2023 In Review: The Future Is Arizona
High-tech industries saw historic investments alongside wins for small business and rural communities
PHOENIX, AZ (December 26, 2023) – In 2023, Arizona continued to attract record investments as high-tech industries surged.
The year also saw major wins for workforce development, infrastructure improvements, startup collaborations, supply chain enhancements, rural business expansions and more.
Watch Arizona’s economic year in review below
“2023 represented another incredible year of unprecedented growth for Arizona’s economy,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “We are grateful to Governor Hobbs, and our many government, education, industry and innovation partners statewide who continue to work alongside us to grow and strengthen Arizona’s economy. We look forward to furthering our rapid momentum in the year ahead!
Below are highlights of 2023:
During calendar year 2023, the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) and economic partners successfully won over 95 competitive projects from companies that committed to creating more than 24,600 projected new jobs while investing over $10.3 billion in the state.
The ACA worked with companies across the state in calendar year 2023, with expansions taking place in Avondale, Buckeye, Bullhead City, Casa Grande, Chandler, El Mirage, Eloy, Gila Bend, Gilbert, Glendale, Goodyear, Green Valley, Hayden, Litchfield Park, Marana, Mesa, Parker, Peoria, Phoenix, Pima, Queen Creek, San Luis, Scottsdale, Sierra Vista, Safford, Surprise, Tacna, Tempe, Tolleson, Tucson, Winslow, Yuma, and more.
Throughout the year, Arizona saw significant manufacturing projects happening statewide, including:
- LG Energy Solution in Queen Creek;
- Amkor and HyRel Technologies in Peoria;
- American Battery Factory in Tucson and EVelution Energy in Yuma County;
- ASM in Scottsdale; JA Solar in Phoenix; Foresight Technologies in Tempe; EMD Electronics and Edwards in Chandler; and Benchmark Electronics and CMC Steel in Mesa;
- Rehrig Pacific Company and Fortescue Future Industries in Buckeye; Avanti Windows & Doors in El Mirage; Factor and Romac Industries in Goodyear;
- And Rose Acre Farms (La Paz County) and Optimal Health Systems (Pima) in rural Arizona.
Arizona also continued to grow in various industries such as technology, research and development, distribution and warehousing, HQ offices and more including:
- Applied Materials, Moov and Mediterranean Shipping Company in Tempe; Google and Sysco in Mesa; Raytheon in Scottsdale;
- Republic Services, Clayco, Blue Origin, Evie Networks and TCRT in Phoenix;
- NRS Logistics and Ecobat in Casa Grande and Freepoint Eco-Systems in Eloy;
- MicroStar Logistics in Tucson and Ascent Aviation Services in Marana;
- And Unical Aviation in Glendale.
Earning Top National Rankings
In April, Arizona placed in the top 5 of “Best States For Business” by Chief Executive Magazine and in May, Arizona was recognized as a top 5 state for innovation, according to the latest “innovation scorecard” report by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).
In May, the Arizona Commerce Authority was recognized as one of four winners of the inaugural “Economic Development Award” by Business Facilities. The award recognizes community efforts at attracting “record-breaking projects and creating new pockets of economic growth.”
In June, Arizona was awarded its fifth prestigious “Gold Shovel” award from Area Development Magazine, recognizing the state’s “success in terms of new job creation and company capital investment in 2022. In addition, TSMC’s $40 billion investment to build two semiconductor fabs in Phoenix was named one of 15 “Manufacturing Projects of the Year."
And in December, Maricopa County ranked no. 1 for talent attraction in the Talent Attraction Scorecard released by Lightcast, a global leader in labor market analytics, for the fourth straight year. Arizona also ranked among the top-three for job growth and top-five for competitiveness.
Advancing Arizona’s Semiconductor Industry
Key actions throughout the year furthered Arizona’s semiconductor leadership including strategic education partnerships and significant projects.
In January, SEMI announced that SEMICON West, the nation’s premier semiconductor exhibition and conference, will be held in Phoenix in 2025, 2027 and 2029 after being held in California for over 50 years.
In July, Arizona State University (ASU) and Applied Materials announced plans to create a $270 million Materials-To-Fab Center (MTF) Center in Tempe. The MTF Center, a shared research, development and prototype facility, is supported by a $30 million investment from the ACA to help advance the state’s semiconductor industry and will accelerate semiconductor innovation at ASU and statewide.
In November, the University of Arizona (UArizona) and the ACA announced an expansion of the University’s Micro/Nano Fabrication Center (MNFC) in Tucson. The expansion of the MNFC, a cleanroom facility which supports manufacturing and research efforts involving semiconductors, computer chips, optical devices and quantum computing systems, is supported by a $35.5 million investment from the ACA. The MNFC expansion will also include additional training efforts to continue growing the state’s skilled workforce.
In November, Governor Hobbs announced key actions to strengthen Arizona’s semiconductor talent pipeline. The initiatives include a first-of-its-kind Registered Apprenticeship Program, a partnership between the ACA, OEO, DES and NXP, an advanced semiconductor manufacturer that operates two fabs in Chandler. The company’s program will start with the industrial manufacturing technician occupation and explore additional occupations in the future. In November, Governor Hobbs also announced a Future48 Workforce Accelerator focused on semiconductors located in Maricopa County.
In December, the ACA announced a $17.5 million investment in ASU to expand Arizona’s advanced semiconductor manufacturing capabilities. The expansion will enhance Arizona’s fan-out wafer-level packaging R&D and workforce training capabilities and drive the creation of a GaN (gallium nitride) manufacturing and research ecosystem in the state. ASU will allocate the funding to purchase equipment to enhance the capabilities of ASU’s MacroTechnology Works (MTW) in Tempe.The expansion will also include workforce development initiatives such as internships and university joint research, and next-gen GaN research development for 6G in partnership with NXP Semiconductors in Chandler.
Investing In Arizona’s Workforce
Arizona continued to advance innovative partnerships to further strengthen the state’s already robust workforce.
In June, Governor Hobbs announced the first two of up to six Future48 Workforce Accelerators. The rural workforce accelerators represent a partnership with Mohave Community College in Kingman and Arizona Western College in Yuma.
Supporting Startup Success And Advancing Innovation
In March, Plug and Play accelerateAZ announced it had selected Arizona for its newest location. In April, Plug and PlayaccelerateAZ celebrated the launch of the Arizona office.
This year, Plug and Play accelerateAZ launched two programs–the Advanced Manufacturing Accelerator program, which has selected two cohorts of 26 startups after launching in April. In December, Plug and Play accelerateAZ announced the Sustainability Accelerator program that will launch in Spring 2024. The Sustainability program will support the growth of Arizona startups in areas including renewable energy, water resiliency, sustainable mining, circular materials and carbon neutrality.
In December, the ACA announced that 10 companies from a pool of 100 applicants were selected as awardees for the 2023 Arizona Innovation Challenge (AIC). Since 2011, the ACA has selected 130 AIC awardees from over 2,700 applicants, representing a combined portfolio value of more than $2.5 billion.
Advancing Arizona’s Global Competitiveness
In March, Governor Hobbs announced the opening of two international trade and investment offices in Taiwan and the Republic of Korea. The offices in Taipei, Taiwan, and Seoul, South Korea, serve as platforms to increase economic collaboration and foreign direct investment opportunities between Arizona and both countries.
The office openings were announced after Arizona landed significant investments from both countries- including Taiwan-based TSMC’s $40 billion investment to build two fabs in Phoenix, creating 4,500 total jobs, and South-Korea based LG Energy Solution, which is investing $5.5 billion to establish a battery manufacturing complex in Queen Creek, creating thousands of jobs.
Also in March, Arizona ranked no. 1 in the nation in 2022 for international investment. In 2022, Arizona attracted expansion projects from 35 international companies, representing $31. 95 billion in investment (FDI).
Supporting Small Businesses
In February during Super Bowl LVII in Arizona, businesses that were part of the Super Bowl LVII Business Connect Program, a partnership between the NFL and the Host Committee, received 246 contracts totaling $11.5 million.
April marked the 3rd Anniversary of the Small Business Boot Camp, a first-of-its-kind program that connects entrepreneurs and small business leaders with local experts to provide support, guidance and resources. Since launching on April 27, 2020, the Small Business Boot Camp has held over 300 sessions with more than 17,00 attendees representing all 15 Arizona counties.
Connecting More of Arizona
In June, Governor Hobbs announced Arizona received a $993.1 million federal broadband grant to help build infrastructure and deploy technology, the largest broadband investment in state history. Arizona’s Broadband, Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) Program aims to reduce barriers or hurdles for internet service providers, while leveraging federal partnership opportunities. The record grant builds on years of focused efforts to ensure high-speed, quality internet access for all Arizonans.
Read more about Arizona’s economic momentum at azcommerce.com.
Alyssa Tufts, Arizona Commerce Authority, [email protected]
About the Arizona Commerce Authority
The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) is the state's leading economic development organization with a streamlined mission to grow and strengthen Arizona's economy. The ACA uses a three-pronged approach to advance the overall economy: attract, expand, create - attract out-of-state companies to establish operations in Arizona; work with existing companies to expand their business in Arizona and beyond; and help entrepreneurs create new Arizona businesses in targeted industries. For more information, please visit azcommerce.com and follow the ACA on Twitter @azcommerce.