Arizona illustrates economic development partnerships work 2023

Arizona led international investment in 2022. Arizona garnered approximately $32 billion in capital expenditures, FDI Markets reported.

For the seventh time in six years, Phoenix topped Lightcast’s Talent Attraction Scorecard. The state was in the top five for employment growth, educational attainment, and skilled job growth.

Semiconductors, electric vehicles, batteries, aerospace, renewable energy, and more are growing rapidly throughout the state.

Sandra Watson, Arizona Commerce Authority president and CEO, attributes the state’s success to its inclusiveness.

She believes Arizona excels at bringing all stakeholders to the table to simplify site selection and build tailored solutions to satisfy industrial demands.

Doing business

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) is a recent Arizona growth example. TSMC invested $40 billion to develop two of the nation’s most modern semiconductor manufacturing factories (fabs) in December, generating 4,500 jobs.

Once operational, the facilities will manufacture 600,000 wafers per year using TSMC’s premier 4- and 3-nanometer technology.

Apple CEO Tim Cook stated, “Today is only the beginning,” at a December tool-in celebration in Phoenix. Today, we combine TSMC’s competence with American employees’ unmatched ingenuity.”

Economic development, government officials, educational institutions, utility suppliers, transportation agencies, and the Arizona State Land Department all worked together to woo the corporation.

TSMC’s presentation was “the most extensive due diligence process” according to Greater Phoenix Economic Council’s Chris Camacho. One of many of intriguing initiatives.

Intel is developing two semiconductor fabs 50 miles southwest of TSMC’s project, adding 3,000 jobs and six factories to the state.

Chip champion

Arizona has announced two dozen semiconductor expansions in the past two years, including the two manufacturing projects. Arizona leads the Semiconductor Industry Association in semiconductor investments for the next 10 years and supplier projects announced since 2020.

The enormous investments show a gravitational shift from Silicon Valley to Arizona. In January, SEMICONWest, North America’s largest semiconductor conference, announced a rotational move to Phoenix starting in 2025.

Phoenix is a “booming semiconductor manufacturing hub,” said SEMI Americas president Joe Stockunas.

“Greater Phoenix is home to more than 75 semiconductor companies, including SEMI members EMD Electronics, Intel, and TSMC, and the sector employs over 100,000 with more jobs on the way,” he stated. Phoenix represents SEMI and the industry’s commitment for innovation, as recent chip production investments in the area have shown.

Scaling talent

Workforce development shows Arizona’s teamwork best. Industry-higher education partnerships to swiftly grow talent have garnered the state global attention.

The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) and local partners helped Lucid educate hundreds of workers for its Casa Grande luxury electric car manufacturing. Drive48, a custom-built teaching facility at Central Arizona College, teaches car production. Since 2021, almost 2,000 graduates have graduated.

In the primary training area, technicians study programming, maintenance, problem-solving, safety, and system requirements using Lucid’s assembly line robots.

“It makes me fulfilled coming home, like I’ve done something at work rather than clocking in and out,” Drive48 graduate Vicente Procela told ABC15.

Arizona is expanding Drive48 due to its success. The state is adding six advanced manufacturing training centers for semiconductors, batteries, aircraft, and more with industry and community college partnership.

“Our job is to stay ahead of the curve and anticipate industry needs five and 10 years down the road,” said Sandra Watson from the ACA. “Arizona is pioneering workforce solutions for global advanced manufacturing leaders at scale.”


Newcomers fuel Arizona’s top training pipeline. Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, added 56,831 persons last year. Harris County, Texas, has 11,000 fewer people.

Top-ranked institutions and community colleges support the state’s fast-growing population. More than 30,000 engineering students attend Arizona State institution, which has been named the most innovative institution eight times. Its engineering school is the nation’s largest.

Nearly 24,000 students at the Maricopa County Community College District, one of 10 in the state, study manufacturing and engineering.

Game state

In March, Arizona welcomed Plug and Play Arizona, its latest collaborator. The Bay Area accelerator will work with the ACA, Intel, Honeywell Aerospace, and Raytheon to innovate advanced manufacturing.

Saeed Amidi, Plug and Play’s founder and CEO, lauded Arizona’s collaborative culture.

“Only a few special places in the world welcome you with open arms,” he remarked. “Everyone I’ve met in Arizona has been incredibly supportive and motivated to create the most business-friendly community.”

Competition shapes economic progress. Arizona has inverted that idea, pioneering a team-centered model that benefits business and public sector partners. Arizona is proving that “going together” can achieve anything.

Hi, I’m Sanjh

Leave a Reply