In the first six months of 2015, our team of Economic Development Specialists and our partners at the Arizona Commerce Authority, the City of Phoenix and Maricopa County visited 363 Valley companies poised for growth. What we’ve found is eye-opening and has us optimistic about where we’re headed.
During these visits, companies indicated they anticipate growing by 7,812 new jobs, representing $395 million in payroll and new building space totaling 2.4 million square feet. These aren’t just jobs, they’re well-paying jobs, averaging $51,000 a year in wages.
We’re seeing the most growth in two of our four key business sectors: Advanced Business & Financial Services (where companies are anticipating 3,225 new jobs) and Health Care (1,972 new jobs). In addition to bolstering jobs base and tax rolls, these positions and growing industries help diversify our economy and insulate us from downturns like we saw in the housing market in the last decade.
Phoenix Forward is doing more than just talking to companies (though we are, and we’re listening, too). A critical part of our plan is helping connect those companies to resources to help them grow and get stronger. If they’re having trouble finding qualified workers, we connect them with workforce development and training programs like the ones the City of Phoenix and Maricopa County run so well. If their growth has them looking for more physical space, we bring in our friends on the site selection teams at the ACA or the City to help them find the room to expand. And – as Chamber members know well – partnerships can make a huge difference in growing a business. We facilitate business-to-business connections that are mutually beneficial and that result in exponential positive effects.
That’s a quick look at what we’re doing to continue to boost the Valley’s economy. You can find out more about what 2016 holds for the local, national and international economies by attending Economic Outlook 2016 next Wednesday, September 2, at the Arizona Biltmore. Cox Communications is our longtime presenting partner on this event, which has brought the latest expert economic analysis to our business community for more than 20 years. I hope you’ll join us then and get out in front of the challenges and opportunities that lie on the road forward.