Event examines policy decisions over course of last decade that have contributed to economic growth

A decade-long journey of growth, resilience, and determination – that’s the story of Arizona’s economy, which has surged in growth over the last several years, becoming a national beacon of success. 

At the heart of this narrative lies a simple yet powerful message: policy matters. This principle was echoed throughout the Coffee and Common Sense event hosted Tuesday by the Common Sense Institute Arizona (CSI), as business leaders, policy experts, and legislators gathered to examine the state’s rapid economic development and the critical factors needed to maintain its momentum on the global stage.

Such was the underlying message at the recent ‘Coffee and Common Sense’ event, a gathering of business leaders, policy experts, and legislators, hosted by the Common Sense Institute Arizona (CSI). As a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, CSI specializes in meticulous economic analysis, bridging the gap between economic development and public policy. The symposium served as a platform for the exchange of ideas and insights on Arizona’s rapid economic growth and the factors essential to maintaining its momentum in the global economy.

Glenn Farley, CSI’s Director of Policy and Research, presented a comprehensive overview of Arizona’s economic landscape. Farley’s findings showed the state’s resilience in the face of the pandemic, with net migration levels soaring and a steady increase in jobs added to the workforce. The state’s manufacturing sector, he noted, has seen a renaissance in the past decade, contributing billions to Arizona’s economy, while states like California have sputtered.

Danny Seiden(Left), Jenn Daniels, CSI, President Katie Fisher, and Pivot Manufacturing CEO, Steve Macias.

What lies at the heart of Arizona’s growth? The answer can be traced back to a series of business-friendly policies implemented over the last decade-plus as the state emerged from the Great Recession, as a sentiment expressed by Danny Seiden, CEO and president of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry, during a panel discussion that also featured former Gilbert Mayor Jenn Daniels and Pivot Manufacturing CEO Steve Macias.

Daniels underscored the importance of bipartisan collaboration and data-driven approaches, citing her recent housing report with former Democratic State Sen. Sean Bowie, D-Ahwatukee, as a prime example. Addressing the critical housing shortage in Arizona, the report calls for streamlining permitting processes and adapting to market changes throughout the year.

Macias discussed the challenges facing the manufacturing sector’s workforce and the need for strategic solutions to further bolster Arizona’s thriving industry.

Seiden concluded the panel with a glimpse into the future, exploring potential legislative ideas aimed at enhancing the state’s burgeoning economy. By improving water infrastructure, cutting red tape, and supporting job creators, these policies promise to continue fueling Arizona’s rapid growth.

Michael Kittilson

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