Arizona Attracts ‘Record Investments,’ ‘Major’ Economic Wins

Arizona saw nearly 100 companies commit projects to the state in 2023, In addition to its interest in growing its semiconductor industry footprint.

By Kari Williams
From the March/April 2024 Issue

 

Noted as a targeted growth sector in the 2024 Business Facilities Site Seekers’ Guide, Arizona’s semiconductor industry continues to grow. In late December 2023, the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) said it would invest $17.5 million in Arizona State University “to expand Arizona’s advanced semiconductor manufacturing capabilities.” The funds will go toward purchasing equipment to “enhance the capabilities” of ASU’s MacroTechnology Works (MTW) in Tempe, according to ACA.

ASU President Michael Crow said the investment represents another step in the university’s commitment to “contribute to advancing America’s domestic semiconductor manufacturing, research and development capabilities.”

“Our recent creation of a Microelectronics Workforce Development Hub and our strategic focus on the university’s MacroTechnology Works facility are both in place to assist with achieving the objectives outlined today, and we look forward to working with the Arizona Commerce Authority and NXP to drive success at an accelerated rate,” Crow said. The investment is a continuation of its $100 million commitment to increase semiconductor and microelectronics development.

Arizona semiconductor industry
Phoenix, AZ skyline (Photo: Adobe Stock/John)

 

ACA reported that in 2023 the state attracted “record investments” and saw “major wins” in workforce development, infrastructure improvements, and more.

More than 95 projects committed to the state in 2023 and expected to bring more than 24,600 jobs and over $10.3 billion in investment, according to ACA.

Why Arizona Ranks No. 1 For Industrial Development

Industrial activity is exploding in Arizona. A closer look at the state’s strategic location and growing workforce explains why.

Situated between three of the world’s largest markets (Mexico, California, and Texas), Arizona has become the U.S. leader for industrial projects. A Commercial Edge report released in January ranked the Phoenix region No. 1 for the amount of industrial space under construction, with 42.5 million square feet of space under construction.

The Phoenix area tops more traditional logistics hubs like Dallas and Chicago for industrial supply pipeline. Average rent in the Phoenix area comes in lower than nearby hubs such as Los Angeles or California’s Inland Empire.

With more than 130,000 miles of highway, Arizona provides access to more than 85 million consumers within a day’s drive. The state also offers access to six border ports of entry with Mexico, access to air travel with 12 commercial and 71 reliever airports, and convenient rail options.

With more than 130,000 miles of highway, Arizona provides access to more than 85 million consumers within a day’s drive. The state also offers access to six border ports of entry with Mexico, access to air travel with 12 commercial and 71 reliever airports, and convenient rail options.

These include the Port of Tucson — a full-service inland port and rail yard offering more than 1.7 million square feet of amenities — and SkyBridge Arizona, the nation’s first air cargo hub to house both U.S. and Mexican customs officials. This first-of-its-kind service at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport enables e-commerce companies and manufacturers to efficiently and cost-effectively transport goods between Mexico and Latin America.

The state’s reliable climate also serves distributors, with 300 days of sunshine per year, few natural disasters, and one of the nation’s most resilient electrical grids.

With a diverse energy mix, including more than 40% of energy generated from clean and renewable sources, Arizona has the second most reliable power grid in the nation, according to Citizens Utility Board. Arizona also is one of nine mainland U.S. states, according to Climate Central, with fewer than five weather-related major power outages since 2000. In addition to modern, reliable infrastructure, companies find an abundance of talent in Arizona, one the nation’s fastest growing states. Since 2011, Arizona’s labor force has grown by more than 700,000 workers.

The state has a deep pool of university talent that drives expansions. With more than 31,700 students, Arizona State University’s Fulton School of Engineering is the largest engineering school in the country.

In December, global data analyst Lightcast named Maricopa County, which includes the Phoenix region, No. 1 for talent attraction and retention, the sixth time in seven years.

All of these strengths and more add up to make Arizona the top market in the nation for manufacturing growth, according to a Newmark report.

For more information, visit www.azcommerce.com/.

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