AzBusiness magazine January/February 2017

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GPEC infrastructure, in addition to other logistical perks, which we will circle back to later. For now, let’s refocus by examining three of our top thriving skilled-workforce markets, the success of which continues to attract and retain out of state business. It’s been mentioned several times already: Arizona’s technology-related sector has become a head turner for attracting business. “I think the tech and start-ups are dominating our current market rise,” Funkhouser says. “You have new companies like Local Motors, Carvana and Infusionsoft that are growing by leaps and bounds.” Statistically speaking, 15,000 new tech jobs were added to the “Innovation Corridor” in Downtown Phoenix last year alone, according to a CBRE report. “Right now we’re seeing good and positive job growth across logistics, retail and technology,” says Crow, also a member of GPEC’s board. “We also are seeing significant entrepreneurial activity, which is a hallmark of growth in the Valley.” While technology advances, so does Greater Phoenix’s


attractiveness to out-of-state companies like Gainsight, a customer relationship management software company founded in San Francisco. Phoenix is now ranked second in the nation for tech-job growth. “What we’re not seeing yet is the critically important science and technology-based enterprise development and enterprise attraction,” Crow says. “The reason this is so important is that it lays the foundation for the economy two or three cycles down the path. This is very important relative to competitiveness going forward.” Also grabbing national attention is financial job growth in greater Phoenix. “We wouldn’t represent growth properly without mentioning the contributions of financial services like ADP, JP Morgan Chase and others,” Camacho says, “who have aided in dramatic growth through very significant operational services.” “State Farm brought in (thousands of) jobs,” Lundy adds, “and other high-end call centers have contributed to financial-job growth through companies — like Amex, Discover and USAA.”

The cost of living in Greater Phoenix is 77 percent less on average than leading California markets. 116

AB | January - February 2017

Strength of Phoenix “The old story of Phoenix was that this was a

cheaper place to do business. The new Phoenix story is that we have more skilled workers, exciting urban areas, some of the best K-12 schools in the nation, universities driving innovation and the most pro-business policy in America. Bet on Phoenix achieving the nation’s highest job and population growth rates.” Paul Johnson, CEO of Redirect Health and a founding member of GPEC

“The leadership of Gov. Doug Ducey. the governor’s business acumen, ever-ready commitment to attracting new business and expanding footprints of existing local businesses and leadership from the trenches in partnership with business leaders such as Michael Bidwill, have completely revitalized the image of Phoenix as a vibrant, business friendly community.” Mike Kennedy, co-founding partner, shareholder and member of the board of directors of Gallagher & Kennedy

“I’ve practiced in Phoenix for the last 25 years. It has grown from an emerging regional player to a national hub. It has done so through mushrooming population growth and diversity, targeted attraction of diverse business practices, rapid advancement of educational infrastructure and competitive balance between compensation and cost of living – to name just a few. As the market slowly recovers from the economic plunge, Phoenix is poised to blast off and set new benchmarks.” Marc Lamber, director with Fennemore Craig, P.C.


Arizona State University is the No. 1 most innovative university in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report.


Arizona has the fourth-highest concentration of aerospace manufacturing jobs in the nation.