A coalition of more than 100 business leaders and associations have signed on to a letter urging the state Legislature to support the continuation of the Arizona Commerce Authority, the statewide economic development agency that has helped strengthen and diversify the Arizona economy.
“This letter demonstrates the tremendous support the ACA has from job creators across the state, from communities urban and rural, and from groups representing a broad swath of industries,” Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry President and CEO Danny Seiden said. “We look forward to working with members of both parties to ensure that the ACA can continue its excellent work recruiting good jobs to Arizona and helping to grow our economy.”
The ACA this year is undergoing its sunset review, a process that applies to state agencies in which the state Legislature reviews findings by the Office of the Auditor General and determines whether an agency should continue and, if so, for how long.
Some legislators have introduced a bill to close the ACA. While such a bill would be vetoed by Gov. Katie Hobbs, who has prioritized the ACA’s continuation, the bill still earned rebuke from the state’s job creators.
In a column that appeared on azcentral.com, Seiden wrote, “I can’t think of anything more damaging to Arizona’s future, our businesses and our workers.”
Since its inception following the Great Recession, the ACA has been a driving force behind the state’s economic successes, attracting new projects and fostering the expansion of local businesses. The impact is evident in several key achievements:
- 1,209 projects won
- 272,803 projected new jobs
- $60,808 average wage
- $115.694 billion in projected total capital investment
Estimated benefits include:
- $11.3 billion in tax revenue
- $442.3 billion in economic output
- 886,933 projected jobs total
The ACA’s successes also include 28% workforce growth since 2011 and a $5 billion increase in general fund revenue. The ACA last year announced that it had set single-year records for jobs, capital investment and wages.
With ACA’s support, Arizona now has a thriving manufacturing sector, enhancing economic resilience. Metro Phoenix is now the No. 1 market for manufacturing growth according to a new report from global real estate firm Newmark. The state is now a hub for sustainability, producing microchips, electric vehicles, batteries, and more.
The ACA has collaborated with various stakeholders to meet the growing demand for skilled talent. Through partnerships with industries, universities, and community colleges, the ACA is actively shaping a skilled workforce ready to support Arizona’s anticipated growth.
That includes the ACA’s leadership in the establishment of Drive 48, a partnership with Central Arizona College and the state’s burgeoning electric vehicle industry, which is training students for highly sought advanced manufacturing jobs.
The agency was established by a Republican Legislature and Gov. Jan Brewer in 2010 with the aim of restructuring the state’s economic strategy and generating fresh business and employment prospects for the people of Arizona.