Arizona: Silicon Makes Gold In The Copper State

Businesses choosing to locate their next facility in Arizona will discover there’s gold in the Copper State.

By the BF Staff
From the July/August 2020 Issue

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced in May that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the world’s largest contract manufacturer of silicon chips, will build a manufacturing plant in Phoenix. The project could create more than 1,600 high-tech jobs, and generate thousands of additional jobs in the state for suppliers and other companies in the industry.

This new U.S. facility will enable TSMC to provide enhanced service to customers and partners and increase its ability to attract global talent.

According to the Governor’s Office, the company’s total spending on the project, including capital expenditure, will be approximately $12 billion from 2021 to 2029.

“TSMC chose Arizona for our unbeatable business climate, already thriving tech sector and ready access to an international supply chain,” said Ducey.

A long-time hub for the advanced manufacturing and semiconductor industries, Arizona offers a skilled workforce, strategic geographic location, commitment to pro-innovation policies and excellent quality of life.

When the deal is finalized, construction is expected to begin in 2021, with production targeted to start in 2024.

That same day it also was reported Zoom Video Communications, Inc. will open a research and development center in the greater Phoenix area—the communications tech company that provides videotelephony and online chat services, is searching for space near AZ State University (ASU). The company plans to hire up to 500 software engineers between this location and one other.

“With 4,500 engineering graduates per year and a nationally competitive faculty…we are making great strides in creating a top-tier, concentrated environment of technology and talent in greater Phoenix to support the workforce and research and development needs of companies like Zoom,” said Michael M. Crow, President of ASU.

Read on for more locations where your company can find gold in the Copper State.


Where does business thrive? It happens at the corner of Innovation and University, of course. This strategic location is where you’ll find Tech Parks Arizona, a technology playground where innovative companies advance tech while standing parallel to the mission of the University of Arizona (UArizona) in Tucson, Arizona—a world class Tier One research university with a land-grant mission that serves the entire state.

The UA Tech Park at Rita Road is a thriving community located in Tucson’s rapidly growing southeast side, just a short drive from Tucson International Airport and the University of Arizona’s main campus. This location provides access to the markets of California, Texas and the Mountain West states, as well as to the markets and manufacturing capabilities of Mexico. The I-10 Corridor, less than half a mile away, runs west towards Phoenix and Los Angeles and east towards El Paso. (Photo: Tech Parks Arizona)

Having created a major economic hub that provides $2.3 billion of economic impact from 2 million square feet of Class A office, technology and lab space over the course of 25 years at the original Rita Road location, the soon-to-be multi-location tech park is expanding its success with The UA Tech Park at The Bridges.

Tech Parks Arizona stands as a leader in connecting private industry with world-class research and talent. Here you will find the necessary components to scale and accelerate your science and technology-based business.

The UA Tech Park is a dynamic, interactive community where emerging companies and technology giants work side by side. The company roster includes tech giants like IBM, Citi and Raytheon as well as fast-growth small and medium enterprises (SMEs) like Coherent, NP Photonics and Hamilton Innovations. The UA Center for Innovation incubator is the heartbeat of the technology park with over two dozen startup companies that aspire to be connected to their best in class neighbors. Tucson has the highest concentration of startups of any U.S. city its size, and is ranked as a top five city for entrepreneurs by Entrepreneur Magazine. With a population of over one million in the Tucson metro area, 44,000 are UArizona students.

As a secured, suburban multi-tenant campus, there are numerous safe spaces at the UA Tech Park at Rita Road where “business unusual” gets done. From large indoor gathering and event spaces to a variety of outdoor collision spaces, the park is the ideal location where moments of serendipity can still happen, all while social distancing. The seasoned leadership of Tech Parks Arizona understand the unique needs of every company in the park and work with expansions and constrictions as required in order to provide the safest and healthiest work environment for over 6,000 knowledge workers. Precautions are being taken, such as extra air filtration, an abundance of sanitation stations and intensive cleaning throughout each building every day. Safety remains the top priority so each of the 50+ companies that call the park home are able to focus on advancing their core mission.

Companies have direct access to collaborate with the University of Arizona through world class researchers as well as a talent pipeline of graduates and student interns. UArizona has leading research expertise in optical sciences, water resource management, mining technology, biotechnology and space and defense. Companies can leverage the University of Arizona to provide innovative solutions to today’s global challenges.

Workforce retention is a key differentiator at the UA Tech Parks through a variety of amenities, including free parking an on-site, a corporate fitness center for employees, multiple food outlet options, Starbucks and various and unique meeting and event spaces. Locating at the UA Tech Park provides tenants with the necessary support, making it easy for them to focus on business while all their infrastructure and auxiliary business needs are met. The UA Tech Park at Rita Road has been recognized internationally as one of the top research parks in the country as well locally as the Best Workplace in 2018 by the Arizona Daily Star for both innovation and culture.

Employees from every company (50+) at the UA Tech Park, termed Tech Cats, come together to network, sharing business ideas and challenges, and to unwind through several of the onsite amenities, like fitness classes, pop-up parties and Homecoming at the Tech Park. (Photo: Tech Parks Arizona)

The new UA Tech Park at The Bridges location will be an extension of Tech Parks Arizona’s already-established strengths and will also provide tenants with a strategic advantage. The Tech Park at The Bridges is just minutes away from the University of Arizona’s main campus, Downtown Tucson, the I-10/I-19 interchange and the Tucson International Airport. The Bridges is part of a larger 350-acre master-planned development that includes hospitality, retail outlets, educational facilities and residential development providing a live, learn, work, play and stay environment.

In February 2020, Tech Parks Arizona broke ground on the first building on the new campus, which will be ready for occupancy in the summer of 2021. The first new building will be named The Refinery because of its proximity to the talent and bright minds that can be mined from the University of Arizona.

This four-story, 120,000-square-foot office building is ideal for tech-focused businesses and organizations. Under construction by the Boyer Company, it will serve as an innovation and commercialization hub anchored by UArizona. Innovators will be attracted to The Refinery for its tools and programming provided by the UA Center for Innovation to take their ideas and move them into the marketplace. The space will be open and collaborative as well as secure for public-private partnerships. The Refinery provides the ideal platform for partnerships with government, industry and academia, meeting numerous security and safety standards.

A diverse and welcoming community, Tucson (the FIRST UNESCO City of Gastronomy in the U.S.) offers an outstanding quality of life along with a low cost of doing business. Just 60 miles from the Mexico border, with high-capacity border and transportation infrastructure, Tucson is the natural choice for companies doing business in the U.S. and Mexico.

Consider Tucson, ranked among The 10 U.S. Cities Best Positioned To Recover From Coronavirus, when searching for your business expansion location. Having a well-seasoned business support team committed to your success will ease your logistical business demands. Advance your company and thrive at “technology’s best address”, Tech Parks Arizona. Tech Parks Arizona’s new way of conducting business provides companies with a strategic landing spot perfectly positioned in the Canada-Mexico corridor and centered in between major markets of California and Texas. Mitigate your business risk with a location that provides ample space, is free of natural disasters and answers your continuity of operations planning requirements. Opportunities abound beyond just strategic location and extends to leveraging the most innovative minds in academia.

To learn more about doing business at Tech Parks Arizona, contact Kevin Gullette at (702) 449-2650 or


It’s no secret that the Phoenix metropolitan area’s West Valley is one of the fastest-growing communities in the nation. This area is expected to account for more than 40 percent of the region’s growth during the next ten years, creating an exciting new frontier for developers and businesses. The City of Avondale is well-positioned to accommodate the demands of this new environment. Its location provides access to strategic transportation corridors, as well as a diverse and highly skilled labor shed with over 2 million square feet of flex manufacturing and logistics space currently under construction. Each site is within a mile from all five full-diamond interchanges located in the city and provides an easy 5.5-hour drive to the Port of Long Beach and over 22 million consumers throughout the western U.S.

Avondale’s McDowell Road corridor, also known as the Health-Tech Corridor, has emerged as an attractive location for both medical and retail investments, and is continuing to expand. Recent investments by the Akos Medical group include a 68,000-square-foot Class A medical office building and surgery center, which will open by the end of Summer 2020. The Medical campus, when complete, will create over 400 high-quality medical jobs. Akos joins other high profile medical firms on the Health-Tech Corridor, including Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Integrated Medical Services and Arizona Center for Cancer Care. Adjacent to the Health-tech Corridor is McDowell’s Restaurant Row. This area features a variety of destination dining options attracting both residents and customers from all over the Valley. It features regional and local favorites such as Portillo’s Chicago Beef and Barrio Queen as well as national franchises like In-N-Out Burger, Claim Jumper, Raising Cane’s, Chick-fil-A and Chipotle.

Businesses that choose Avondale have access to over 40,900 skilled healthcare workers and 106,400 business service workers within a 25-minute commute. Statewide education partners, including Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University and the University of AZ, are producing graduates with leadership skills in high-demand careers. Estrella Mountain Community College offers two-year degree programs in forward-thinking subjects such as Artificial Intelligence. This particular program is the first of its kind in the nation, demonstrating the commitment of these schools to enhancing the next generation of its community workforce.

Avondale has a lot to offer businesses, but it also provides one of a kind amenities, events and a variety of housing options that support a high quality of life. Estrella Mountain Regional Park encompasses over 20,000 acres of pristine Sonoran desert accessible to hikers and naturalists. Birdwatchers, paddleboarders and outdoor enthusiasts gather annually at the Base & Meridan Wildlife Area to celebrate the Tres Rios Festival. Avondale is Arizona’s home to NASCAR, hosting two races annually, including the 2020 Championship Race. The community also offers a broad spectrum of housing choices that will suit everyone’s needs, including modern multi-family, historic neighborhoods, and premier master-planned communities.

“Along with our low cost of doing business and an uncomplicated permitting process, our geographic location provides access to critical transportation corridors and a deep talent pipeline of skilled workers. Savvy business owners and decision-makers know that Avondale is a great investment,” said Ken Chapa, Avondale’s Economic Development Director.

Discover your EDGE in Avondale by visiting or call (623) 333-1400 to speak with the Avondale EDGE team.


One of the nation’s top community colleges calls Sierra Vista home. Cochise College, ranked the third best community college by Huffington Post, educates students at the leading edge to today’s business demands, offering degrees and certificates in cybersecurity, intelligence operations and unmanned aircraft systems.

Cochise College is again securing its position as an educational leader. This year, a new program in virtual reality was added to the curriculum. Graduates from the Virtual Reality Technologist program will be prepared to enter the workforce with a suitcase of skills to use for VR training, education and entertainment. During their course of study, students have the opportunity to gain real world experience with VR companies like Arch Virtual, MedCognition, XenialDigital and others.

While Cochise College graduates are indeed job ready, adjacent University of Arizona’s (U of A) College of Applied Science and Technology offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees cyber and information operations for students looking to go further—and for businesses looking for candidates at the next tier. Cochise College and U of A work in tandem to turn out top graduates for today’s business world.

U of A’s College of Applied Science and Technology is headquartered in Sierra Vista and offers degrees in psychology, education and community leadership areas. But the bulk of the offerings focus on digital intelligence, including computer science, network operations, cyber operations and intelligence and information operations. The programs take a unique offensive and defensive approach to cybersecurity education, offering 360-degree, hands-on training through a forensics lab, a malware sandbox, an IoT lab and CyberApolis, a virtual city with a 3D GUI with network attack map, 15,000 virtual and unique residents, an underground hacker community, an organized crime element, entity and data relational linkages, and activity patterns—all self-expanding facets that reflect real-world situations.

In addition to technology focused graduates, Sierra Vista’s workforce is augmented with additional job seekers with strong technical skills, thanks to the U.S. Army’s Fort Huachuca, located within Sierra Vista, which annually voluntarily transitions nearly 450 soldiers.

Fort Huachuca serves a unique Department of Defense mission, with a strategic focus on cyber operations, secure transmissions and communications, aviation and intelligence. Soldiers released from service at Fort Huachuca are well educated and highly trained in technical fields, bringing a strong work ethic and security clearances to the table.

In addition to supplying a ready workforce, Fort Huachuca’s influence can be felt community wide, from a surprising array of authentic international cuisine and cultural diversity to a ubiquitous warm welcome for newcomers. In short, Sierra Vista is a military town with a rare foundation of deep-rooted good will.

As a favored location for UAS operation training, Sierra Vista is home to one of only a handful of joint-use airports in the nation. This advantage means a 12,001-foot, high altitude runway, air traffic operations and the ability to land, or launch, any aircraft at Sierra Vista’s Municipal Airport.

At an elevation of 4,600 feet, Sierra Vista enjoys four seasons, an average annual daytime temperature of 77 degrees, and about 284 sunny days each year. With a population of around 45,000, this right-sized community is the medical, educational and commercial hub of southeastern Arizona, serving a much larger population of about 150,000. Located less than 30 miles to Interstate 10 and slightly over an hour to Tucson International Airport, Sierra Vista has everything you need and nothing you don’t.

Located along the foothills of the towering Huachuca Mountains and near Coronado National Forest, enjoying the outdoors after a workday is as easy as stepping outside. Sierra Vista’s average commute is 16 minutes, and mountain hiking and biking trails, paved multi-use paths and internationally acclaimed bird-watching spots are easily reached by car, on foot or astride a bicycle.

Residents and visitors alike take advantage of Sierra Vista’s year ‘round climate, enjoying 30+ miles of shared use paths and access to mountain trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding. Sierra Vista is just a short drive (head east or west) from Arizona’s two major wine-producing regions, national monuments and neighboring communities like Tombstone, Bisbee and bustling Tucson.

Find more information about Sierra Vista at

Relocating or Expanding Your Business In Arizona

Considering Arizona for your company’s relocation or expansion project? Check out Business Facilities’ Arizona Incentives and Workforce Development Guide.