Arizona now a hot spot for manufacturing, with no signs of slowing down

After the recession, leaders in Arizona set out to diversify the state's economy. This week, that goal has been accomplished, according to the Greater Phoenix Economic Council.

In the last decade, the Valley has become a national hot spot for manufacturing, and analysts say Arizona isn't slowing down.

This week's news that Electra Mecchanica would start making their electric vehicles in Mesa was the latest piece to fall in a decade-long domino.

"There’s other high tech companies here now, too, and that’s very appealing to us," said Electra Meccanica CEO Paul Rivera. "It’s a very exciting place to be now."

While they soon will break ground at this plot in Mesa, a new report from the Greater Phoenix Economic Council says manufacturing has exploded in Arizona in the last decade.

They found that 238 manufacturing companies moved or expanded in the Valley in the last 10 years.

"[It's] largely because of the favorable operating environment, the labor force, the modern infrastructure, and we just have an incredibly pro-business attitude," said Chris Camacho with the Greater Phoenix Economic Council.

And it’s not just a California exodus. Manufacturers from 35 states moved to the Phoenix area.

"We think greater Phoenix is going to be continue to be one of the most dynamic markets in the West for manufacturing growth," Camacho said. "That will mean semiconductors, aerospace, and defense healthcare innovation, a lot of others - this market is really yet to see its full stride."

With more companies comes a greater need for a skilled workforce to fill jobs. GPEC estimates that there will be 5,400 new manufacturing jobs in the next 4 years.

That’s something Phoenix has long known as one of the fastest growing cities.

"We’ve been planning for this kind of growth for a number of years," said Alan Stephenseon, Phoenix Planning and Development Director.

Camacho says that thanks to Arizona State University and Maricopa County Community Colleges, the workforce is ready to go.

"The number 1 factor for these companies is, 'Do you have the requisite labor to meet the needs of this growing enterprise?' " Camacho said. "We can emphatically say, 'Yes!' "

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