Tibshraeny, Mayor of Chandler. “We are seeing the benefits of that as businesses such as OnTrac and other notable companies choose to locate in the Price Corridor.”

OnTrac joins other employers in the Price Corridor in key industries of Aerospace, Life Sciences, High Technology R&D/Manufacturing and Advanced Business Services.

OnTrac is currently occupying space in Phoenix until improvements are completed.

boeing-phantom-ray

GPEC analyzes impact of potential defense cuts

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council today released findings and recommendations from its Aerospace and Defense Market Intelligence Program, a two-phase initiative that took an in-depth look at the region’s aerospace and defense companies to determine their strengths, weaknesses and readiness for the sequestration, federally-mandated automatic spending cuts scheduled to take place on March 1 unless Congress intervenes.

As a result of the sequestration, the Department of Defense (DoD) must cut $1 trillion from its budget. Arizona has the sixth largest share of DoD contracts, and stands to lose as much as $2.3 billion in annual revenue on account of sequestration-based cuts.  Until it happens, however, the size or effects of the cuts in Arizona remain ambiguous.

In anticipation of these massive cuts, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) – along with its Economic Development Directors Team and the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce – last year undertook a major market intelligence initiative to determine the existing strengths and weaknesses of Arizona’s aerospace and defense companies. Based on this data snapshot, the analysis also sought to understand the potential impact of sequestration on our local companies, communities, workforce and innovation base.

“As part of GPEC’s program, I personally sat down with several aerospace and defense companies located in Phoenix. The message I heard from them was resoundingly clear – the uncertainty over the timing and severity of these cuts has many of them paralyzed, and they want guidance,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “With 49,000 Arizona aerospace and defense jobs at stake, it’s critical that our federal leaders work together to avert this crisis or at least provide a strategic direction for where we go on March 2 and beyond.”

“Sequestration is a bad way to budget. Local companies and individuals get caught up in a political game that does little to solve our nation’s long-term financial challenges,” Mesa Mayor Scott Smith said. “Washington should follow the example of cities and make smart cuts to fix the budget rather than making arbitrary cuts that do more harm than good.”

The program consisted of two main components. The first developed an in-depth profile and analysis of 114 local companies identified by GPEC using data from the Office of Management and Budget. The second was an extensive door-to-door outreach effort to these companies, conducted by mayors, local chambers of commerce, GPEC Ambassadors (volunteers from GEC’s member companies) and municipal economic development directors and their teams.

“As a top-ranked defense state, Arizona has much to lose with the budget cuts associated with the 2011 Budget Control Act. The West Valley, proud home to Luke Air Force Base, has worked tirelessly to protect the mission of the base and to secure the F-35 aircraft,” Avondale Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers said. “Sequestration and the drastic budget cuts to defense and aerospace will undermine the efforts of the communities in the West Valley and negatively impact our local economy, which is tied closely to Luke Air Force Base and the defense-related industry.”

It’s also important to note that nearly 75 percent of the state’s research and development expenditures are housed within Arizona’s corporate infrastructure – companies like Intel, Boeing, Raytheon and Honeywell. As such, drastic reductions in their DoD contracts could result in losses in some of the state’s most significant research programs, which affect Arizona’s science position, its universities, and opportunities for increased investments and exports.

“These looming cuts represent a crossroads for our region,” GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome said. “The region’s corporate, science, civic and government partners must convene to not only mitigate job loss but also to support and protect the region’s physical assets, workforce talent and innovation from being moved out of the market.”

The findings represent a snapshot of the Greater Phoenix region’s aerospace and defense industry for a specific period of time, from May through December 2012 when the data was collected. During this time period, sequestration was considered more of a threat and less of a reality.

Top-line analysis revealed that 76 percent of the companies reported to be either stable (52 percent) or expanding (24 percent). Twenty-six percent reported that their businesses were contracting – primarily companies and operations where DoD contracts represent the largest share of their revenue base. Those that were expanding focused on diversification, including commercial and international markets, or DoD growth areas like intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, cyber technology, space technology and counterterrorism.

Because 2,000 companies throughout Arizona were awarded $13 billion in defense contacts in 2012 – and the industry represents 43,000 direct jobs – even a 25 percent contraction could be detrimental to one of the state’s major employment bases. For larger, Tier 1 companies, the short-term outlook is more stable as many have expanded products and services in anticipation of the cuts. However, Tier 2 companies that generally represent the industry’s supply chain are less likely to withstand the cuts due to their reliance on Tier 1 companies for contracts and subcontracts. Some of these companies have neither the access to capital or the working capital to wait it out – meaning they could be forced to lay off workers or cease operations.

Based on the program’s findings, GPEC’s five recommendations include:

1. A federal-level strategy from Arizona’s congressional leadership to either fully reverse sequestration or provide a “go forward” strategy to ensure Arizona’s aerospace and defense assets – including R&D and skilled workforce – are retained and redeployed.
2. Public and bilateral support for Governor Brewer and the Arizona Commerce Authority in their efforts to secure an FAA-designated test site.
3. A major commitment to science and technology to ensure the aerospace and defense industry’s existing knowledge and technology assets are leveraged to generate new and higher-value economic growth opportunities for our existing workforce talent while also attracting new, skill ed workers to Greater Phoenix.
4. Increased support for regional export opportunities from state and regional leaders.
5. An ongoing commitment to business retention and expansion, particularly with regards to sequestration.

To view the Aerospace and Defense Market Intelligence Report in its entirety, as well as all five recommendations, please visit http://www.gpec.org/aerospace.

technology

GPEC puts together a science and technology strategy

Even when the state was known for copper, cattle and citrus, Arizona has relied on being an innovator to drive its economy.

“Arizona’s economic position has historically been defined by science and technology,” says Steven M. Shope, president of Mesa-based Sandia Research Corporation, “especially if you look back to the 1940s and 1950s, when the state put a wealth of resources into attracting new technologies.”

Those efforts, Shope says, paid off and made Arizona a leader in the electronics, semiconductor, aerospace and defense industries.

“Now, we need more science and technology to transform Arizona into a knowledge economy and lift our productivity and export growth from below national average,” Shope says.

To help make that happen, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) has directed its Innovation Council — which is co chaired by Shope and Todd Hardy, associate vice president of economic affairs for Arizona State University — to study the community’s high-potential assets, look for commercialization opportunities and put together and science and technology strategy that will help drive a knowledge-based economy in Arizona. The backbone of that strategy will be building on the state’s existing strengths.

According to Sethuraman Panchanathan, senior vice president at ASU’s Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development, those strengths include the state’s world-class research universities, research centers and institutes, a large highly trained workforce, a vibrant entrepreneurship ecosystem, a concerted effort on improving business climate in the cities and the state, plans for rapid growth by existing science and technology businesses, and an enhanced quality of life.

“Our best strengths come from the companies already here — established businesses like Intel, Avnet, Boeing and Honeywell,” Shope says. “Arizona also has lower workforce costs and good transportation connectivity to other markets, both of which are attractive for science- or technology-based businesses.”

So how does Arizona tranlate those assets into further expansion and enhancement of the science and technology sectors?

“We’re already world leaders in solar research and development and manufacturing and there is still strong potential for innovation within our aerospace and electronics industries, as well as in healthcare and personalized medicine,” Shope says. “However, we need to fill in the gaps with regards to access to capital, markets and talent in order to realize that potential. GPEC’s Innovation Council is working to develop a strategy that leverages these resources, harnesses new ones and further diversifies our economy into these areas.”

Panchanathan says the key to creating a successful strategy will be, “Convergence of purpose between the various economic development entities in Arizona, securing investments that can be deployed to attract new businesses to Arizona, and creating incentives for attracting local and global businesses to Arizona.”

Already driving Arizona’s electronics sector is Intel, with its recent $5 billion expansion, and companies like Boeing and Honeywell are fueling the aerospace sector. Those three companies are driving innovation within our communities and their local supply chains, Shope points out.

Top develop its science and technology strategy, Shope says says GPEC’s Innovation Council is conducting a deep market analysis to identify long-term opportunities in science and technology, and learning how to target growth from initiatives in other regions. GPEC is building the business case among private leaders to establish focus and build resources around a few select initiatives.

“A well thought-out strategy should include building up each community’s unique assets and driving growth into new markets by establishing centers of excellence around emerging products and technologies,” Shope says. “Increasing funding to the universities for R&D is also critical, as is developing funding and resources for entrepreneurs. Educating the entrepreneur is also an important goal. In particular, R&D funding from federal sources, such as (Small Business Innovation Research) SBIR and (Small Business Technology Transfer Program) STTR, is an ideal mechanism for launching new technologies. However, this funding is becoming increasingly competitive. We need to be sure that Arizona small businesses can be highly competitive in these funding programs.”

boeing-phantom-ray

It takes fuel to win tech race

Many of us can relate to thinking of Arizona’s economy as an automobile race. To win, you need a smooth race course, a fast car, a winning driver and high-powered fuel.
Carrying that analogy into Arizona’s technology sector, it’s clear that a lot of resources have been invested and progress has been made in building a world-class race course.  We’ve made tremendous strides in creating a business climate and technology environment for facilitating both private and public sector support to address the needs of Arizona’s technology businesses.

The Arizona Technology Council has worked collaboratively with many different technology champions to build this course. Technology issues are supported by the Governor’s office, the state’s legislature, the Arizona Commerce Authority, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and more.

Technology incubators and shared space facilities such as Gangplank in Chandler, Avondale and Tucson; Hackspace and Venture Catalyst at ASU’s SkySong in Scottsdale; BioInspire in Peoria; Innovation Incubator in Chandler; AzCI in Tucson; and AZ Disruptors in Scottsdale are making sure that today’s innovators are being given the right support, tools and environment to create the next big thing.

Collectively, our wins have included the passage of a tax credit for qualified research and development that is the best in the nation, the creation of the first statewide Arizona SciTech Festival and the birth of the Arizona Innovation Institute, to name a few.
Arizona’s technology industry also has great race cars. These are the technologies and intellectual property that create wealth and jobs driven by both Fortune 500 companies and entrepreneurs.  Companies such as Intel, Microchip Technologies, Freescale, ON Semiconductor and Avnet can all be found here.  Nearly all of the largest aerospace and defense prime contractors in the nation are located in Arizona, including Boeing, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics.

The state’s entrepreneurial spirit is reflected in companies such as WebPT, Infusionsoft, Axosoft, iLinc and Go Daddy that were founded in Arizona along with the many innovators that are coming to the table every day with new ideas rich in technology.

These companies large and small are driven by some of the greatest race car drivers the nation has produced.

But when it comes to fuel, Arizona’s economy has always been running close to empty. We lack the vital capital needed to win the race. Having access to angel investors, venture capital and private equity as well as debt instruments is critical to Arizona’s success.
The situation has not been improving on the equity side of the fuel equation. To offer some relief, the Arizona Technology Council is proposing legislation that would create a system of contingent tax credits to incentivize both in-state and out-of-state investors to capitalize Arizona companies.  This program, called the Arizona Fund of Funds, would allow the state to offer $100 million in tax incentives to minimize the risk for those seeking to invest in high-growth companies.  The state government’s role would be to serve as a guarantor through these contingent tax credits in case the investments don’t yield the projected results.  Expect more information on this important piece of legislation as it advances.

On the debt side of the fuel equation, there are encouraging signs that the worst of the credit crunch may be over. Early-stage companies need access to debt instruments, or loans. Capital is needed for equipment and expansion. A line of credit can help early-stage companies through ongoing cash-flow issues. But loan activity is still modest in Arizona for small companies. It remains heavily weighted toward the strongest corporate and consumer borrowers.

Capital goes hand in hand with innovation, high-paying jobs and cutting-edge technology, products and services. Before Arizona’s economy can win the race, we will need to become more self-sufficient at providing the fuel necessary to be a winner.

Steven G. Zylstra is president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council.

index

Trade official outlines importance of aerospace, defense to Arizona

Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sánchez will highlight the importance of aerospace and defense industry exports to strengthening the American economy and creating jobs during his “Made in America” tour stop in the Phoenix area, on August 21.

Sánchez will discuss export opportunities with local aerospace industry leaders at a roundtable hosted by the Arizona District Export Council in Scottsdale. He will tour the Kaiser Aluminum Alexco facility in Chandler, and the Nivisys Industries manufacturing plant in Tempe, to see first-hand how exporting can help Arizona companies. Sánchez will present U.S. Department of Commerce Export Achievement Certificates to both firms to recognize their recent export successes.

Aerospace is an important export industry that will help achieve the goals of President Obama’s National Export Initiative to double U.S. exports by the end of 2014. The U.S. aerospace industry supports more jobs through exports than any other manufacturing industry.  According to the Arizona Commerce Authority, in 2009, Arizona’s aerospace and defense companies employed 39,400 individuals with a total payroll of $4.3 billion. Purchases of goods and services by aerospace and defense companies from Arizona suppliers generate 17,000 jobs and labor income of $1.1 billion.

manufacturing - Arizona Business Magazine May/June 2012

Computer & Aerospace Manufacturing – Arizona Builds Its Financial Future

Computer and aerospace manufacturing plays a significant role in Arizona’s financial future.

The economic storm that has wreaked havoc for most businesses was barely a breeze for Michael McPhie.

“We were really not affected negatively,” says the CEO of Curis Resources, a mineral exploration and development company in Florence. “The economic downturn really did not affect the demand for some commodities, so copper mining continues to be a significant economic engine for the state.”

With 10 percent of the world’s copper supply coming from Arizona, a combination of continued high demand from China and innovative and cost-effective methods of extraction allowed the copper industry — one of Arizona’s oldest professions — to weather the economic storm with little damage.

While Arizona’s Top 10 manufacturing companies added about 3,200 jobs in 2011, some of the state’s other manufacturing companies were not so lucky.

“It certainly wasn’t easy, especially for our smaller manufacturers, who make up 79 percent of Arizona’s manufacturing sector and employ four or fewer people,” says Mark Dobbins, senior vice president and secretary for SUMCO Phoenix Corporation, which manufactures silicon wafers for the semiconductor industry. “Although companies of all sizes were affected by the recession, they were probably hit the hardest.”

While the state’s manufacturing sector is holding steady, the uncertainty coming out of Washington and in the financial markets has not helped its economic recovery, according to Glenn Hamer, president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“The federal health care law, EPA regulations and a National Labor Relations Board that has taken positions hostile to manufacturing has likely done more to slow recovery than spur it on,” Hamer says. “The governor and the Legislature, however, have responded decisively, passing in 2011 a once-in-a-generation economic competitiveness package that makes Arizona more attractive than ever to manufacturers.”

The Arizona Competitiveness Package includes a mix of tax reforms and business incentives designed to encourage expansion among existing Arizona companies, while establishing Arizona as an attractive location for businesses worldwide.

“Arizona manufacturers have underperformed in the export arena as compared to other states in the last several years,” Hamer says. “Economic competitiveness legislation passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor last year goes far in attracting manufacturers, especially those who sell beyond Arizona borders.”

While the landmark 2011 legislation was a shot in the arm for manufacturing and business, the Arizona Manufacturers Council — which serves the state in conjunction with the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry — has identified several legislative issues that are important to manufacturing in 2012, Hamer says. The Arizona Manufacturers Council is striving to:

  1. Streamline regulations and the issuance of permits.
  2. Eliminate barriers to economic development created by inadequate infrastructure for capital intensive manufacturing operations.
  3. Promote a friendlier legal environment through tort reform.
  4. Support policies that will strengthen the solvency of Arizona’s unemployment insurance system.

“We need a clearly defined economic goal and strong collaborative leadership for the next five, 10, 15 and 20 years for the state,” says Dobbins, who is also immediate past chairman of the Arizona Manufacturers Council. “We need a clear education pathway to support Arizonans’ having the job skills to meet the challenges of that goal. We have the infrastructure to become a major player in all of our primary industry sectors. Now we have to create the political will to set the state’s objective to become the international commercial and business hub of the Southwest.”

To get there, Dobbins says, “We need to rid ourselves of outdated policies that discourage businesses from relocating here and be aggressive at pursuing growth. We must invest in education and fund our schools and universities properly so they produce graduates who are vocationally skilled and/or STEM-skilled and job-ready.”

Even in the copper mining industry is transitioning into a knowledge-based workforce, McPhie says.

“We are working with local colleges so we can attract and educate the best and the brightest engineers, hydrologists and geologists,” McPhie says. “There are tremendous opportunities to make significant wages in the copper mining industry, particularly because there will be a significant numbers of retirees due to our industry’s aging workforce.”

It’s not just the mining industry that is looking for a new generation of workers. “We’ve also seen manufacturing (hiring) pick up substantially in the last month,” says Andy Ernst, regional vice president for Robert Half International, a staffing services firm.

While Dobbins says the computer and electronic product manufacturing is generally considered among the state’s strongest manufacturing areas, the production of transportation equipment — which includes the aerospace and defense industries — could be the most captivating, yet challenging, sector to watch in the next several years.

Boeing Phantom Eye

Photo courtesy Boeing

“The advent of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in the defense sphere is extremely exciting for Arizona manufacturing,” Hamer says. “The AMC is working with the Arizona Aerospace and Defense Commission and other stakeholders to secure Arizona’s position as a leading location for research and development, manufacturing, and testing of UAS, and we are supporting Arizona’s proposal to be designated by the Federal Aviation Administration as a national UAS testing area.”

Arizona’s largest aerospace and defense companies are investing in the future of UAS, which the military uses to track enemy movements, bomb targets and move supplies without putting soldiers in harm’s way. Boeing moved its unmanned division to Mesa, where it can manufacture the A160T Hummingbird, the company’s flagship unmanned aircraft, once every 12 days. Raytheon in Tucson is working on several UAS innovations, including an operating system that would make it easier to install various brands of sensors and communicate among multiple unmanned aircraft.

But aerospace and defense isn’t the only area expected to create new jobs.

“In addition to the potential growth of Unmanned Aircraft Systems in Arizona, Intel’s $5 billion investment in a new factory in Chandler will require 1,000 workers and is creating 14,000 jobs in the construction sector in anticipation of the facility’s completion in 2013,” Hamer says. “The investment has a tremendous downstream effect on other companies.”
Renewable energy is another potential hotbed for growth.

“If it is able to overcome certain global market challenges, certainly the solar industry has big growth potential for the future of our state,” Dobbins says. “Also, as long as we, as a society, continue to be in love with personal electronics — computers, laptops, cell phones — and our cars, manufacturing in Arizona will continue to grow.”

To help that growth, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry is focused on two initiatives:

  1. Southwest<>Direct, which aims to make Arizona the international commercial and business hub of the Southwestern U.S.
  2. A collaboration between the education community and business to secure highly trained, vocational skills-certified and STEM-certified employees for today and tomorrow’s increasingly technical workplace.

“The Chamber and the AMC are (also) working together to promote a tax environment that attracts manufacturing, including reforms to the state’s treatment of income derived from capital gains, and lengthening the time businesses can carry losses forward against future profits as way of encouraging more startups and businesses that require large capital investments,” Hamer says.

Despite the increase in job creation and slight decrease in economic despair, the state’s manufacturing sector still faces some challenges.

“With looming federal budget cuts, Arizona’s defense and aerospace manufacturers stand to face some big changes,” Hamer says. “It is incumbent upon our leaders to continue to position our state as a leader in this field by aggressively pursuing Unmanned Aerial Systems flight testing, research and manufacturing in Arizona.”

Hamer says that it will be imperative for lawmakers and business leaders to have a unified vision for the future of manufacturing in Arizona.

“Arizona needs to be mindful of the growing creep of regulations and red tape that stifles business’ ability to focus on innovation and investment,” Hamer says. “Gov. Jan Brewer recognized this when her first act as governor was to institute a regulatory moratorium; the Legislature soon followed the governor’s action with a sweeping regulatory reform package of its own. Increased transparency in the regulatory sphere at all levels of government will help attract (new) manufacturing to Arizona.”

ARIZONA AEROSPACE

Here are four of the major players in Arizona’s defense and aerospace industry:

Boeing: The company’s 4,878-employee Defense, Space & Security facility in Mesa is best known for producing the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter for the U.S. Army. Additional work at the Mesa facility includes production of electrical subassemblies for the F/A-18, F-15, and C-17 aircraft.

General Dynamics: With more than 5,400 employees at its Scottsdale headquarters, General Dynamics C4 Systems specializes in command and control, communications networking, computing and information assurance for defense, government and select commercial customers in the U.S. and abroad.

Honeywell International: With more than 10,000 employees at 21 Arizona facilities, Honeywell International contracts with the Department of Defense through both their Aerospace and their Automation and Control Solutions business units. In particular, Honeywell Aerospace is headquartered in Phoenix, with major facilities in Tempe, Glendale, and Tucson.

Raytheon Missile Systems: Headquartered in Tucson with 12,000 Arizona employees, Raytheon Missile Systems designs, develops, and produces weapon systems for the U.S. military and the armed forces of more than 50 countries.

Arizona Business Magazine May/June 2012