Corning, one of the world’s leading innovators in materials science, announced plans to build a new optical cable manufacturing facility in Gilbert, creating 250 jobs. (Rendering courtesy of Corning)
25 of the biggest Arizona economic development wins of 2022
Arizona drew the eyes of the world in 2022 as businesses made record investments and high-tech industries surged. “Made in Arizona” became an oft-repeated slogan with manufacturing breakthroughs across industries including semiconductors, electric vehicles, batteries, aerospace, renewable energy and more. By October, Arizona claimed the fastest year-over year-manufacturing job growth in the nation, one of many Arizona economic development wins in 2022.
The year also saw Arizona advance significant initiatives emphasizing rural communities and small businesses, including historic broadband and infrastructure investments and the launch of the Small Business One Stop.
“2022 represented another transformational year for Arizona’s economy,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “We are so grateful to Governor Ducey and all our partners who work alongside us to grow and strengthen Arizona’s economy. We look forward to building on our rising momentum in the year ahead!”
Below are highlights of 2022:
Arizona economic development wins
During calendar year 2022, the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) successfully won more than 75 competitive projects from companies that committed to creating more than 31,000 projected new jobs while investing over $41 billion in the state.
Throughout the year, Arizona saw significant manufacturing projects among the Arizona economic development wins happening statewide, including:
Arizona also continued to grow in various industries such as technology, distribution and warehousing, automated vehicles and more including:
• And Interstate Warehousing and NexGen Cryogenic Solutions and Flowserve Corporation in Kingman.
Leading The Nation In Job Growth
In October, Arizona achieved the fastest year-over-year manufacturing job growth in the nation, with more than 15,000 manufacturing jobs added through November. Arizona also ranks among the top-3 states in the U.S. for the fastest jobs recovery in manufacturing, adding more than 17,000 jobs since the pre-pandemic peak.
According to the latest 10-year job projections report released by the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity in February, Arizona is projected to add 541,770 new jobs by 2031 – an annualized growth rate of 1.6%, more than three times the U.S. rate.
Earning Top National Rankings
In April, a report from the American Legislative Exchange Council ranked Arizona no. 1 for economic performance over the last decade, and no. 3 for economic outlook.
Also in April, Arizona placed in the top 4 of “Best States For Business” by Chief Executive Magazine, climbing six spots from 2021.
In June, Arizona was awarded its fourth prestigious “Gold Shovel” award from Area Development Magazine, recognizing the state’s “success in terms of new job creation and company capital investment in 2021.” In addition, Intel’s $20 billion expansion to build two new semiconductor fabs in Chandler was named one of six “Manufacturing Projects of the Year.”
In November, Site Selection Magazine ranked Arizona no. 5 in its 2022 State Business Climate Rankings, up from No. 8 the year prior.
Also in November, Maricopa County ranked no. 1 for talent attraction in the Talent Attraction Scorecard released by Lightcast, a global leader in labor market analytics. Arizona also ranked in the top-five for talent attraction ability.
Marking Milestones To Advance U.S. Semiconductor Competitiveness
In November, Governor Ducey announced a historic $100 million investment to spur greater growth of Arizona’s semiconductor industry. The funding will enhance Arizona’s semiconductor infrastructure, workforce, and research capabilities and maximize the state’s competitive position for research and development under the CHIPS Act while spurring additional private sector investment.
Shortly afterward in December, industry and state leaders published the National Semiconductor Economic Roadmap (NSER) to increase U.S. competitiveness in the semiconductor industry. The ten-year, industry-led roadmap includes recommendations and findings focused on four pillars: infrastructure, supply chain, workforce, and entrepreneurship.
Investing In Arizona’s Workforce
In January, Governor Ducey announced a $30 million allocation to establish six advanced manufacturing training centers facilitated by community colleges across the state. The industry-led training centers will be modeled after Drive48, an automotive assembly training facility in Coolidge, and feature customized, hands-on curriculum for growing sectors including semiconductor, battery, automotive assembly and more. Drive48, a collaboration between the Arizona Commerce Authority, Central Arizona College, local government and industry, has trained over 2,000 Lucid employees since launching in 2021.
And in November, the ACA announced the Department of Labor awarded Arizona a $15 million grant to connect dislocated workers to jobs. Arizona Quality Jobs, Equity, Strategy, and Training (QUEST) is a statewide coalition that includes the Arizona Commerce Authority, six community colleges and Arizona@Work. The collaborative initiative will serve six local workforce development areas including the counties of Cochise, Maricopa, Mohave/La Paz, Pima, Yavapai, and Yuma.
Bolstering Arizona’s Economic Momentum
In June, the Arizona Legislature passed and Governor Ducey signed a historic, bipartisan budget, one that advances Arizona’s economic competitiveness, which will lead to more Arizona economic development wins. The budget enhances strategic transportation initiatives, healthcare and education and continues to invest in key priorities such as workforce development, education, infrastructure, public safety and more.
In September, Governor Ducey announced the state’s surging economy has accelerated the state’s historic flat tax package a full year ahead of schedule. The lowest flat tax in the nation will go into effect starting January 1, 2023 – not 2024 as originally anticipated. The average taxpayer will receive a 13 percent income tax reduction, saving families $350 a year.
Forging Collaborative Partnerships
This summer, the first all-female class of students graduated from the Semiconductor Technician Quick Start program at Mesa Community College. The program, funded by Intel and supported by Maricopa Community Colleges, teaches semiconductor basics and prepares students for Intel tech roles.
In September, the ACA, in partnership with Scottsdale Community College, announced the inaugural Production Assistant Certification program to continue growing Arizona’s film and TV workforce. The program will train local talent to fill openings as production assistants as Arizona continues to attract major film production opportunities.
Fueling Startup Success
In December, the ACA announced that 10 companies from a pool of over 80 were selected as Awardees for the Arizona Innovation Challenge. Since 2011, the ACA has selected 125 AIC awardees from over 2,000 applicants, representing a combined portfolio value of more than $2.5 billion.
Supporting Small Businesses
April 27, 2022 marked the 2nd Anniversary of the Small Business Boot Camp, a first-of-its-kind program that connects entrepreneurs and small business leaders with local experts to provide support, guidance and resources. Since launching on April 27, 2020, the Small Business Boot Camp has held over 360 sessions with over 13,700 attendees representing all 15 Arizona counties.
In November, Governor Ducey and partner agencies launched the Arizona Business One Stop, a streamlined online portal for small businesses and entrepreneurs to plan, start, and grow their business in Arizona.
Connecting More of Arizona
In February, the ACA and the Arizona Department of Transportation announced the Arizona Statewide Broadband Middle-Mile Strategic Plan, which supports broadband expansion efforts on Interstate 17 and Interstate 19. The Strategic Plan led to the creation of the Statewide Middle-Mile Network, which includes installing 200 miles of broadband conduit for I-17 between Flagstaff and Phoenix and for I-19 between Tucson and Nogales by 2023.
In July, the ACA announced 20 awardees of the Arizona Broadband Development Grant Program. Launched by Governor Ducey in 2021 with a $100 million investment, the program expands high-speed broadband to Arizona’s unserved or underserved areas. The grant allocated $75.7 million to 14 awardees in rural counties across Arizona and $23.6 million to six awardees in urban counties, spurring $112.8 million in local matching funds.
Read more about Arizona’s economic momentum at azcommerce.com.