Governor Doug Ducey highlighted Arizona’s economic momentum and workforce development during a National Governors Association Workforce Symposium discussion with Bill McBride, executive director of the association.
Arizona had some of the strongest economic momentum in the country last year, and has been able to maintain it throughout the pandemic recovery. We have been a leading state in attracting businesses and talent through effective policies and targeted spending.
What’s behind this success? Governor Ducey has fostered a business-friendly environment by lowering taxes every year he’s been in office, cutting red tape and embracing innovation.
Arizona ranks third for jobs recovered from the pandemic, with more than 97 percent of jobs recovered. On top of that, we’ve recovered 101 percent of private sector jobs. Our workforce reached pre-pandemic levels in March and has seen continued growth since then.
Because of our pro-growth policies and initiatives, high-tech companies are moving to or expanding in Arizona. These are just the most recent companies that have chosen Arizona:
Yesterday, Lucid commissioned their new manufacturing facility in Casa Grande. Their facility is projected to directly employ more than 6,000 people and have an economic impact of more than $100 million in annual tax revenues for the State of Arizona, Pinal County, and Casa Grande.
Last week, Intel broke ground on two new semiconductor fabrication plants. This expansion included a $20 billion investment — the largest private sector investment in state history. Their fabs will create 3,000 new high-tech, high-wage jobs and 3,000 construction jobs, while supporting an estimated 15,000 additional indirect jobs in Arizona’s community.
In July, KORE Power, Inc. announced the first lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility wholly owned by a U.S. company will be built in Maricopa County, which would create more than 3,000 new advanced manufacturing jobs in Arizona.
In June, CP Technologies celebrated the grand opening of their new headquarters and manufacturing facility in Prescott. Their facility is expected to create more than 200 jobs over the next two years.
- Last May, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) selected Arizona for its new U.S. advanced semiconductor factory. They will create over 2,000 new high-tech jobs, generate thousands of additional jobs in the state and spend approximately $12 billion from 2021 to 2029.
Hospitality & Tourism
In July, Governor Ducey announced an investment of $101 million to launch the Visit Arizona Initiative. This program is designed to increase tourism spending in Arizona, bolster job creation and accelerate our economic recovery.
The initiative provides funding to reinvigorate the tourism industry’s workforce, invest in tourism infrastructure like our parks and outdoor attractions, advertise our state through destination marketing organizations, and more. This will help us market all the great parts of our state, from the Grand Canyon to the Waste Management Open.
Governor Ducey has announced $4 million in funding for the Safest Outside Restaurant Assistance Program, a statewide program aimed at helping Arizona restaurants and other dining establishments expand outdoor seating and limit the spread of COVID-19.
In May, Governor Ducey signed legislation allowing bars, liquor stores and restaurants to sell cocktails to go, expanding opportunities for businesses across the state. House Bill 2773 permanently allows Arizona businesses the opportunity to offer to-go cocktails beyond the pandemic.
With these actions, the Leisure and Hospitality workforce continues on a positive upward trajectory. The industry has recovered almost 90 percent of all jobs lost during the pandemic.
Arizona’s universities, community colleges and K-12 schools are helping to prepare workers for high-tech jobs. Their partnerships with high-tech corporations have been instrumental in this effort.
In 2020, Intel partnered with the Maricopa County Community College District to launch its first Intel-designed artificial intelligence associate degree program. Intel has also been a longtime partner with the Arizona State University Fulton School of Engineering.
In March, Lucid Motors coordinated with Central Arizona College to launch Drive48, an advanced manufacturing training center that will bolster Arizona’s workforce training efforts for high-tech jobs.
CP Technologies joined forces with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Yavapai College to foster an innovative ecosystem, and plans to leverage the impressive talent produced by these educational institutions in its hiring efforts.
Tata Consultancy Services is expanding the reach of its STEM and computer science education programs in Arizona schools. This will give more of our kids an opportunity to learn computer science while also developing a talent pipeline for their company.
In May, Governor Ducey signed Senate Bill 1453, which allows community colleges to offer four-year degrees. This legislation expands opportunities for populations that are historically underrepresented in higher education.
In June, Governor Ducey signed Arizona’s FY22 budget, which included $6 million in Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) funds to support the state’s future teachers through the Arizona Teachers Academy. The academy allows future educators to graduate college debt-free and gain the experience and training needed to teach Arizona’s kids.
Back To Work Programs
In May, Governor Ducey announced Arizona would no longer be taking the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, and instead would offer a $2,000 Back To Work bonus for eligible workers — with a goal of getting as many Arizonans as possible to rejoin the workforce, along with child care support, educational opportunities and rental assistance. The plan supported Arizonans getting back to work and filled the thousands of jobs available across the state. Since announcing the program in May, we’ve seen a more than 80 percent decrease in the number of people receiving unemployment benefits.
In August, Governor Ducey announced $5 million to launch the Back to Work Small Business Rehiring and Retention Program, with a special focus on helping Arizona businesses affected by wildfires and flooding. The program is designed to assist small, locally-owned or operated businesses hire and retain employees. The program will fund up to $10,000 in expenditures for employee hiring/signing bonuses, relocation bonuses for employees that are moving to take an open position, and employee retention bonuses.
Arizona’s budget also included the largest income tax cut in state history and cut taxes for all Arizonans. This reform marks the seventh straight year that the Governor has reformed or simplified taxes.
As part of an effort to attract more businesses and workers, Governor Ducey signed Senate Bill 1783, which further reduces and streamlines taxes while protecting small businesses from a devastating 77 percent tax increase.