PHOENIX (January 16, 2024) — The Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry, joined by a coalition of more than 100 business leaders and growing throughout the state, today sent a letter to Arizona legislators expressing strong support for the continuation of the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA).
The agency, established by former Gov. Jan Brewer in 2010 in an effort to revamp the state’s economic approach and create new business and job opportunities for Arizonans, faces its sunset review this year.
“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,” Chamber 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 full letter can be viewed here and below:
Dear Members of the Arizona Legislature,
We are reaching out to you on behalf of the undersigned organizations and businesses committed to advancing policies that stimulate economic growth and prosperity for all Arizonans. Collectively, our organizations and businesses represent hundreds of thousands of hardworking Arizonans across multiple industry sectors. We write to you today in support of the continuation of the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) and the critical programs it oversees that have made our state the best place to work and own a business.
During the recovery from the great recession, leaders from around Arizona came together to creatively revamp the state’s economic approach. This new model – the Arizona Commerce Authority – was designed to diversify Arizona’s economy and attract, expand, and create new businesses and job opportunities. This approach had never been tried before and is now the leading example of economic development success across the nation. Arizona’s growth since 2011 has been astounding, with record-level investments creating thousands of new high wage jobs for our residents.
Impact on economy and jobs
Since its inception, the ACA has contributed to Arizona’s economic success through the attraction of new projects and expansion of existing Arizona companies. Some significant wins include:
– 1,209 projects won,
– 272,803 projected new jobs,
– $60,808 average wage, and
– $115.694 billion in projected total capital investment.
The impact of this success on our economy has been profound. It’s estimated that ACA projects will produce $11.3 billion in tax revenue and $442.3 billion in economic output. The direct, indirect, and induced projected jobs total is 886,933. These new jobs are shifting our economy and Arizona is now more well positioned than ever. With the help of the ACA, Arizona has dramatically reshaped the outlook of our economy. For example, since 2011, Arizona’s workforce has grown by 28%, the 5th-fastest growth rate in the nation.
Additionally, we have seen rapid growth in employment in varying industries. Prior to the creation of ACA, the main economic driver within Arizona’s economy was construction. Now, Arizona has more manufacturing jobs than construction and our economic outlook for the future has never been better because of the diversification the ACA helped to create. Furthermore, JLBC shows Arizona’s General Fund revenue increased by more than $5 billion from 2011 to 2023, from $8.3B to almost $13.5B, as Arizona has added new jobs, businesses, and workers.
The ACA also plays a central role in workforce development, partnering with industry, universities, community colleges, and more to meet the increased workforce demand and develop a skilled talent pipeline that is ready to support the anticipated growth in our state.
Industry growth & diversification
In addition to attracting business and advancing our global competitiveness, ACA offers a host of programs that have been crafted by policymakers to support businesses of all sizes in all corners of Arizona. They specifically have focused on supporting the growth and success of rural and small businesses.
The manufacturing industry has exploded under the leadership of the ACA, which has helped secure historic investments throughout the state. Arizona has become a sustainability ecosystem with the manufacturing of microchips, electric vehicles, batteries, and more. The growth in manufacturing has helped onshore the supply chain stimulating our economy, creating jobs, and protecting national security by reducing our reliance on international supply chains. Innovation is at the core of ACA’s mission, and they continue to team up with startups and entrepreneurs to spur investment in Arizona.
Preparing for the future
The Arizona Commerce Authority continues to be critical to economic development in our state, and it’s imperative that it is continued. ACA has exceeded its original mission and has become a model for job attraction that is being mirrored nationwide. We strongly urge the state Legislature to support ACA’s continuation.
We are grateful for the continued leadership of our legislators who have worked to ensure Arizona remains competitive on the global level and pursue policies that make Arizona the best state to start and grow a business.
Click here to see the full list of business community supporters.
Chamber President and CEO Danny Seiden recently wrote an OpEd for the Arizona Republic in response to a legislative effort to dismantle the ACA.
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