AQST Space Systems to bring headquarters to Mesa

Last week, AQST Space Systems announced it will move its headquarters from Puerto Rico to Mesa, Arizona, and  will set up shop in a space at Falcon Field Airport. The company will continue to seek out space for its future manufacturing and research and development operations. AQST plans to begin production before the end of 2018.

AQST will manufacture and assemble small rockets, satellites, and other technologies intended to advance our endeavors in outer space. The company has 30 years of rocket technology experience, with international shareholders and partners.

AQST plans to add at least 125 high-quality jobs within its first three years. The new jobs will include engineers, welders, technicians, satellite operators, data scientist managers, and other support staff.

In a press conference with representatives from the City of Mesa Department of Economic Development and other stakeholders, Chairman & CEO of AQST Arnaldo Soto detailed why the company chose Arizona over a number of other qualified states. After Hurricane Maria tragically changed AQST’s plans to operate out of Puerto Rico, the company explored options in Florida, Georgia, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona before selecting Mesa as their new home base.

“Governor Ducey and the state of Arizona inspired us to move here over all the other qualified states because of his unrelenting commitment to job creation, job growth and most importantly, well-paying jobs. We call that his unrelenting commitment to a diversified economy,” Soto said.

Soto noted that the process of locating in Mesa has been seamless thanks to partnership with Arizona lawmakers, universities, and other allied groups.

Proximity to Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) is also important to AQST, which intends to comprise at least 30 percent of its workforce with veterans. CGCC has a strong track record of providing veterans with the commercial skills they need to secure civilian positions in the aviation, aerospace, and defense industries.

The collaborative aerospace and defense industry in Arizona and Mesa in particular stood out to AQST executives right away. As a small company, they saw a great opportunity to grow within Arizona’s established aerospace environment. .

“We are humbled and eager to form part of Arizona’s highly successful aerospace and defense ecosystem,” Soto said.

AQST’s move to Mesa was a collaborative effort, made possible by the work of Arizona lawmakers, the Arizona Commerce Authority, Greater Phoenix Economic Council, Falcon Field Airport, the City of Mesa, and many other groups that have made AQST feel immediately at home, according to Soto.

AQST comes to the Valley during a time of massive progress in the aerospace industry, and is committed to providing high-quality, resilient jobs designed to withstand ups and downs.

Ava Montoya

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