Tag Archives: Greg Stanton

phoenix

UA’s Phoenix campus has nearly $1 billion economic Impact

University of Arizona President Ann Weaver Hart and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton today announced that the economic impact of the UA’s downtown Phoenix academic medical center in 2013 was $961 million, according to a report released by nationally recognized consultants Tripp Umbach.

“Our College of Medicine and the academic medical center have become key generators of economic impact for Phoenix and Arizona,” said President Hart. “It is through the great support of the city, the state and our partners in the medical center that we have been able to achieve this kind of impact.”

The Tripp Umbach report outlines the impact of the health science colleges and the surrounding academic campus as defined by the City of Phoenix master plan that includes education, research and clinical facilities over a designated 28-acre area.

Among the findings:
• The economic impact of the overall biomedical campus in downtown Phoenix in 2013 was nearly $1.3 billion, of which $961 million is attributed to the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix presence.
• In 2013, the academic medical center accounted for 9,355 direct and indirect jobs. The UA College of Medicine – Phoenix is responsible for 7,185 of those jobs.
• The academic medical center generated more than $56.5 million in state and local government revenues in 2013 as a result of operational, employee and visitor spending. Of that total, $44.5 million is attributable to the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix.
• The estimated economic impact of the academic medical center will reach $3.1 billion by fiscal year 2024-25.

The report was commissioned by the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix and the City of Phoenix.

“The activity on the downtown biomedical campus puts top-notch health care and the best-trained health professionals in our backyard, but it also creates high-value jobs in our city,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton.

The Phoenix Biomedical Campus plays host to four UA health science colleges – the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health as well as the colleges of nursing and pharmacy. Also on campus are three NAU programs – physician assistant, physical therapy and occupational therapy as part of the university’s College of Health and Human Services. Arizona State University’s School of Nutrition and Health Innovation is housed in the Arizona Biomedical Collaborative south of the Translational Genomic Research Institute (TGen).

The Biosciences Partnership Building is the latest development in the steady expansion of the downtown Phoenix campus and emerging academic medical center. In 2012, the award-winning Health Sciences Education Building opened, housing health education for both the UA and Northern Arizona University. Construction continues on The UA Cancer Center at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s. The cancer center, a 220,000-square foot outpatient and research facility, is scheduled to be completed in 2015.

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PHX Sky Train to Terminal 3 opens to public

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, members of the Phoenix City Council, City and Airport officials took the first ride to the brand new Terminal 3 PHX Sky Train® Station December 8 at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. The event marked the opening of the newest section of the PHX Sky Train®, extending it to Terminal 3 with a walkway to Terminal 2. There is no Terminal 1 at Phoenix Sky Harbor. The train now connects the regional Valley Metro Rail with Sky Harbor’s East Economy Parking and all three airport terminals.

“All of Sky Harbor’s passengers may now enjoy an easy connection with public transportation, and a convenient ride between the Airport and downtown Phoenix. That is great news, especially with the Super Bowl coming to Phoenix in 2015,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “Our goal was to open this extension before Super Bowl and we have exceeded expectations, opening it in time for December and January holiday travel.”

The PHX Sky Train® operates seven days a week, 365 days a year, and is free of charge to customers.

“We are proud to have completed this project not only early but under budget,” said Phoenix Acting Aviation Director Tamie Fisher.

The PHX Sky Train® Terminal 3 station received Silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental (LEED) certification. It also features magnificent floors which are part of a public art project designed by artist Janelle Stanley.

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US Airways Center will now be Talking Stick Resort Arena

The Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury and Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community announced today that US Airways Center — the home of the Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury and Arizona Rattlers, as well as the Valley’s premier concert venue – is poised to take on a new name, Talking Stick Resort Arena, under an agreement reached between the two parties.

“Like Talking Stick Resort, this venue has become an iconic destination for entertainment in Arizona,” said President Diane Enos of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, the owner and operator of Talking Stick Resort. “Thousands of families and individuals have created long-lasting memories at this venue which makes its new name, ‘Talking Stick Resort Arena,’ all the more meaningful. We have a shared commitment with the Phoenix Suns in building a sense of community in the Valley and we are honored to help them provide a place for so many people to gather and celebrate.”

The naming rights agreement for the downtown venue is a multi-year deal that builds substantially on the existing agreement between the two parties. The name change will be visible throughout the facility, with Talking Stick Resort Arena being prominent on the exterior of the building; on the underbelly of the center hung scoreboard; on the arena’s rooftop; and featured on the Suns and Mercury basketball courts. The Casino Arizona Pavilion – the arena’s main lobby area – will retain its name. Additional details on the provisions of the naming rights agreement will be released as the transition begins.

“We could not be more excited about our expanded relationship with Talking Stick Resort,” said Phoenix Suns President Jason Rowley. “Talking Stick Resort and Casino Arizona has been a trusted and valued partner of the Phoenix Suns for many years. This naming rights agreement brings our partnership to a new level and will have an astral impact on the visibility of their support for the Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury and the entire community.”

“This is an exciting day for Phoenix, and another example of what an incredible partner the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community is for all of us,” said City of Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “We welcome the new name and look forward to the day when a Suns championship banner hangs from the rafters at Talking Stick Resort Arena.”

American Airlines, the current naming rights partner and owner of US Airways, has fulfilled all of its obligations and elected not to extend its naming rights agreement beyond the 2014-15 season. The facility’s naming transition to Talking Stick Resort Arena, from US Airways Center, is expected to be completed before the beginning of the 2015-16 Phoenix Suns season.

US Airways Center, which opened in 1992, has earned a reputation for excellence, having received a prestigious Prime Site Award from Facilities & Event Magazine as well as a Top 30 ranking for North American Arenas from Pollstar. It hosts an average of 130 events each year with a collective annual audience of one million people. Not only is the arena the home of the Phoenix Suns, but also the three-time WNBA world champion Phoenix Mercury. It is also the home field for five-time arena football world champions, the Arizona Rattlers.

In the past year, the arena has welcomed blockbuster acts such as Paul McCartney and Lady Gaga, adding to its long list of legendary performances from U2, George Strait and Garth Brooks as well as many others. Upcoming events include the UFC’s first-ever visit to Arizona in December, Fleetwood Mac, Eric Church with Dwight Yoakam, Enrique Iglesias & Pitbull, and Bette Midler. The arena also is known for its family content and is the host site each year for Disney on Ice, Marvel Adventure and Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus.

The Phoenix Suns operate and manage all aspects of US Airways Center under a long term agreement with the City of Phoenix, which owns the facility.

Talking Stick Resort is a AAA Four Diamond Rated Resort and a central landmark within the emerging Talking Stick Cultural and Entertainment Destination. Talking Stick Resort is locally owned and proudly operated by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. The 240,000 sq. ft. property offers culturally rich experiences and luxury accommodations throughout its 496 deluxe guest rooms, 11 restaurants and lounges, world-class spa, 650-seat showroom, 25,000 sq. ft. grand ballroom, thriving cultural center and more than 100,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor meeting space.

economic development - 8 honored

APAC Customer Services’ expansion to create 1,100 jobs

APAC Customer Services, Inc., a leader in global customer care outsourcing solutions, in partnership with the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) and Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities, Inc. (TREO), announced Monday an expansion in Phoenix and Tucson that is expected to bring more than 1,100 jobs to Arizona’s Sun Corridor over the next three years.

Jack Jones, Chief Operating Office of Expert Global Solutions, Inc., APAC’s parent company, stated, “Having lived in the state of Arizona for a number of years, I am a big fan of the ‘Sun Corridor.’ Access to qualified and experienced customer service personnel, top educational institutions and great weather make the state an ideal place for us to grow.”

City of Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild echoed Jones’ sentiments and recognized APAC’s long history and significant presence, “APAC has been a major employer in Southern Arizona for many years, currently employing nearly 2,000 of our citizens. We know every business has a choice of where to operate and the City of Tucson continues to make this a business-friendly climate for its existing employers to expand.”

“This is a positive step for Phoenix, Tucson and the entire Sun Corridor,” Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said. “For our economy to grow, we must continue to work together as a region and as a state.”

During the first year, the partnership is expected to generate over 300 new jobs in Tucson – split between APAC’s two sites in the city – and an additional 135 jobs to its site in north Phoenix. Throughout the next two years, the state is expected to benefit from 669 additional jobs (382 in Tucson and 287 in Phoenix), bringing the overall three-year job creation total to over 1,100 jobs for Arizona.

“APAC is the global leader in its industry serving top brands around the world, and we thank the company for its continued commitment to Arizona as it undertakes its next phase of growth,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority. “APAC’s investment and expansion in Phoenix and Tucson will create hundreds of professional services jobs for Arizonans across our state.”

Commenting on the growth, Joe Snell, President and CEO, TREO, stated, “State leaders, local officials and economic development partners joined together to deliver an important win for the economic recovery: nearly 700 new jobs here in Southern Arizona.”

“We’re pleased that APAC’s existing presence in the Sun Corridor mega-region continues to grow,” said Sharon Bronson, Chair, Pima County Board of Supervisors. “Tucson’s high-quality, bilingual workforce is a key competitive advantage in today’s global economy.”

APAC delivers tailored solutions to leading companies in many industries, including communications, education, financial services, government, healthcare, insurance, retail, technology, transportation and logistics, travel and hospitality and utilities. Headquartered in Illinois, APAC currently operates at the following locations in Arizona:

·       Tucson East: 1650 S. Research Loop, Tucson, AZ  85710
·       Tucson West: 2929 E. Corona Road, Tucson, AZ  85756
·       Phoenix: 20401 N. 29th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ  85027

In terms of the jobs that are coming to the state, Jones commented, “We’re excited about the opportunities we’re bringing to local communities. For us, it’s not simply about jobs. It’s about providing a chance for people to build a rewarding career and make a difference within our company.”

The new jobs created by this expansion are full-time positions that will work to support major clients. The positions will include both call center, leadership and support roles.

lesbians

Phoenix Earns Perfect Score on Equality Index

For the second straight year, the City of Phoenix has earned a perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s municipal equality index (MEI), which measures how supportive U.S. communities are of the gay and lesbian community.

Last year, Phoenix was one of the most improved cities in the nation and became the first Arizona city to earn a perfect score. This year, Phoenix was joined by both Tucson and Tempe.

“People are taking notice that Phoenix is one of the most diverse and friendly cities in America, and that’s good for everyone,” Mayor Greg Stanton said. “We are a more vibrant and more economically viable city when we treat every person equally under the law.”

In February 2013, the City Council passed a sweeping anti-discrimination ordinance that made it unlawful to discriminate against someone based on sexual orientation, gender identity or disability for the purposes of employment, public accommodations, housing, and government contracts.

Over the past year, Phoenix doubled housing grants awarded to the non-profit organization one-n-ten to provide housing for LGBT youth and the City Council called on Gov. Jan Brewer to veto S.B. 1062, the so-called “right to discriminate” bill, with an 8-to-1 vote.

“I am proud that the City of Phoenix supports equality and inclusion for all of our employees and residents,” Councilwoman Laura Pastor said. “I applaud the Mayor’s leadership on this issue and look forward to continuing the progress the City has made.”

“Today’s announcement underscores what many of us already know: after years of hard work by community leaders and advocates, Phoenix is a city that believes in equality through and through,” said Councilwoman Kate Gallego. “From the everyday residents who have made change in our city by advocating for equality to the elected leadership, our city has embraced full equality for all of our residents as a fundamental value, not just a sound bite. I look forward to working with Mayor Stanton and my other colleagues in continuing to improve our city and working to make the change we need to bring full equality to all Arizonans.”

“Phoenix’s continued leadership to promote equality is strengthening our economy,” said Angela Hughey, co-founder of ONE Community, a coalition of socially responsible businesses that actively support diversity. “We’ve come a long way, and I’m proud that we have elected officials who will continue to make sure that all of our diverse citizens is celebrated, respected and protected.”

ASU's Arizona Center for Law and Society

ASU law school to break ground next week

The official groundbreaking for Arizona State University’s new $129 million law school building in downtown Phoenix, the Arizona Center for Law and Society, is set for Nov. 13.

The ceremony will take place at the northwest corner of Taylor and First streets starting at 8 a.m. Attending the ceremony will be ASU President Michael M. Crow, retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law Dean Doug Sylvester. Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and Phoenix Councilman Michael Nowakowski also are expected to attend.

“The Arizona Center for Law and Society is another wonderful addition to our growing campus in the heart of Phoenix,” Crow said. “Having the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law in Downtown Phoenix fits perfectly with ASU’s mission of building strong learning and career connections with media, health care, corporate and government organizations for the more than 11,500 students in the downtown campus.”

Construction on the Arizona Center for Law and Society began in July. The new building will be ready for classes by August 2016. The College of Law currently occupies its home of almost 50 years, Armstrong Hall, on the Tempe campus. ASU and the College of Law are committed to ensuring that the Armstrong name will be honored in the new law school.

The Arizona Center for Law and Society is being funded by the city of Phoenix — which is providing land and $12 million — construction bonds through Arizona State University and private donations. ASU Law has set a capital campaign goal of $50 million for construction of the building. The College has raised more than $34 million so far.

“This could not have been possible without the generosity of our alumni and connected legal communities,” Sylvester said. “We are particularly honored that long-time Phoenix attorney Leo Beus and his wife, Annette, recently made a $10 million contribution to the building’s capital campaign. ”

The building is planned to be approximately 280,000 gross square feet with two levels of underground parking. It will have 18 rooms in which classes will be regularly scheduled, including one large lecture hall dedicated to university undergraduate education. Features of the new law school include a high-tech courtroom and an active learning classroom.

“Not only will the new law school have state-of-the-art learning facilities, it also will provide our students with incredible opportunities,” Sylvester said. “The downtown location is near the courts and the city’s legal district, which will prove invaluable to our students in the form of internships, externships and networking.”

The Ross-Blakley Law Library, currently located in a separate building near the law school in Tempe, will be moved to the new building. The library will occupy multiple floors and create the main circulatory structure of the center. The first floor of the building will have retail space consisting of a school bookstore and a café.

The Arizona Center for Law and Society also will include space for two think tanks, multiple centers with cross-disciplinary focus and the new ASU Alumni Law Group, the first teaching law firm associated with a law school.

The lead architects on the project are Ennead Architects and Jones Studio, with DPR Construction as the lead builder.

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AZ Big Media honors Az Business Leaders

The are the deal makers. They are the innovators. They are the movers and shakers. And on Thursday, AZ Big Media recognized almost 500 of the most influential business leaders in Arizona during a reception at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia.

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Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Greg and Nicole Stanton
Greg and Nicole Stanton
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Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
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Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
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Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Angela Vaughn and Cheryl Green
Angela Vaughn and Cheryl Green
Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Cheryl Green, Greg Stanton and Michael Gossie
Cheryl Green, Greg Stanton and Michael Gossie
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Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
Az Business Leaders reception.
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AZ Big Media Publisher Cheryl Green
AZ Big Media Publisher Cheryl Green
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton
Robert Milligan, CFO of Healthcare Trust of America, Inc.
Robert Milligan, CFO of Healthcare Trust of America, Inc.
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton
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Robert Milligan, CFO of Healthcare Trust of America, Inc.
Robert Milligan, CFO of Healthcare Trust of America, Inc.
Robert Milligan, CFO of Healthcare Trust of America, Inc.
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Midwestern University CEO Kathleen Goeppinger
Midwestern University CEO Kathleen Goeppinger
Midwestern University CEO Kathleen Goeppinger
Midwestern University CEO Kathleen Goeppinger
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AZ Big Media Publisher Cheryl Green and Editor in Chief Michael Gossie
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The men and women recognized at the event were all featured in Az Business Leaders magazine, which profiles the state’s most influential and dynamic business leaders in Arizona. The magazine is published by AZ Big Media, which also publishes Az Business, Ranking Arizona, AZRE, Experience AZ and several other Arizona-based publications.

“When we came up with the concept of Az Business Leaders magazine, we wanted to create a publication that was a guide to the people with whom you want to do business,” said Mike Atkinson, president and CEO of AZ Big Media. “Each year, over the course of about two dozen meetings, we sort through more than 5,000 contenders to find those women and men who have the biggest impact on Arizona’s economy and that’s who we profile in the magazine.”

Fittingly, the welcoming remarks were delivered by Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, who was also one of the leaders featured in the magazine.

Earning the distinction of Arizona Business Leader of the Year was Kathleen Goeppinger, president and CEO of Midwestern University.

“The business leader of the year has done what some may say is the impossible: she has built and grown a medical school from the ground up during a time when the healthcare industry has been in turmoil,” said Robert Milligan, CFO of Healthcare Trust of America, Inc., who presented the award to Goeppinger. “Her efforts have helped feed an educated workforce to an industry that has been exploding in Arizona. And the school that she started from scratch has more than 3,000 students and has an annual economic impact of more than $300 million a year, which boosts all our bottom lines.”

Trucks CrossingBorderat Nogales

4 big ideas shaking up Arizona-Mexico trade

While all of us have no doubt been busy getting enlightened by the endless stream of political TV ads, there have been lots of exciting things happening to grow Arizona’s cross-border trade profile with our neighbor Mexico.

Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match Dennis Smith and the team at the Maricopa Association of Governments deserve applause for the launch of the new website, BIEN, which not only means “good” or “right” in Spanish and French, but is an acronym for Building an International Economic Network.

Via BIEN, businesses in Arizona can set up an online profile that can connect them with buyers and sellers beyond our borders. Users can search for a business by distance, industry type or name.

As MAG Chair and Youngtown Mayor Michael LeVault said, the site “allows companies in Arizona, Mexico and Canada to directly connect with each other using technology instead of travel to broaden their customer base.”

BIEN is a great new tool in Arizona’s trade toolbox. Kudos to MAG for making it happen.

Down Mexico way Years since it was shuttered, Arizona once again has an official presence in Mexico’s political and economic capital city.

I was proud to join recently a delegation of about 70 business, academic and political leaders led by Arizona Commerce Authority CEO Sandra Watson, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and House Speaker Andy Tobin, for the official ribbon-cutting in Mexico City of the state’s new trade office, a joint project with the city of Phoenix. U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Tony Wayne, the consummate diplomat and an outstanding representative our country’s interests, was on hand to mark the special occasion.

Before the new office’s opening, not only was Arizona falling behind border state competitors like Texas and California, but even states like Iowa maintained a presence in Mexico City. Meanwhile, Arizona was nowhere to be found in Mexico’s largest city, despite Mexico being our state’s largest export market.

Re-opening the office is the right move at the right time. We have seized on this unique moment in Mexico’s history. Reform-minded President Enrique Peña Nieto has positioned his country to grow rapidly by opening Mexico’s energy sector to foreign investment. With a new trade office, Arizona and Mexico businesses alike now have a one-stop shop to start making the connections that will remind folks on both sides of the border of what an incredible asset our international border is to our economy.

As Gov. Brewer said, “As long as we continue to pursue and capitalize on important business and investment opportunities, we will enjoy a strong, continually thriving and mutually-beneficial partnership with Mexico long into the future.”

A port of opportunity The newly redesigned Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales is open for business just as the busy produce season is ready to kick into high gear.

The Chamber’s Garrick Taylor blogged about the new port last week, but the big takeaway is that while a redesigned Mariposa is great for Arizona-Mexico trade, its value will be diminished if the feds don’t adequately staff the inspection booths. Even the most modern port of entry can’t efficiently move cargo if there’s not enough personnel to carry out the inspections.

Kudos to the entire Arizona congressional delegation, which last week sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson making clear that Arizona’s land border ports have real staffing needs that need to be addressed.

Expand the travel zone When former Mexico President Vicente Fox was in town a few weeks ago, the MAG team touted the effort it’s leading to expand Arizona’s travel zone statewide to Mexico visitors. The idea makes a lot of sense, and it’s something the Chamber supports.

Under current law, Mexican nationals with a valid Border Crossing Card (BCC) entering Arizona at certain land border ports can travel only as far north as Tucson before being required to secure further documentation and pay an extra fee. Traveling to places like Phoenix or Flagstaff requires an extra step and increased hassle in what should be a more seamless process. After all, the travelers who have valid BCCs have already been vetted at a U.S. consulate in Mexico, they still undergo inspection at the port of entry and, if the inspecting officer desires, the traveler can still be referred for more involved secondary screening or even be denied entry.

Doing paperwork with travelers who want to visit the Grand Canyon or go shopping in Scottsdale is not a good use of limited Customs and Border Protection personnel resources. Arizona’s travel zone has been expanded once before. It’s time to open up the whole state to Mexican tourism.

Glenn Hamer is the president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which is committed to advancing Arizona’s competitive position in the global economy by advocating free-market policies that stimulate economic growth and prosperity for all Arizonans.

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Lanning Receives Economic Development Leadership Award

Kimber Lanning, Executive Director of Local First Arizona, was awarded the Citizen Leadership Award by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) for her extraordinary commitment in promoting economic development.  The honor was presented on Tuesday, October 21, during IEDC’s Annual Conference in Fort Worth, TX.

“The Citizen Leadership Award celebrates a community or business leader, or an individual who is not an economic development specialist, but who plays a major leadership role in economic development pursuits,” said William C. Sproull, IEDC chair. “Ms. Lanning is a fine example of such an individual.”

A longtime leader in the Phoenix metropolitan area, Kimber Lanning began her career as a successful entrepreneur and currently serves as Executive Director of Local First Arizona. Her enthusiasm in supporting local businesses and community culture has shaped her career and helped transform the city.

“This award is a milestone in a changing economy, one that is now recognizing the work of Local First Arizona and other Local First initiatives as a viable part of economic development.” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “Kimber can proudly accept this award on behalf of everyone working to create sustainable, resilient, diverse, and vibrant local economies in their own communities.”

Witnessing the adverse effects of local businesses departing from her community, Ms. Lanning took a different approach towards economic development when she opened an art gallery in a blighted area in central Phoenix. Her dedication to her business and neighborhood attracted other small business owners to the area and inspired a neighborhood transformation. Lanning’s willingness to contribute energy, creative event planning, and economic development strategies led to the reduction of crime in the area by 62 percent, created over 135 full time jobs, and provided immeasurable community pride.

In 2003, Ms. Lanning launched Local First Arizona in an effort to inspire others to stay in Phoenix to help build a world-class city.  She knew that in order to encourage residents to feel connected and rooted to the area, a climate needed to be cultivated so that local businesses could compete against chain stores and large companies. Ms. Lanning developed a specific strategy to gain the traction needed to move the needle on Arizona’s economy. She streamlined the City of Phoenix’s Adaptive Reuse program, which was so cumbersome that it was preventing small businesses from opening. Ms. Lanning’s pilot program was a success and is now encouraged citywide. Because of her persistence, Phoenix’s overall economic strategy now includes small businesses that have important connections to the community.

Ms. Lanning’s innovative small business and entrepreneurial programs have proven to be highly successful. She went to work on the state’s procurement procedures, transforming them from a “low-bid wins” policy to a focus on selecting local contracts. She also created a Spanish language initiative and the Fuerza Local Accelerator Program to assist and encourage low-income Latinos in entrepreneurial endeavors.

Because of Ms. Lanning’s leadership of Local First Arizona, the organization is now the largest locally owned business coalition in North America with over 2,600 business members large and small. Most importantly, the local business community reported sales were up 8.1% in 2013, almost twice the national average. In 2013, Ms. Lanning shared Local First Arizona’s success with rural communities surrounding Phoenix by incorporating the Arizona Rural Development Council and encouraging sustainable development in rural communities through an annual Rural Policy Forum.

Kimber Lanning is actively and enthusiastically involved in fostering cultural diversity, economic self-reliance, and responsible growth for the Phoenix metropolitan area. She has come to economic development via unconventional means but quickly demonstrated to her community that her ideas and programs work.

“The successes of Local First Arizona over the last decade have underscored the broad range of strategies that Arizona needs to pursue for sustainable economic development,” said Ms. Lanning. “Through supporting entrepreneurs and locally owned enterprises—both large and small—we are maximizing the ecosystem of a healthy economy that builds widespread prosperity and supports more jobs. Local First Arizona is creating healthy local economies across the state that will in turn draw further economic development opportunities.”

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Marriage Equality Coming to Arizona

Today U.S. District Court Judge John Sedwick ruled against Arizona’s constitutional amendment banning marriage equality, making Arizona the latest state to see such a ban struck down in court since the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its historic marriage rulings last June.

“This is a wonderful day for Arizona,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “Today’s ruling confirms what we have known for so long: that same-sex couples have a right to equal protection under the law.  This did not happen on its own — many people across our country have worked tirelessly to demand justice for all, and we owe a debt of gratitude to those in Arizona who have fought to overturn Arizona’s ban.  Now that a federal court has ruled Arizona’s ban unconstitutional, there is no justifiable reason for the state Attorney General and county clerks to delay issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples who want to marry.”

In Connolly v. Jeanes, brought by private counsel, and Majors v. Horne, brought by Lambda Legal, on behalf of same-sex couples, Judge Sedwick rejected Arizona’s ban on marriage equality saying it violated the U.S. Constitution. Judge Sedwick was nominated by President George H.W. Bush.

“Yet again, today’s court rulings affirm there is no justifiable reason to keep these discriminatory marriage bans on the books,” said Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “Laws prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying serve no purpose other than to harm Americans who simply want to protect and provide for themselves and their families. Ultimately the U.S. Constitution does not allow states to continue discriminating against committed and loving gay and lesbian couples.”

Judge Sedwick declined to issue stays in the rulings pending appeal.

A full feature map on the current state of marriage equality can be found here.

On Monday, October 6th, the nine justices of the Supreme Court announced they had declined to hear any of the cases pending before them challenging state bans on marriage for same-sex couples.  This allowed the circuit court decisions striking down the bans to stand, meaning same-sex couples in Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Wisconsin and Indiana could legally marry.  In addition, it left in place the circuit court rulings striking down same-sex marriage bans from the Fourth, Seventh and Tenth Circuits.

On Tuesday, October 7th, a three-judge panel for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (which covers Arizona) unanimously ruled that state bans on marriage for same-sex couples are unconstitutional in Idaho and Nevada. That same day, the stay on the court ruling in Colorado was lifted, allowing same-sex marriage to proceed. On Thursday, October 9th, West Virginia’s Attorney General agreed to stop defending the state’s ban, bringing the total number of states with marriage equality to 28, plus Washington, DC.

On Friday, October 10th, a federal district judge ruled against North Carolina’s constitutional amendment banning marriage equality, and on Sunday, October 12th, a federal district judge ruled Alaska’s same-sex marriage ban as unconstitutional. The Ninth Circuit’s temporary stay of Alaska’s marriage equality decision is due to expire later today. These decisions bring the total number of states with marriage equality to 31, plus Washington, DC.

With today’s decision, same-sex couples are now able to marry in 31 states and Washington, DC, including: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin.

Gallup puts support for marriage equality at 55 percent – an astonishing 15 point increase from just 5 years ago – with other polls showing support at even higher margins.  And support for same-sex marriage rights continues to grow in virtually every demographic group.  According to ABC News / Washington Post, 77 percent of adults under age 30 favor marriage equality.  40 percent of Republicans – an all-time high and jump of 16 points in under two years – now support marriage for gay and lesbian couples, while the number of Catholics supporting marriage has grown to 62 percent,according to the New York Times.  These numbers continue to grow, with no indication that support will slow down.

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Arizona Opens Mexico City Trade Office

The State of Arizona today announced the strategic expansion of its presence and investment in Mexico with the launch of the Arizona State Trade and Investment Office.

The grand opening of the Arizona office located in Mexico City was the culminating event of an Arizona-led trade mission conducted this week to strengthen the state’s relationship with its number one trading partner. During the mission, Arizona’s delegation met with Mexican government officials at the federal and state levels as well as private sector business leaders to discuss bi-lateral collaborations in key areas including: Economic Development, Trade and Innovation; Infrastructure and Corridor Competitiveness; and international Tourism.

The Arizona State Trade and Investment Office in Mexico will be led by the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA), in partnership with the City of Phoenix, and additional funding partners including Maricopa Association of Governments, the City of Tucson and Visit Phoenix. With the support of Governor Jan Brewer and the state legislature, Arizona has made a commitment of $300,000 to the ACA to establish and manage the office, which will create a platform for businesses in both countries to expand their international trade and foreign direct investment opportunities.

“Since becoming governor, I have made it my mission to enhance Arizona’s global competitiveness, support job growth and secure our economic vitality long into the future,” said Governor Brewer. “Our continued success in this mission will depend greatly on our ability to seize business and investment opportunities on an international scale. Expanding our presence in Mexico – by far our largest trading partner – will strengthen crucial economic ties, promoting economic development and contributing to high-paying jobs for Arizonans.”

Mexico is a growing world market, as well as Arizona’s most important trading partner. In 2013, trade generated between Arizona and Mexico exceeded $14 billion. Mexico is the world’s 14th-largest economy, and is projected by Goldman Sachs to be the fifth-largest by 2050.

Arizona’s trade office in Mexico will assist Arizona companies in successfully entering the Mexican market and attract new companies and investments that will contribute to the state’s economy to create high-wage jobs. The office will have a keen focus on targeted sectors that include aerospace & defense, medical devices, biosciences and innovation.

“This represents a significant milestone in building and strengthening a prosperous relationship between two trading partners that share a great deal of synergy, resources and geographical proximity,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority. “We look forward to working with our partners in Arizona and Mexico to execute a unified strategy to advance a sustainable trade ecosystem that drives innovation, job creation and international commerce for both countries.”

“It’s time that we fundamentally change our relationship with Mexico to one of shared economic opportunities,” said City of Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “Our trade office is a tremendous step in the right direction.”

“Tucson is fully committed to increasing trade relations with Mexico and our having a presence in Mexico City can only further that goal,” said Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild.

“The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) has been working on a number of initiatives to help foster economic opportunities with Mexico,” said MAG Chair Michael LeVault, Mayor of Youngtown. “Arizona’s trade and investment office gives us a physical reality that extends beyond our 400-mile border. We believe this move will help us attract a larger share of the growing Mexican middle class and help us take advantage of new opportunities to enhance trade.”

Arizona’s new trade office builds upon the state’s current engagement in Mexico by complementing Arizona’s existing office in Hermosillo, Sonora, which is a collaboration between the ACA and the Arizona-Mexico Commission.

The ACA has secured Marketing One to assist the ACA with its economic development activities in Mexico. The Mexico City-based consulting firm has detailed knowledge of the Mexican market including more than 30 years total of international trade development experience. Victor Aguilar, Managing Director and President of Marketing One, and his team serve as Arizona’s representatives in the Arizona State Trade and Investment Office. The office will have a dedicated staff of international trade experts that will include an office director, trade consultants and specialists responsible for enhancing trade and foreign direct investment, as well as generating quality business leads and creating strategic outreach to key stakeholders throughout Mexico.

The Arizona State Trade and Investment Office is located in the Colonia Juárez neighborhood of Mexico City near the Paseo de la Reforma. The address is Hamburgo 231, Col. Juárez, C.P. 06600, México, D.F., México.

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Phoenix MBDA Hosts Global Business Conference

The Phoenix Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center, in partnership with the Thunderbird School of Global Management, is hosting Phoenix MBDA’s 2nd Annual Global Business Conference and the concurrent Global Business to Business Trade Expo on Thursday, October 23 and Friday, October 24 at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel. The expo will focus on topical business opportunities and will provide information on how to conduct business with local, domestic, and international companies.

The two-day event is expected to bring in 150 local, national, and international attendees, including foreign consulates, Arizona Mayors, businesses looking to expand their services and product offerings in international markets, and interested individuals who are looking to start and/or grow a business to support global initiatives.

In support of the conference, Penny Pritzker, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce said, “We know that when U.S. firms sell their goods overseas, the U.S. economy stands to benefit. U.S. exports reached a record $2.3 trillion in 2013, and exports now support 11.3 million jobs, up 1.6 million since 2009.”

Alika Kumar, Executive Director of Phoenix MBDA also emphasized the importance of the conference and said, “Understanding the simplified processes of how to do business in international markets is vital to all U.S. based businesses and all individuals looking to do business abroad. This conference will lay the framework and foundation for those looking to succeed abroad.” Panelists include Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, as well as Barry Broome representing the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC). They will provide information about opportunities, including how to network, connect, do business, and succeed in international markets.

For information about registering or sponsorship opportunities, contact Kaaren-Lyn Morton at (602) 248-0007 or e-mail kaaren@phoenixmbdacenter.com.

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Phoenix Center Announces Mayor’s Arts Awards

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and Phoenix Center for the Arts will present the Mayor’s Arts Awards, November 21, 2014, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. Tickets cost just $75 and are available for purchase at the Phoenix Center for the Arts box office or by calling 602-254-3100.

Art lovers and community-minded individuals can reserve their spot in this interactive arts experience and show their support for Phoenix Center for the Arts. The event will serve as Phoenix Center for the Arts’ signature fundraiser and enable the Center to continue providing vital arts and education opportunities for the Phoenix community year round.

Bucking the traditional gala format, the Mayor’s Arts Awards event will feature an interactive tour of the facility, featuring live performances in nearly every artistic medium, one of a kind raffle prizes, and the Mayor himself, presenting awards to this year’s deserving honorees. This year’s event will feature a brand new Honorary Artist award to the list of commendations. The Honorary Artist award will be given to a community member who has demonstrated leadership by finding creative solutions for the arts in the City of Phoenix.

The Mayor’s Arts Awards serve to identify outstanding leaders in six areas; Visual Arts, Theatre, Music, Dance, Public Art, and Creative Writing. An eighteen-person committee of experts in each medium will perform a two-stage selection process to nominate candidates. Nominees are be chosen based on the criteria of innovation, impact, and integration.

Event Facts:

What: The Third Annual Mayor’s Arts Awards
Date/Time: Friday, November 21, 2014, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Admission: $75
Where: Phoenix Center for the Arts, 1202 N. 3rd Street, Phoenix AZ 85004
Parking/Transportation: Limited street parking available. Avoid the hassle and take METRO Light Rail to the McDowell/Central Ave or Roosevelt/Central Ave. Bike racks are also available.
Presenting Organization: Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and Phoenix Center for the Arts
Information: info@centerforthearts.org or 602-254-3100
Facebook: PhoenixCenterForTheArts
Twitter: @PhxCenterArts
Instagram: @PhoenixCenterfortheArts

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Passenger Numbers Increase at Sky Harbor

Passenger traffic numbers at Phoenix Sky Harbor have increased yet again for the eighth month in a row. July numbers were 5.7% higher than last July. Year to date, numbers are up by 4% over 2013. In fact, passenger numbers have been rising every single month this year spanning from 3.0% to 5.7% increases.

“We are so fortunate to live in a community with an airport that offers flights to 100 nonstop cities and to anywhere in the world with direct or easy connecting service,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. He added, “This is great news for our local businesses and our partners outside Arizona who want to do business here.”

March 2014 was the busiest month in the history of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport when the airport served more than 4 million passengers. The airport’s facilities are being updated as these numbers increase. Terminal 4’s restaurant overhaul is near completion, the new Sky Train station is set to open by Super Bowl and plans to modernize Terminal 3 are underway.

“We operate in a constantly changing environment, ready to adapt to passenger demand,” said Danny Murphy, Phoenix Aviation Director. “We are likely to continue to see the airlines making adjustments to their schedules and cities as they operate flights based on demand,” he said. “The great news is that passengers are flying again and Sky Harbor is ready to meet that demand.”

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Stanton Joins Arizona Summit Law School Faculty

This fall, Arizona Summit Law School will welcome Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton to the faculty as an adjunct distinguished lecturer-in-residence. Mayor Stanton will bring his experience as a practicing attorney and public servant into the classroom, teaching Designing Land-Use Policies, and providing valuable instruction to future real-estate-transactional and land-use attorneys.

“This will be a great opportunity to work with talented and engaged students, and to provide them with an understanding of the complex issues they’ll handle when they become attorneys,” Stanton said. “I look forward to helping them navigate the intricacies of land use as it relates to public policy.”

Designing Land Use Policies covers the intense legal and social conflicts associated with land and its usage. Students learn the basics of development and regulation processes, including zoning and planning, as well as planning and subdivision law with an emphasis on Arizona state law. In addition, the course explores contemporary land-use struggles, such as population and job growth, environmental and quality of life concerns, affordable housing, and managing transportation issues while respecting property rights. The course features experiential learning, training students to advocate on behalf of conflicted stakeholders in a highly politicized land-use public hearing.

Stanton is the latest in a number of qualified, high-profile members of the legal and public service communities whose expertise and real–world experiences enrich the academic training of Arizona Summit Law students. He joins esteemed faculty such as retired judges Penny Willrich, Michael Jones and Stephen Gerst in training students through their extensive experience at the highest levels of the legal profession in our state.

“At Arizona Summit Law School we are committed to providing students with real-life experience and instruction, which takes traditional legal education beyond legal theory and includes the practical application of the law,” said Arizona Summit Law School Dean Shirley Mays. “When Mayor Stanton expressed interest in joining our faculty, we immediately recognized the beneficial insight he would provide to students as a policy maker, public servant and practicing attorney. We are thrilled to have him at our downtown Phoenix Campus.”

Downtown Phoenix, Photo: Flickr, squeaks2569

Phoenix Makes Case to Host Democratic Convention in ’16

City and government officials in Phoenix are currently preparing for a visit Sept. 9-11 from the Democratic National Committee. Phoenix joins four other cities – New York City; Philadelphia; Columbus, Ohio; and Birmingham, Ala. – as finalists to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

The committee of Democratic officials to visit Phoenix makes up the DNC’s Technical Advisory Group, and will assess Phoenix’s viability and readiness to host the convention.

With stiff competition from the other top cities, Phoenix stands out as the only finalist from the West, and offers a host of distinguishing qualities that are sure to pique the interest of visiting officials.

Although historically a red state, Arizona is on the cusp of becoming a swing state with its growing Hispanic electorate.

Phoenix is a majority-minority city, and Latinos make up more than 40 percent of its population. By far, it has the largest Latino community of any of the five finalist cities. As a state, Arizona boasts the third-largest Native American population in the country.

Phoenix is also one of the nation’s most LGBT-friendly communities, and earned a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index.

Mayor Greg Stanton leads Phoenix’s effort alongside Host Committee co-chairs U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and Capt. Mark Kelly, convention liaison Ann Wallack, U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, and business leaders Rick DeGraw and Martin Shultz.

Stanton said that in addition to its diversity, Phoenix’s logistical advantages, amenities and experience hosting large-scale events are important to the city’s pitch.

“We’re really the perfect host city,” Stanton said. “Downtown Phoenix, with the convention center, arena and thousands of hotel rooms, is compact and just minutes from the airport via light rail. Throughout the Valley, we have exactly the kind of venues that are important to making national party conventions a success.”

The nation’s sixth-largest city boasts more than 500 hotels, 60,000 hotel rooms, and 40 full-service resorts. With more than 900,000 square feet of meeting and exhibit space, the Phoenix Convention Center is one of the largest meeting facilities of its kind in the United States, and is recognized as one of the country’s top 10 convention centers. It is along the city’s light rail line and just seven miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Phoenix is a hot spot for large-scale events and in just six months will host both the Super Bowl XLIX and the NFL’s Pro Bowl. The Valley of the Sun has previously hosted two Super Bowls, the 2009 NBA All-Star Game, the 2011 MLB All-Star Game, and plays host to MLB Cactus League Spring Training and the NCAA’s Fiesta Bowl annually.

More than 16 million people visit Greater Phoenix alone each year, making tourism one of Arizona’s largest revenue generators.

The 2016 Democratic National Convention is expected to bring upwards of 50,000 visitors to the host city, and pump hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy. Phoenix’s bid has earned bipartisan support because city and state leaders – regardless of political affiliation – understand the positive economic impact of hosting an event of this magnitude.

“The economic benefits in Phoenix would be especially key because the convention would take place before Arizona’s tourism season really kicks off,” Wallack said. “Our community is prepared to make sure convention visitors have a special experience, and we’re thrilled to show the DNC all we have to offer.”

During the site visit, the DNC’s Technical Advisory Group will tour the convention center and US Airways Center, as well as top destinations in the region. The historic Orpheum Theatre will be among the unique venues showcased as potential sites for party caucus meetings during the convention.

The Technical Advisory Group is expected to make a decision on the host city at the end of 2014 and announce its decision in 2015.

For more information on Phoenix’s bid, visit www.phx2016.com.

Unveiling the countdown clock are Phoenix Councilwoman Laura Pastor, CEO of the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee Jay Parry, Phoenix Councilwoman Kate Gallego, Phoenix Councilman Bill Gates, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and Chairman of the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee, David Rousseau.

Arizona Super Bowl Countdown Clock Unveiled

With 179 days and counting until Super Bowl XLIX, the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton today unveiled a countdown clock at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport which will mark the days, hours and minutes until the opening kick-off of the State’s third Super Bowl since 1996.

“We’re thrilled to have the Super Bowl XLIX countdown clock prominently located at Sky Harbor, the most highly-trafficked point of entry to the state. As we hit the six-month mark, this will help drive awareness and anticipation for the Super Bowl and all the surrounding events,” said David Rousseau, Chairman of the Board of the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee.

The state-of-the art digital clock located in Terminal 4 at Sky Harbor is illuminated on a 55 inch, high-definition LED screen. After today’s unveiling on the west end of the baggage claim area, an additional countdown clock was illuminated on the east end of baggage claim in Terminal 4. The terminal serves more than 80 percent of Sky Harbor’s passengers.

“The city of Phoenix is ready to host its largest Super Bowl celebration yet,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “Phoenix Sky Harbor will be the gateway to the Valley for tens of thousands of Super Bowl visitors and we are working closely with the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee to ensure the best fan experience the NFL has ever seen.”

In the month surrounding the big game, Phoenix Sky Harbor will serve an estimated 4 million passengers. The new PHX Sky Train will provide a quick, convenient ride from the airport to the light rail connection, giving football fans an easy way to travel to Super Bowl Central, a festival made up of 12 city blocks that will be the epicenter of free, fan fun, in Downtown Phoenix. Super Bowl Central will be held for four days leading up to the game.

Super Bowl XLIX will be played at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015, marking Arizona’s third Super Bowl in 19 years. At Super Bowl XLII in University of Phoenix Stadium on February 3, 2008, The New York Giants beat the New England Patriots 17-14. Arizona’s first big game, Super Bowl XXX, was held at Arizona State University’s Sun Devil Stadium in 1996, with the Dallas Cowboys beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-17.

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Sky Harbor Named Top Airport for Small Businesses

Phoenix Sky Harbor International is the number one airport in the country for new small businesses, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General. The goal of the report was to identify which of the nation’s 64 largest airports have been able to successfully incorporate new DBE (Disadvantaged Business Enterprise) operators. According to the report, airports have several procedures in place to encourage contract awards to new small businesses, including unbundling major contracts and leases, entering into direct contracts or leases with DBE/ACDBE (Airport Concession Disadvantaged Business Enterprise) firms, outreach initiatives and financial incentives.

In fiscal year 2012, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport added 14 new small businesses – the most of any airport in the nation.

“Phoenix is a great place for small business, and I could not be more pleased with the results of this audit,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “We are committed to supporting small businesses and building a diverse and sustainable economic future.”

In fact, the city of Phoenix helped secure $4 million in financing for small and disadvantaged business at the Airport. “It is vital that we support and encourage small businesses at Sky Harbor and the city of Phoenix,” said Phoenix Councilman Daniel Valenzuela. “Small businesses create jobs and opportunities.”

In 2011 and 2012, Sky Harbor rebid its food and beverage concession in Terminal 4, which serves more than 80 percent of the Airport’s passengers. The contracts were awarded to HMS Host and SSP America. Both have several local small businesses operating within those contracts and have brought extensive local, regional and national food offerings to the Airport, including Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Press Coffee Food &Wine, Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles, Sir Veza’s Taco Garage, Tammie Coe Cakes, and many more.

“We are honored to be able to provide opportunities to many local, small business owners,” said Aviation Director Danny Murphy. “It is not only good for the local economy; it also provides our visitors with a true taste of Arizona.”

Phoenix Sky Harbor also holds outreach events for companies interested in doing business with the Airport. For additional information, visit skyharbor.com. For the full report from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General, click here.

Vestar Development Investment

Phoenix a Top 5 City for Small Business

Phoenix is one of America’s top five cities for creating small business opportunities and opening doors for entrepreneurs according to the National Federation of Independent Business.

The national organization cites “Phoenix’s rebounding economy, favorable climate and entrepreneurial culture” as elements that attract small business owners.

NFIB specifically recognized the City Council’s recent steps to improve efficiency and make it easier to do business with the city. Phoenix now offers online review of building plans and has co-located city and Maricopa County permitting services at City Hall.

“This ranking is a testament to the actions we’re taking to lift small and local businesses,” said Mayor Greg Stanton. “We’re moving in a new economic direction – one that creates real opportunity for business owners and entrepreneurs.”

NFIB State Director Farrell Quinlan said one of Phoenix’s advantages is that it is a relatively young big city. “The majority of people starting small businesses and prospering were born somewhere else,” Quinlan said. “That kind of ‘new blood’ and vitality means opportunities in Phoenix aren’t encumbered by an ‘old boys’ network.”

“This puts Phoenix in a position to compete in the global economy, making us faster, smarter and better than our competitor cities,” said Councilman Sal DiCiccio. “Getting 24-hour permitting and the ability to submit plans online allows businesses to open today, not months from now. The Mayor and Council recognized that it grows our economy faster when we help businesses take off quickly.”

DiCiccio and former Councilman Tom Simplot led a 125-member Ad Hoc Development Task Force that provided recommendations for how to streamline the city’s permit process.

Under Stanton’s leadership, the City also adopted a Shop Local policy that increased the value of procurement contracts to local businesses from just $50,000 to more than $2.3 million in just two years. The same concept was applied to local banking practices – the city has more than $36 million deposited in local banks, with plans to invest more.

The other cities that round out NFIB’s list are Casper, Wyo.; Jackson, Miss.; Las Vegas, and Orlando, Fla.

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Phoenix eyes Mexico City Trade Office

The Phoenix City Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to move forward with plans to partner with the Arizona Commerce Authority to open an Arizona Trade Office in Mexico City.

“Phoenix is taking the right steps to become a global city, and we’re ready to open our first trade office in Mexico City,” said Mayor Greg Stanton. “This partnership with the Arizona Commerce Authority demonstrates that we’re all committed to increasing exports, and that we know we can be more effective if we work together.”

The City, ACA and other regional partners plan to collaborate in the same office space in Mexico City. The partnership will better leverage the City’s investment and lower overall costs.

The City Council also voted to authorize the firm Molera Alvarez to represent and advance the City of Phoenix’s efforts with Mexico, specifically in the areas of trade, promotion, foreign direct investment and tourism.

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Each Class of Dropouts costs Arizona $7.6B

The more than 18,000 Arizona students who dropped out of high school this year will produce $7.6 billion less economic activity over their lifetimes than if those same students had graduated, according to a new report by the Arizona Mayors Education Roundtable.

Cutting the dropout rate in half would generate $3.8 billion more in economic benefits to the state for each graduating class.

Mayor Greg Stanton and several Valley mayors released the research report today, which measured the economic impact of high school dropouts in Arizona.

Key takeaways from the study include:

· Each Arizona high school dropout results in a $421,280 loss in economic activity over his or her lifetime. This figure includes lost earnings, increased health care and crime-related costs, lost economic productivity and lost tax revenue.

· In the City of Phoenix, the number is higher: each dropout results in a $463,500 economic loss – creating a $1.42 billion economic loss per graduating class.

· In Arizona, each dropout will earn $271,040 less over the course of their lifetime than counterparts who graduate. Dropouts face higher risks of unemployment and economic insecurity.

· Each dropout will cost taxpayers an additional $98,520 more in crime-related expenses over the course of their lifetime.

· Of the $7.6 billion in Arizona economic loss, $1.5 billion represents lost revenue and increased expenses for state and local governments.

· In 2012, Arizona’s disconnected youth population – that is, young people who are neither in school nor working – was 183,200, or 22 percent of population aged 16 to 24. This disconnected population results in an aggregate economic loss of more than $127 billion.

The full report is available at http://azmayors.org/resources/college-and-career-readiness/.

“This report should be a wake up call to everyone in our state about why it is so important that we work together to get every student to graduate high school,” said Mayor Greg Stanton. “It’s important for us to have city-level data so every elected official understands that if we sit idly by and leave this problem for others to solve, we do so at our own peril. In Phoenix, we’re working to tackle the dropout rate by making sure our kids read by the third grade, and opening an online high school that helps those who have dropped out get back into class and earn their diploma.”

“We’ve all known that dropouts have a cost to our society, but this report displays it in a startling way,” remarked Todd Sanders, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. “We at the Greater Phoenix Chamber commend the Arizona Mayors Education Roundtable for illuminating the stark reality of the economic burden of dropouts in our cities and state, and we look forward to working collaboratively with the mayors and the community to seek educational reforms and provide programs that will ease the economic burden of dropouts and improve our future economy.”

“We appreciate the leadership of the Mayors Roundtable in shedding more light on a critical issue like the impact of the dropout rate on our state’s future economic viability,” said Paul J. Luna, president and CEO of Helios Education Foundation. “Having the Mayors hold these statewide discussions will help enable our communities to identify and respond to the contributing factors and set goals that will re-engage students and put them back on the path toward college and career readiness.”

“Beyond the profound consequences to individuals and their families, we are now able to quantify the impact of school dropouts on Arizona’s economy,” said Paul H. Koehler, director of WestEd’s Policy Center and coordinator of the Mayors Roundtable. “This report should serve as a clarion call to action for state educators, policy makers, and all Arizonans.”

Russell W. Rumberger, a professor of education at the University of California, Santa Barbara and director of the California Dropout Research Project served as lead author. Data was compiled from the Arizona Department of Education, U.S. Census American Community Survey and the 2014 study, “The Economic Losses from High School Dropouts and Disconnected Youth: Evidence from Across Arizona,” written by Clive R. Belfield, a professor at Queens College, City University of New York.

“The losses from failure to graduate from high school are sizeable, robust and pervasive,” Belfield said. “The social loss amounts to more than a high school dropout will earn in their lifetime; and the fiscal loss is almost equivalent to total spending per student over their entire K-12 years in the Arizona school system.”

same sex

Stanton Advances Efforts on Marriage Equality

Mayor Greg Stanton and mayors from across the nation joined together to make a strong statement in favor of marriage equality. At the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting in Dallas this weekend, Stanton also led the effort to pass a Climate Protection Agreement and received the City Livability Award for Phoenix’s Veterans Court initiative.

“We are a stronger, more vibrant and more economically viable when we treat every person equally under the law,” Stanton said. “The change we need to support our diverse communities and to build a more sustainable future – it’s happening in cities.”

Marriage Equality

Mayors approved a resolution to support marriage equality for same-sex couples backed the group Mayors for the Freedom to Marry. Stanton co-chairs the bipartisan group, along with Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, Michael Nutter of Philadelphia, Annise Parker of Houston, and Kasim Reed of Atlanta.

Climate Protection

Stanton, who chairs the conference’s environmental committee, joined a handful of mayors, including Kevin Johnson of Sacramento, Calif., in declaring renewed support for the U.S. Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement.

The revised agreement emphasizes – for the first time – local actions to help cities adapt to changing climate conditions and demonstrates support for local conservation efforts.

Stanton now plans to encourage other mayors to sign on to the agreement, which also urges federal and state governments to enact legislation, policies and programs to aid cities in efforts to protect our environment, eliminate waste and fight climate change.

Phoenix Recognized for Veterans Court

Stanton also received a City Livability Award on behalf of the City of Phoenix for his work with the Phoenix Veterans Court. The program has served more than 600 veterans since Stanton took office in 2012 and works in cooperation with the community’s ongoing efforts to eradicate veteran homelessness.

More than 230 mayors from across the country attended the three-day conference to help set the group’s agenda for the next year.

bioscience

Regents Approve New UA Downtown Phoenix Project

The Arizona Board of Regents on Thursday approved plans to construct a 10-story, 245,000-square-foot research building on the campus of the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix.

The Regents, at their meeting in Flagstaff, endorsed plans for the Biosciences Partnership Building, which will be built immediately north of the Health Sciences Education Building near 7th Street and Fillmore in downtown Phoenix.

“In this building, partnerships will be forged in which our scholars and researchers will be looking for the answers of some pretty daunting questions,” Ann Weaver Hart, president of the University of Arizona, said in announcing the project. “This is critical and central to the core plans of the Never Settle commitment at the University of Arizona. It will advance the interests of health care, it will nurture the best new science and the translation of that science into specific treatments. It will provide a setting where partners can find ways to increase not only our effectiveness but also the economic development of our broader community by tapping into the biomedical sciences.”

Under the plan passed by the Arizona Board of Regents, ground would be broken on the $136 million building by the end of 2014, taking about 26 months to complete. It would translate into nearly 500 jobs in design and construction and another 360 permanent jobs at build-out.

Plans are for the university to pursue expanded partnerships with industry, multi-disciplinary collaborations with its Phoenix partners.

The building would continue the steady expansion of the downtown Phoenix academic medical center after the 2012 completion of the award-winning education building and the ongoing construction of the University of Arizona Cancer Center at Dignity Health’s St. Joseph’s. The cancer center, a 220,000-square foot outpatient and research facility, is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2015.

“It will mean more lab space for UA and give them even more tools to lead the way on neuroscience and cancer research and put an emphasis on health care outcomes,” Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said. “It is incredibly important that we keep the momentum going on this campus. One of the key components for economic future is best represented by everything going on this campus.”

The funding for the building comes from the Stimulus Plan for Economic and Educational Development bonds approved by the legislature in 2008 that paid for construction of the Health Sciences Education Building and related campus improvements. The construction of this second research building was approved by the Arizona Legislature’s Joint Committee on Capital Review at the same time as the Health Sciences Education Building in 2010.

Research focus areas include neurosciences, healthcare outcomes, cancer and precision medicine.

Broome

Broome taking part in Global Cities Initiative

As part of the Global Cities Initiative, a joint project of Brookings and JPMorgan Chase, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council president and CEO Barry Broome, will join various business and elected leaders for a discussion on the development of a metropolitan export strategy.

“The mayors and business leaders from the region have led in the transformation of our economy” said Broome. “Developing a metropolitan export strategy through the Global Cities Initiative is a critical step toward ensuring our economic future.”

The forum, Going Global: Boosting Greater Phoenix’s Economic Future, taking place today at ASU Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, will feature many speakers, including Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce William M. Daly, Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program co-directors Bruce Katz and Amy Liu, and Chase market manager for Arizona and Nevada Curtis Reed, Jr.

The half-day event will center on preliminary market assessment findings on how the Greater Phoenix region can better position its global competitiveness. The city of Phoenix is part of a network of regions across the nation participating in the Global Cities Initiative’s Exchange to help develop global engagement strategies

Closing out the forum, U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker will join the program via satellite to make an announcement regarding the National Export Initiative.

The event will begin at 9:30 a.m. and conclude at 12:15 p.m.