Expansions of big, small companies help build a healthy Arizona economy, more jobs

After another expansion and jobs announcement in Phoenix last week by tech giant Intel, the manufacturing sector in Arizona is booming with small businesses bringing a major contribution.

Dean Pierce, the owner of Athena 3D Manufacturing, proudly walks through his state-of-the-art manufacturing warehouse in Tempe.

Athena 3D Manufacturing is the first additive manufacturer in Arizona. Think 3-D printers on steroids.

They build things like complex automotive parts to tiny delicate items using a nylon compound. Eventually, they brush off the leftover amount which gets recycled to be used again.

They’re a small company that has already spent money expanding and are one of many businesses in Arizona that are becoming the backbone of the state's economy.

"Now it seems like more and more startups are moving down here from just about anywhere," Pierce said.

He’s right. Especially after major news of companies like Intel and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company investing billions on new expansions in the Valley.

"You also get a downstream effect of those companies' supply chains. They’re going to be smaller companies that either invest here for the first time or expand their operations," explained Garrick Taylor with the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Companies like ThriftBooks announced a 195,000 square foot facility and 150 new jobs.

"The market conditions, the geographic positioning, the employees that we have there, currently everything has worked really well," said Barbara Hagen with ThriftBooks.

It’s all of these smaller companies that make up the larger picture of Arizona's economy. "This has a positive ripple effect across the entire economy," Taylor said.

Pierce knows firsthand as he’s earned new business thanks to new companies seeking prototypes in the Valley. "Everyone wins. It’s all about collaboration here. And I would say is what’s good for the goose is good for the gander," Pierce said.

Good news for the public, all of this lead to jobs.

ThriftBooks is hiring for 150 jobs on March 30 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. More information can be found here.