By Nicole Cornett, Expansion Solutions Magazine
Home to a surging ecosystem of global corporate businesses, start-ups and high-tech talent, Arizona offers a robust portfolio of programs and resources supporting both large and emerging employers. The state’s abundance of skilled talent is ready to fill positions in advanced manufacturing, aerospace and defense, biotech, healthcare, digital media, high tech—just to name a few. And talent is only increasing thanks in large part to new incentives and programs.
Increased Focus on High Tech Manufacturing
High-tech manufacturing, including semiconductors, electric vehicles, and batteries, is flourishing in Arizona, supporting the addition of thousands of new jobs through direct production and supply chain operations in recent years.
Over the last two years, between expansions of existing operations and greenfield announcements, the state of Arizona has led the nation in chip manufacturing investment. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) announced in May 2020 an investment of $12 billion to build a new fab in Phoenix, creating 2,000 jobs. More than 200 semiconductor manufacturing establishments currently employ more than 23,800 people in the state, placing Arizona in the top-four nationally for semiconductor employment. In September of 2021, Intel broke ground on its two semiconductor fabs in Chandler, Arizona, which when fully operational in 2024 will house 3,000 jobs and would become the largest semiconductor producing site in the U.S. And in January 2022, EMD Electronics announced a $28 million investment for a new factory in Chandler to expand its gas and chemical delivery systems business in North America and Europe.
At the State of the State Address in January 2022, Governor Doug Ducey delivered his speech where he outlined Arizona’s continued commitment to industry development for electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, and semiconductors by establishing six advanced manufacturing training centers facilitated by community colleges across the state.
Since the Governor Ducey’s State of the State Address, major announcements from companies in these same advanced industries include LG Energy Solution, an industry leader in lithium-ion battery resource recovery and the leading lithium-ion battery recycler in North America; Solvay, producer of electronic grade hydrogen peroxide (eH2O2) to supply the U.S. semiconductor market; Li-Cycle Corporation, an industry leader in lithium-ion battery resource recovery and the leading lithium-ion battery recycler; Edwards, the leading supplier of vacuum and abatement services and solutions to the global semiconductor industry; Sunlit Chemical, a leading semiconductor chemical supplier based in Taiwan; and Nikola Corporation, a designer and manufacturer of zero-emission battery-electric and hydrogen-electric vehicles, electric vehicle drivetrains, vehicle components, energy storage systems, and hydrogen station infrastructure.
Arizona’s top talent, commitment to keeping taxes low and regulation light, and strategic geographic location have earned the state a reputation as a leading hub for advanced manufacturing.
At the Forefront of Aerospace and Defense
With more than 300 days of sunshine annually, a longstanding commitment to supporting the U.S. military and a business-friendly environment, top aerospace and defense companies come to Arizona to develop advanced solutions and drive innovation. Arizona’s soaring aerospace & defense industry is supported by its broad set of manufacturing suppliers.
The state is also home to industry giants like Raytheon Missile Systems, headquartered in Tucson, employing nearly 13,000 people and has a $2.6 billion impact on the state’s economy; Honeywell Aerospace, headquartered in Phoenix, is the world’s largest manufacturer of aircraft engines and avionics; and Boeing, manufactures helicopters in Mesa.
Arizona ranks fifth in the nation for employment in aerospace and defense manufacturing and has the second highest employment in guided missiles and space vehicle manufacturing. Aerospace & defense companies benefit from efficient suppliers, supported by the fifth largest employment in A&D manufacturing in the nation. Suppliers throughout the state specialize in electronic systems, smart automation, precision machining and advanced materials.
The state’s collaborative manufacturing talent implements global solutions and develops the technologies for the future. With innovative training programs, leading universities and a robust pipeline, Arizona’s talent pool is ready to shape the future.