Due to the large presence of global Aerospace and Defense (A&D) industry leaders, including Raytheon, Northrup Grumman, Honeywell, Boeing, and many more, Arizona has been experiencing rapid growth in this sector. It is an ideal location for A&D companies because of the extensive supply chain, pro-business climate, and strategic geographic location proximate to some of the world’s largest economies. However, as these companies expand their presence, there is a growing need for a skilled workforce.
Enter the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA). The ACA is continuing to advance workforce development in multiple ways, working closely with the private sector, government, and education partners on key initiatives to strengthen Arizona’s workforce. In fact, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s 2023 budget proposal included funds for the company to establish six advanced manufacturing training centers at community colleges across the state, further bolstering its manufacturing talent pipeline – a critical component of the A&D industry.
Operating as a professional services organization, ACA provides highly customized support to clients on the basis of their individual needs. The goal is to help them create highvalue jobs for Arizona’s residents and make significant capital investments in its communities. “When a company is evaluating our state, we provide detailed analyses of the labor market, workforce development assistance, and connections to partners in academia based on their stated workforce needs,” mentions Sandra Watson, President and CEO of the ACA. The ACA also offers businesses custom site selection services and helps them understand the significant advantages of Arizona’s streamlined tax and regulatory policies.
For A&D manufacturers specifically, the ACA’s services include introductions to potential suppliers, both in Arizona and in the regions of neighboring Mexico. The ACA also offers programs specifically for manufacturers, including the Arizona Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the Qualified Facility tax credit.
On the supply chain side, ACA offers a broad network of suppliers locally. The Arizona Aerospace & Defense Supply Chain Directory, a comprehensive, interactive database, is designed to easily connect A&D companies with Arizonabased suppliers. The database includes detailed profiles of more than 1,250 companies with a presence in Arizona, and allows users to search by industry, size, certifications, and products and services offered.
The ACA recognizes that private sector companies are facing fierce competition in a global marketplace, and they require geographic locations that will enable them to succeed. The organization works closely with leaders to ensure Arizona remains the best place for doing business. As Arizona’s only state wide economic development organization, the ACA enjoys strong, collaborative relationships with its partners at the regional, county, and local levels. In addition, its structure as a unique public-private partnership delivers a truly comprehensive approach to economic development.
When A Company Is Evaluating Our State, We Provide Detailed Analyses Of The Labor Market, Workforce Development Assistance, And Connections To Partners In Academia Based On Their Stated Workforce Needs
In 2021 alone, ACA has successfully won more than 90 competitive projects from companies that are committed to creating more than 23,500 projected new jobs while investing over $27 billion in the state. The totals represent a record year for economic development since the ACA’s establishment in 2011. In 2022, the company is creating its third Five-Year Strategic Plan to further achieve these record-breaking results. “We’re excited to lay out a plan that strongly positions our state as the U.S. hub for advanced manufacturing and helps us achieve our mission to grow a healthy, vibrant economy that offers opportunity for all Arizonans,” Watson concludes