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Activities of the MAG Economic Development Committee, May 2, 2017 Meeting

Message from the Chair
City of Buckeye Mayor Jackie Meck

It was a great honor to chair the May Economic Development Committee (EDC) meeting. Brigadier General Art Cameron, F-35 Site Director for Luke Air Force Base at Lockheed Martin gave a very compelling presentation on the economic impact of Luke Air Force Base. Lockheed Martin is one of the largest companies in the aerospace, defense, security, and advanced technologies industries. Brigadier General Cameron recognized community support as contributing significantly to Luke Air Force Base's 75 years of success. Questions were asked about Luke Air Force Base noise complaints. As the Mayor of Buckeye, I can attest that noise is not a factor for my residents and we welcome the sound of freedom.

Brigadier General Art Cameron spoke of the economic development impact Luke Air Force Base has had on the local community. Since Luke was built, the base has updated and added new infrastructure, including customized hangers for their F-35s. Lockheed Martin has made Luke the world's largest keeper of F-35s in the world. The base is a key player in engineering new airplanes in order to create more lethal, less expensive and more sustainable airplanes for our future. Luke's local economic impact is greater than $503 million, including 6,020 jobs with average salaries of $50,000 and higher. As Brigadier General Cameron concluded his presentation, he expressed interest in having the government sector of Luke Air Force Base collaborate with the EDC on a future presentation.

We also heard a presentation on a valuable economic development tool. MAG staff presented a report on commute shed analytics. This project helps MAG member agencies link socioeconomic information to a specific geographic area around a priority intersection.

Also, an update was provided on the upcoming Joint Planning Advisory Council (JPAC) event on May 19, 2017. The Sun Corridor Export Recognition Program will recognize 17 local businesses that have an exporting imprint within our economy. It is important that we support our local small businesses. Dr. Joseph Carter from Thunderbird School of Global Management offered the help of the School as a support to this initiative. This serves as a reminder that economic development comes from collaborating with one another for a greater global purpose.

EDC Meeting Summary

Economic Impact of Aerospace and Defense Companies in the Region

Arizona is home to more than 1,200 aerospace and defense companies. Companies in the aerospace and defense industry have a tremendous impact on Arizona's economy. Lockheed Martin's Luke Air Force Base F-35 Site Director Art Cameron provided an overview of Luke's economic impact across our region. Arizona's aerospace and defense exports rose by more than 21.8 percent from 2011 to 2014, reaching $3.47 billion. Lockheed Martin is one of the largest companies in the aerospace, defense, security and advanced technologies industries. Lockheed Martin is the largest F-35 base in the world and has 400 high-paying jobs at Luke Air Force Base. Approximately half of the workforce is aircraft technicians. Fifteen years ago, nine nations came together to develop a new F-35A more affordable and lethal. All pilots and maintainers for the F-35A model variant are trained at Luke Air Force Base. Partner nations also send their pilots to train at this base. Cameron noted that Lockheed Martin employees have strong ties with local communities and are committed to giving back to them.

Report on Commute Shed Analytics

As a planning agency, MAG collects and maintains an abundance of data. However, all the data in the world won't do any good if people cannot understand it. MAG member agencies often request data regarding the workforce located within a 30-minute commute from a particular intersection or demographics about residents in a designated area. In response to these requests, MAG staff worked with member agency staff to develop standardized infographic reports for about 100 intersections across the region. These reports are based on 30-minute morning in-bound commute shed areas. MAG's Transportation Modeling team developed the commute sheds around high priority intersections selected by member agency staff. The report includes information on employers and workers within the commute shed along with some basic demographic information about the residents in the area. The two-page report is designed with informative, easy-to-understand tables and graphics. MAG staff are currently obtaining feedback on the reports from member agency Economic Development Directors. As a next step, MAG staff are currently exploring options for adding these reports to the MAG Interactive Employment Map Viewer.

Sun Corridor Export Recognition Program Update

In honor of May as World Trade Month, elected officials and economic development leaders in the Sun Corridor will honor businesses for their achievements in exporting at a Joint Planning Advisory Council (JPAC) event on May 19, 2017. MAG staff provided an update on the JPAC/Sun Corridor EDGE (Economic Development for the Global Economy) event, and the Sun Corridor Export Recognition Program. Recognition of the businesses in the Sun Corridor who are successfully exporting will be held in conjunction with the JPAC meeting. The meeting will include a focus on global trade and international opportunities, as well as exporting and financial tools for businesses. The keynote speaker will be Gene Seroka, the Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles. The agenda can be found on the JPAC website. The Sun Corridor Export Recognition Program seeks to raise awareness about the importance of exports to the region's economy and to connect businesses with resources that can help them increase and improve their bottom line through exporting.

Update from the Arizona Commerce Authority

Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) staff noted that at the end of April, the ACA received a delegation from Baja California and signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Secretary of Economy to begin collaboration and connect strategic industry sectors. The agency received a delegation from Sinaloa and began working together to increase collaboration. ACA also hosted a delegation of Mayors from Sonora border cities to develop a better understanding of the cities' activities. In June 2017, Select U.S.A. will take place in Washington D.C., and states will be able to showcase their value proposition to foreign entities.

Update from the Greater Phoenix Economic Council

Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) staff commented that GPEC led a mission to Washington, D.C. with business leaders and Mayors to meet with members of Congress, cabinet secretaries, and ambassadors. In addition, the group met with officials of the White House to discuss infrastructure policy.

Next Meeting

The next meeting of the EDC will be on Tuesday, June 6, 2017, at 11:30 a.m. at the MAG Office, 302 N. First Avenue, Phoenix, second floor, Saguaro Room.

The EDC E-Update is a monthly electronic newsletter providing information about the activities of the MAG Economic Development Committee. For questions regarding this e-mail, or to be removed from the distribution list, contact Denise McClafferty or Natalia Cuneo at (602) 254-6300, or via e-mail at or

May 02, 2017
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