The top concern for Arizona business owners, as identified by the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce’s Phoenix Forward >> economic development initiative, is having access to a qualified workforce. It’s no mystery that companies choose where to expand or relocate based on the local talent in a city or region.

First things first, though. We must build that qualified workforce through a strong educational system. Businesses need talent. And the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce is leading the way through its workforce development efforts and workforce collaboratives.

The demand for industry-specific training has outpaced certain fields and sectors, including health care, compliance and risk management, construction, cybersecurity and financial services.

We are anticipating to hear valuable insight at the Chamber’s Jan. 24 Valley Voices event featuring ASU President Dr. Michael Crow and Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick, chancellor of Maricopa Community College District, who will discuss the intersection of education, public policy and economic development in Arizona’s higher education landscape and give an inside glimpse at the education of tomorrow.


Making the tie between education and the economy is not entirely new to the Chamber. Just recently, Greater Phoenix Chamber CEO Todd Sanders and Global Pathways Institute Director Bill Symonds shared their insight on the success of CTE programs and how a stronger CTE system will help make Arizona an even more attractive place to work, play and raise a family. Read the co-authored op-ed that was published in the Phoenix Business JournalCareer and technical education is essential for a brighter future for Arizona.

Education will continue to be a key focus area of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. Without the just-in-time, turnkey training that can be completed in a short time frame, our region risks losing companies or being bypassed by companies looking to relocate to the Greater Phoenix region.


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