May 1, 2018
We live and work in the fourth most populous county in the nation and had the largest population gain last year. We want to make sure our residents have the best job opportunities possible. At the recent MAG Economic Development Committee meeting, it was refreshing to hear what our universities are doing to increase our in-state labor talent. Being able to provide the best and the brightest talent to our companies is this region's goal. With the merger of ASU and the Thunderbird School of Global Management, our higher education and our region are becoming more competitive.
ASU has ranked number one in innovation for the past three years and continues to increase its student base overall. At the meeting, Dean Kyle Squires discussed why schools within the university have outranked others. For example, the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering continues to double in size. ASU's commitment to leveraging resources advances their entrepreneurial ecosystem and enhances workforce development. This sets them apart from other schools. We also heard from Dr. Joseph Carter and Dr. Jonas Gasmo from Thunderbird School of Global Management. They noted that what sets our region apart from other regions is the affordable cost of living and advanced infrastructure. Our region is highly competitive with our national peers.
We are fortunate to be living and doing business in this dynamic state. As our region becomes more competitive, our Chair urged our local governments to promote public private partnerships to increase our competitive advantage. Local governments understand the importance of proper infrastructure in our ever-growing region. As we look to the future, it is important to continue to expand and improve our regional infrastructure that is a critical part of the foundation for quality and successful economic development.
The Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University (ASU) is one of the largest engineering programs in the United States, with more than 21,000 students. Dean Kyle Squires provided an overview of the schools and the impact that engineering has on Arizona's growing economy through workforce and corporate collaborations. Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering represents the country's largest public research university and has doubled in size in the last six years. Fulton Schools' faculty has received 24 National Science Foundation Career Awards over the last three years. In addition, ASU recently launched an online master of computer science. The Fulton Schools of Engineering, through the Velocity initiative, will also create Science and Technology (S&T) Centers. The goal of the S&T Centers is to create a dynamic economic ecosystem in the region and to enable university, industry and government partnerships across key technology sectors. The approach of the S&T Centers will be to demonstrate proof-of-concept models to show the value of an industry-led intentional investment strategy.
The competitiveness and the high cost of living in Silicon Valley, California, is driving tech workers to seek opportunity in other places, such as the Valley of the Sun. Thunderbird School of Global Management Avnet Professor of Supply Chain Management & Associate Director General Dr. Joseph Carter, and Thunderbird School of Global Management Assistant Professor of International Trade Dr. Jonas Gamso, reported on the ways the Valley of the Sun outshines Silicon Valley. The key factors that make Phoenix a growing hub for innovative entrepreneurs are the lower cost of living, a friendly business climate, a great quality of life, pro-business regulations and a quality talent pipeline. Cities that want to foster high-growth entrepreneurship should work to improve quality of life factors, increase the supply of talent, and expand access to customers and suppliers.
On April 26, 2018, elected officials and economic development leaders in the Sun Corridor honored businesses for their achievements in exporting at the Joint Planning Advisory Council (JPAC) event at the Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino. MAG staff provided an update on the JPAC/Sun Corridor EDGE (Economic Development for the Global Economy) Program, which was held in conjunction with the JPAC meeting. Twenty businesses participated in the EDGE program, and three were top-scoring. Green Valley Pecan Company was designated as the top-scoring large-size business in Pima County, Lange Leavitt was designated as the top-scoring mid-size business in Maricopa County, and Visit Tucson as the top-scoring small and mid-sized business in Pima County. The Sun Corridor EDGE Program helped to raise awareness about the importance of exports to the region's economy. It also helped to connect businesses with resources that can help them increase and improve their bottom line through exporting, such as ExporTech. The event included a focus on regional trends, opportunities and challenges, and a discussion on how the Sun Corridor region can collaborate to be more globally competitive.
Arizona Commerce Authority staff commented that ACA's export-related initiatives such us ExporTech and the STEP program have been a great success. For every dollar the agency spends on these programs, $44 dollars are generated in export sales.
Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) staff commented that GPEC hosted five workshops and a summit in the United Kingdom, with approximately 20 companies attending each event. These workshops focused on accessing and expanding in the U.S. market in the areas of artificial intelligence, cyber security, and e-commerce. GPEC also noted it recently participated in the 2018 Hannover Messe, which is the world's biggest industrial fair.
The next meeting of the EDC will be on Tuesday, June 5, 2018, 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.
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