Tag Archives: Governor Jan Brewer

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Manufacturers Find Business-Friendly Environment In Arizona

Gov. Jan Brewer has done a lot to make Arizona more competitive for manufacturing, economic development leaders say.

“The repeal of the energy sales tax on gas and electricity is very big for us,” says Mark Dobbins, co-chairman of the Arizona Manufacturing Partnership at the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “We have a business friendly reputation and this change makes a big difference in our attractiveness to manufacturing.”

But there is one piece of the puzzle that still creates concern.

“Businesses wanting to relocate to Arizona are impressed with the business-friendly climate in the state,” Dobbins continues. “The question I hear most is, ‘Will I find an educated and experienced workforce for my business?’”

Concerns over education bring the Partnership and other economic development advocates around to the next focus — a quality, educated workforce to serve Arizona’s growing job demand. The conversation started with business, the community colleges, state universities and schools during the depths of the recession.

“The tax cut makes a major difference for a corporation,” says Barry Broome, CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. “Tesla, if it locates here, saves $30 million to $40 million a year with that bill in place.”

Broome considers SB1413 the most important bill for business in the current session. “The (manufacturers electricity sales tax) exemption brings us in line with most of the rest of the country; only 15 states had such a tax. For big power users, this is a make-or-break proposition. High technology companies spend more on power than payroll.”

“Continuous innovation is what keeps Arizona competitive in manufacturing,” says Sandra Watson, CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “We believe that the future is in research and development and Arizona has one of the most competitive R&D tax credits in the country.”

The ACA manages that tax credit and it’s not handed out lightly or just for large manufacturers. The state has seen much of its manufacturing employment growth, now six percent of the workforce, from the smaller businesses. The ACA makes the credit available to any sized qualifying firm.

The state’s manufacturing history is sometimes lost in the ads for golf courses and new subdivisions. “We have a history of solid manufacturing in the state that goes back 50 or 60 years,” recounts Steve Macias, president and CEO of Pivot Manufacturing, Arizona Commerce Authority board member, and chairman of the Arizona Manufacturers Council, which falls under the umbrella of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “This gives us a solid workforce with experience, ability and productivity that is a plus for any manufacturer wanting to relocate or expand.

In addition to the cut on the utility sales tax, SB1484 was another breakthrough for manufacturers. The bill created energy tax credits that can be claimed by manufacturers generating renewable energy to power Arizona operations.

Dobbins says that Arizona has all the right assets in place for manufacturing today, but can’t rest on what we have now for the future. “We need to invest more to build our assets up,” he says. “We need a lot of work to build our competitive logistics infrastructure.”

He lists logistics where the state needs to invest more money and projects. “We’re in great shape when it comes to passenger traffic with Sky Harbor and (Phoenix-Mesa) Gateway airports. We need to do more for air freight.”

Dobbins believes Arizona’s manufacturing future is in building our exports with Canada, Mexico and South America. He’s not alone in that view. State Transportation Board Member Joseph La Rue emphasizes the same position. “Interstate 11 makes this market a crossroads. Right now, we’re just connected to the east and west.”

The state is taking effective action, says Macias. “With the change in (sales tax on energy) and (research and development) tax credit, we’re a state that is very appealing to a capital intensive business. Arizona is moving in the right direction.”

Arizona’s manufacturing opportunities are spread across the state. Most people think of Phoenix, Tucson and Yuma as the places where the businesses cluster, but small manufacturers are seeing emerging markets in Flagstaff, Prescott and Kingman, according to Dobbins.

With the tax credits and incentives offered through the ACA and some local governments, Macias says a small manufacturer can take advantage of an underemployed workforce in a rural area. Arizona provides significant tax credits and incentives for businesses to train and develop their employees. These come through ACA and the Department of Economic Security Workforce Arizona programs.

“We’ve always had aerospace, defense and semiconductors as our base,” says Broome. “We’re starting to build manufacturing industry clusters in high technology glass. GT Advanced Technology in Mesa and Rioglass Solar Steel in Surprise are a start. Once businesses start to cluster, more become interested because it means there’s a growing, skilled workforce.”

“We need to do more to build our workforce,” says Dobbins. “Arizona has consistently underfunded education and we’re paying that cost now. Common Core standards will give us a business-accepted measure of how our workforce stacks up. We don’t just mean in college education, but also in the important areas of technical education.”

“Common Core (education standards) are driven by business so that there is a national standard of comparison,” says Macias. “We’ve been working on the need for a trained and educated workforce so that we don’t slip into a deep recession in the future. We were too dependent on construction.”
Arizona needs to get the word out, experts say.

“When people come in to Sky Harbor, they’re overwhelmed with ads for golf, resorts and housing,” muses Macias. “That’s why they’re here in the winter. We need to overwhelm them with a message of what we do in Arizona. We do a lot, and we do it very well.

deaf

Deaf Awareness Week spotlights diversity

Throughout the month of September 2013, the Arizona Commission for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing (ACDHH) joins the world in promoting the annual Deaf Awareness Week (DAW). September 23rd – 28th is the time to celebrate the culture, heritage and language unique to Deaf people of the world.  Currently there are more than 55 million people in the United States experiencing some degree of hearing loss and in Arizona there are more than 700,000 people who are hard of hearing and more than 20,000 who are culturally Deaf.

Deaf Awareness Week is an opportunity to promote the rights of Deaf people throughout the world which includes education for Deaf people, access to information and services, the use of sign languages, and human rights for Deaf people.  Recognition of achievements by Deaf people, past and present is acknowledged.  The misconceptions of being Deaf and the challenges the Deaf population face during everyday life are brought to light and shared with the greater population. Learning sign language and other ways Deaf people communicate allows one to gain insights and better understanding of Deaf Culture and its norms.

Society should understand that Deaf individuals are just as capable, able, and intelligent as hearing individuals.  There is a difference in the way those that are Deaf communicate, but it is not a handicap or disability. Deaf Awareness Week is about promoting the positive aspects of being Deaf and “social inclusion” and raise awareness about Deaf people and its culture.
As we (the Deaf community) continue to face a variety of issues of barriers and oppression, we need to continue in being proactive with our actions, show pride in our identity as a Deaf individual, and constantly embrace and cherish the uniqueness of Deaf Culture.

An example of what ACDHH does in the community to improve the quality of life for the deaf and the hard of hearing is work with a variety of industries to better understand and communicate with deaf individuals. One of these industries is healthcare – a situation in which clear communication between a patient and service provider could mean the difference between life and death. ACDHH offers a free, comprehensive training course for healthcare providers in order to ensure proper information is being given and received.

Not only is it the responsibility of a healthcare provider to provide effective communication for the deaf and the hard of hearing, it’s the law. Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities, regardless of the provider’s size or number of employees. The healthcare providers’ curriculum offers valuable information on the options available to achieve the effective communication that is required without threatening the livelihood of the business.

Join ACDHH in celebrating Deaf Awareness throughout the month of September in recognizing the past, present, and future contributions and achievements that have paved the way to where we are today.

For more information on the events taking place during Deaf Awareness Week, please visit www.acdhh.org.

 

Beca Bailey and Sean Furman are both deaf specialists with the Arizona Commission for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing. Information and referral, community development and outreach education are among the services they help provide. By informing deaf and hard of hearing individuals about their rights and the laws and programs available to support those rights, they, too, can become empowered as self-advocates.

Jan Brewer - 50 Most Influential Womenin AZ Business

Jan Brewer – 50 Most Influential Women in Arizona Business

Jan BrewerGovernor, State of Arizona

Brewer became Arizona’s 22nd governor in 2009, inheriting the worst budget deficit in the country. Through her support of free-market principles, competitive taxes, lean regulations and a ready workforce, she has transformed Arizona into one of the most business-friendly states in the nation.

Surprising fact: “I’m a gardener at heart. You need the right seeds, plus water and sunshine. And you have to run off the rabbits. Sounds a little like the Legislature, right?”

Biggest challenge: “Balancing my family and home life with a career in public service. While this issue can never be truly ‘overcome,’ it’s one I manage day-by-day, guided by my love of family and the people I serve.”

Fifty Most Influential Women in Arizona Business – Every year in its July/August issue Arizona Business Magazine features 50 women who make an impact on Arizona business. To see the full list, read the digital issue >>

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Price Corridor's Continuum Park Lands Advanced Business Services Company

 

Continuum Science & Technology Park in Chandler’s Price Corridor has landed its first major company — Nationstar Mortgage.

Nationstar is one of the nation’s leading mortgage servicers and lenders.

Nationstar will be placing 1,200 new jobs in 160,000 SF of space, with an option to expand. The company is currently occupying temporary space in the same building as tenant improvements are completed. RSG Builders is the general contractor and PHArchitecture is the architect.

“Nationstar is strong and growing, and we’re excited to be opening our newest site in Chandler,” said Nationstar Mortgage Executive Vice President Mike Rawls. “The Chandler area provides access to existing mortgage industry talent and a well-educated workforce. We look forward to building a great team here.”

The jobs will be in the advanced business services sector, including mortgage processing and origination as the company collects and processes loans.

“Chandler’s broad spectrum of industries serves us well as companies evaluate whether a community has the potential for industry partners,” said Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny. “We have developed the workforce Nationstar needs through a strong financial services sector and the partnerships Chandler has in place with ASU and the University of Arizona.”

“I want to thank the Nationstar team for its confidence in, and commitment to Arizona,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “This project represents a significant investment in our state and will create hundreds of jobs for Arizonans. It continues to showcase Arizona as a state rich with talent and full of opportunity, with the government backing to support individual business success.”

Continuum is a 153-acre, master planned Science & Technology Park that advances the vision of the Price Corridor as a “super technology” region, making Chandler competitive on an international scale.

Continuum is expected to be home to 8,000 to 12,000 jobs and generate $250M to $300M in primary economic impacts at build-out.

“Nationstar’s desire for prominent identity, unparalleled infrastructure, and a quality labor pool made our project a perfect choice, and we couldn’t be more excited to have them as one of the first tenants at Continuum,” said Kevin Miller, Senior Vice President-Southwest Region, Capital Commercial Investments. “The addition of Nationstar continues to reinforce our position as one of the premier business parks in the valley.”

Nationstar joins notable employers in the Price Corridor in key industries of aerospace, life sciences, high technology R&D/manufacturing and advanced business services.

 

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AZ Submits Elementary And Secondary Education Act Flexibility Waiver

The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) recently announced that they have submitted an application for flexibility under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). If the application is approved by the U.S. Department of Education, Arizona’s schools will be better able to allocate limited resources and meet the unique needs of the state’s diverse student population.

Arizona seeks to move toward a singular, unified school evaluation system (A-F school letter grades), which will help parents, teachers, and administrators gain a better understanding of a school’s academic performance.

The Arizona Department of Education believes that the flexibility waver will also help the department change from a compliance bureaucracy into an education support center that streamlines duplicative processes, increases transparency and provides world-class service to all of its education stakeholders.

In order to gain an ESEA flexibility waver, the ADE will meet the following expectations laid out by the Obama administration and the U.S. department of Education:

1. Adopt and implement college- and career-ready standards and aligned assessments.

2. Develop and implement a system of differentiated recognition, accountability and support.

3. Develop and implement a system of teacher and principal evaluations.

4. Evaluate and revise, as necessary, a state education agency’s own administrative requirements to reduce duplication and unnecessary burden on local education agencies (school districts and charter schools).

State officials at all levels of government have voiced their support for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act flexibility waiver:

“I applaud Superintendent Huppenthal for seeking this waiver, and will continue to champion innovation, efficiency and accountability in education,” said Governor Jan Brewer. “Receipt of this waiver will grant Arizona the flexibility necessary to help ensure that regulations and bureaucracy don’t stand in the way of student achievement.”

The plan is also endorsed by Jaime Molera, president of the State Board of Education. “Once approved, this waiver will grant Arizona the flexibility necessary to minimize duplicative and burdensome federal requirements, and allow the K-12 community to place greater emphasis on the needs of individual students.”

For more information on Arizona’s application for ESEA flexibility, visit azed.gov/eseawaiver.

 

Arizona Health Care Cuts, AHCCCS

Arizona’s Mental Health Braces for AHCCCS Heavy Cuts

Sit back, close your eyes — after you have read this of course — and imagine your daughter, friend, brother or spouse suffering with no help in sight. A year ago you saw them excelling in life, overcoming their illness, stable with only happiness for the future when suddenly their standard medication was changed, their health services discontinued and their housing no longer an option. Now you are seeing your loved one’s health deteriorate, and each day becomes harder to cope.Arizona State Capitol, Flickr, Willem van Bergen

This scenario was a reality for thousands of children and adults facing mental illness last July when the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) saw serious cuts. Those who were not determined Title-19 eligible — those not under the poverty level — faced the loss of brand-name medications, supportive housing and services on which they previously relied.

With Arizona projecting a 1.15 billion-dollar deficit in FY 2012, Governor Janet Brewer released her proposed budget cuts for FY 2011. These cuts are estimated at $1.1 billion. AHCCCS was cut by $541.5 million, making it possible for 280,000 people to lose coverage. These cuts leave 5,200 seriously mentally ill people with medication-only coverage and other losses similar to the cuts in March 2010.

“…the growth in Arizona Medicaid spending is a key driver of our state’s current budget crisis,” Governor Jan Brewer said in a statement on the cuts.  “Medicaid’s explosive growth, nearing almost 65 percent over the past four years despite ongoing attempts to stem its increases, is simply unsustainable and threatens to consume the core functions of state government.”

To some these cuts are seen as more than just balancing a budget but also a safety issue for Arizona.

“Arizona has one of the lowest grades for mental health in the nation,” said Patricia Bonivel, an Arizona resident whose spouse is diagnosed with a mental illness.Arizona Health Care Cuts, Mentally Ill Suffer

“Mental illness is not going away; we have to address the system, effectively streamline the system and work within an adequate budget line,” Bonivel said.  “This is not the time or area to slash costs; it can only end up with additional overburdened areas and does nothing to promote wellness and recovery — the goal of which needs to be attained for the sake of us all.”

In her recent statement on the budget cuts, Governor Brewer said she is “mindful of the very real impacts these reductions will have” but holds to the belief that “this is Arizona’s only option to restore [its] fiscal stability.”

Bonivel asks the question whether or not these cuts are worth the “small margin” of economic gain and said, “Looking at recent events in Tucson, I think the answer is NO; think about it!”

Now go for it. Close your eyes and imagine what you would do faced with these difficult decisions. You may surprise yourself.

Arizona Senate

Robert D. Dalager Confirmed by AZ State Senate, Named to AZ Commission

Attorney Robert D. Dalager of Phoenix-based law firm Gallagher & Kennedy, P. A. has been appointed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to the Commission on Trial Court Appointments for Maricopa County. This week he was confirmed by the Arizona State Senate into the new position.

Dalager is one of five attorneys out of 16 members that make up the Commission on Trial Court Appointments (Maricopa County Commission). The Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court serves as Chairman.

The members are tasked with reviewing judicial applications for Maricopa County Superior Court. They do so by conducting investigations, holding public hearings and taking public testimony.

Dalager was also appointed to the role of Chairman of the City of Phoenix Citizen’s Transit Commission by Phoenix Mayor Gordon in 2010.

Dalager’s practice focuses on governmental affairs and land use law at Gallagher & Kennedy. Before he joined the firm, Dalager was with the Arizona State Senate for nearly 10 years, assisting in the management of all aspects of Senate operations.

He also advised the President of the Senate and members of the majority party on a variety of legislative, as well as legal issues, and was involved in developing Arizona Capitol TV (ACTV) which provides a live broadcast of legislative committee and floor action.

Dalager reviewed his B.S. from Arizona State University and his J.D. from Creighton University.