Zovio, an education technology services company founded in San Diego, California, celebrated its new corporate headquarters in Chandler with a ribbon-cutting ceremony last week.
Elected officials, state and local business leaders and hundreds of Zovio employees attended the event.
“We decided to move our headquarters to Chandler, Arizona, because it enables us to tap into local talent to fill our new jobs, enjoy a positive and committed business environment, and in particular work with state leadership, business community leaders and elected officials who are committed to helping learners and leaders achieve their aspirations,” said Zovio founder, president and CEO Andrew Clark.
The new 130,000-square-foot facility, near Cooper Road and Loop 202, will eventually be home to about 800 employees, according to Zovio.
The offices feature modern meeting rooms with wireless technology; covered parking with solar panels that generate more than 30 percent of the facility’s electric needs; and an on-site café, health center, gym and coffee bar.
“We are in a fabulous facility; It’s fabulous on purpose,” Clark said during a panel discussion at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “It’s because our culture is focused on our employees, and we want our employees to feel like they’re at home when they’re at work. We want them to have a space in which they can innovate and be creative.”
Glenn Hamer, president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, initiated a line of praise for Zovio from the panelists.
“I want to thank you and the Zovio team for what you’re doing: 400 jobs, on the way to 800,” Hamer said. “We’re now the fastest-growing county in the United States of America, and because of your work, we’re going to grow even a little bit faster.”
Hamer said Zovio’s work goes beyond up-skilling and provides pathways for students to earn college degrees and micro-badges and -certifications, ensuring that Arizona continues to develop an educated and skilled workforce.
Todd Sanders, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber, said it was an honor to welcome an ed tech leader into the region, and he hopes the company will continue to grow.
“I think it’s important to note that this commitment to our state isn’t important only to Arizona; I think it’s important on a national level,” Sanders said. “As you harness the power of data and analytics to drive better education outcomes, that’s going to do something important… that’s close the skills gap.”
Sanders said closing the skills gap is an issue of national importance that the Greater Phoenix Chamber wants to help address.
“We appreciate you believing in this community, and now it’s our turn,” he said. “We’re going to support you, not only today, not only tomorrow, but into the future.”
Terri Kimble, president and CEO of the Chandler Chamber of Commerce, said Chandler is using education as an economic development tool, and Zovio will contribute to that.
“Your visionary technology, educational achievement and community engagement with our city and our business community goes far beyond, and we’re so excited about that,” she said. “Looking to the future, I really can envision many opportunities for us to work together… just to enhance our educational opportunities.”
Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke.According to Kimble, 76 percent of Chandler residents have at least some type of higher education — higher than the state and national averages — and 54 percent have at least a bachelor’s degree or higher.
“We’re glad that you’re here, that you’re part of our culture,” said Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke. “Our downtown is rocking, and I’m hoping that you will have many opportunities to enjoy [that] and the other amenities that are in Chandler.”
Hartke said Chandler’s schools are some of the top in the nation, which, combined with friendly neighborhoods, a business-friendly environment and “hip-storic” culture, set the city apart from many others.
Arizona State Rep. Jeff Weninger, R-Chandler.“Zovio is bringing the education of tomorrow to Chandler by using advanced data and analytics to make it easy for each person to take that next step forward, whether that be towards a better job, that next promotion or fulfilling lifelong goals,” said Rep. Jeff Weninger, R-Chandler, during the panel discussion. “This benefits not just the residents and business owners here in Chandler and Arizona, but nationwide, as we work to close that skills gap and ensure continued economic prosperity.”
Weninger is a parent and small-business owner in Chandler.
Arizona State Sen. J.D. Mesnard, R-Chandler.State Sen. J.D. Mesnard, R-Chandler, said he and Weninger have been working for years in the Arizona Legislature to make the state the best place for businesses to move, grow and thrive, and it’s “thrilling” to see those efforts come to fruition.
“The truth is, we live in a society that changes frequently,” Mesnard said.
“The services that Zovio provides, the partnerships with higher education institutions that allow people to get new skills, to re-career in today’s changing times, is so important,” he said. “And the fact that you’ve chosen Chandler to be your home, as a person that represents Chandler, it’s a thrilling partnership to see unfold.”