Every day, there seems to be another local or national news story about tech companies, big and small, flocking to Arizona in droves to start or expand their organizations.
Our state has established itself as a more than legitimate option alongside major US tech hubs including California, Massachusetts, New York, Texas, and Washington. Key reasons include our positive business climate, low corporate taxes, and the massive improvement in the quality of life we offer executives and employees compared to the competition. In addition, we develop the talents needed to lead highly innovative operations. Credit goes to some of the nation’s most prestigious universities, including Arizona State University, University of Arizona, Grand Canyon Universityand others.
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Over the past year and a half, Arizona’s economy and our citizens have relied heavily on technology to continue growing our state, keeping Arizonans safe, and enabling businesses to stay connected. contact with their employees and customers. We’ve also seen several companies stand out for a number of reasons, including the development of critical technologies, major growth initiatives, and more. In this column, I’d like to highlight some of the leaders in our tech industry and explain how these organizations have helped Arizona climb the nation’s tech ladder.
It’s impossible to begin without looking at what some of the major tech players have accomplished over the past year. Intel, a stalwart of Arizona’s fast-growing chip industry, has announced a $20 billion plan to build two new semiconductor fabs here to address the global semiconductor shortage. . This news follows the announcement by the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to build a $12 billion factory in our state.
Raytheon, a defense industry giant in Arizona, is making major hiring drives. The talent expansion signaled by the recent commitment to hire 1,000 people in Tucson is needed to support multi-billion dollar contracts, such as two major contracts with the US Air Force. Phoenix-based Honeywell Aerospace also continues to grow and was recently listed as the second-largest manufacturer in Phoenix, which includes Maricopa and Pinal counties, behind only Intel with 5,648 local employees.
In more aerospace and defense news, CP North America opened a major manufacturing plant in Prescott in June. The company develops robust and high-performance computing platforms, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) solutions, data links and LCD displays for the military, industrial and commercial markets. CP North America also provides contract manufacturing support to commercial and industrial markets. The new facility will create more than 200 jobs over the next two years and have an additional positive economic impact on Yavapai County.
In the state-of-the-art manufacturing space, Reference and Avnet remain ahead of the pack. Avnet celebrated its 100th anniversary in January. The company has 1,400 suppliers and serves 2.1 million customers in more than 140 countries. Benchmark celebrated its 25th anniversary last year and opened a state-of-the-art electronics engineering and manufacturing facility in Phoenix. The facility was recently featured on Fox Business News in an article about the rapid growth of manufacturing in Arizona.
Arizona is also home to several fast-growing tech industries, including ed-tech, biosciences, and autonomous and electric vehicles. The electric vehicle market is very hot due to the emergence of Nikola and Lucid as fast growing and high innovation companies. Both companies have made key infrastructure investments in Arizona, as well as commitments to hire in large numbers. In addition, the Canadian company ElectraMeccanica inaugurated its first electric vehicle assembly plant and its first engineering technical center in the United States in Mesa. The $35 million plant will bring 500 high-tech, high-value jobs to the community.
In the information technology industry, Arizona has been recognized as one of the fastest growing states in the industry by Harvard Business Review. We have many innovators in the field, but three stood out: Picmonic, CampusLogic and Parchment.
Scroll is the most widely adopted digital ID service in the industry. Its services enable students, academic institutions and employers to securely request, verify, receive and share credentials. Since 2003, the platform has helped millions of people and thousands of schools and universities exchange more than 20 million transcripts and other credentials around the world, according to the Harvard Business Review. .
Picmonic – maker of study aids for people training to become doctors, nurses, paramedics and other professions requiring knowledge of complex medical topics – was acquired by TrueLearn in January. Over the years, CampusLogic has made many key acquisitions, including Funderbolt and RaiseMe. It was ranked the 81st fastest growing company in a 2019 Deloitte survey.
The bioscience industry is another promising player for our state. The work the Flinn Foundation has pioneered with the Arizona Bioscience Roadmap continues to place our bioscience sector at the forefront of growth and innovation. Arizona began this journey to become a leading healthcare innovator nationwide as a low-tier medical technology community compared to the rest of the nation. Today, we have moved closer to a leading state through the efforts of the Flinn Foundation and many other leaders in the health and technology sectors.
Some of the leading organizations in this space include Akos MD, which uses telemedicine technology to allow patients to see healthcare professionals without the hassle of a physical visit; HiMS, a Phoenix-based national company that designs electronic health records (EHR) software that transforms the integrated healthcare experience; and Biosensing Instruments, which develops bioanalytical tools to accelerate drug discovery research.
This only scratches the surface of the innovation happening across Arizona and the organizations that are driving our technology growth. Other growing sectors include IT and cybersecurity, fintech, data centers, clean energy, and more.
Arizona is no longer climbing the technological ladder. We have arrived, and now our eyes are on the direction of the nation. We certainly have the talent and the leadership to do it!
Steven G. Zylstra is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Arizona Technology Council.