Dawn Grove, Karsten Manufacturing Corporation

Magnetism in Arizona’s Employment Scene
from Dawn Grove

Like a magnet to steel, Arizona is pulling in modern manufacturers and other high-paying job creators that anchor our economy, and Arizona’s talented workers are being drawn to these jobs. Manufacturers and businesses cite being allured not only by Arizona’s pro-business tax and regulatory environment, but also by its attractive workforce population. Arizona swept the top five honors in the latest U.S. News & World Report ranking of the nation’s top-performing high schools, and boasts unrivalled career and technical education. Three major community college systems are jointly developing unified manufacturing curricula to meet local demand in the Advanced Technologies Corridor from Phoenix to Tucson. ASU ranks No. 1 in the U.S. for Innovation, and Arizona produces some of the highest numbers of qualified university graduates. 

The Workforce Arizona Council brings together a wide cross-section of elected officials, agency directors, nonprofits, business leaders and more, to holistically ensure a prepared workforce. In order to match skilled workers to growing local businesses who need them, ARIZONA@WORK job centers provide one-stop service to job creators and job seekers alike, free of charge. Arizona leads the nation in apprenticeships served under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, its veterans are successfully entering civilian careers, and incarcerated individuals are receiving skills training and being immediately placed in jobs as returning citizens. In an effort to target a portion of west Phoenix, which has one of the highest unemployment areas in the state, the Maryvale Workforce Initiative Project brought together a coalition of workforce heroes who succeeded in placing more than 4,106 Maryvale area residents in new jobs in less than a year. 

As Arizonans from all walks of life are drawn into the workforce and Arizona’s unemployment rate reaches 4.7 percent, its lowest rate in a decade, job creators are changing to attract, retain and engage employees to do their best. The cover story explores what businesses are looking for and what’s being done to fill this demand. It also looks at the other side of the issue — what kind of work environment businesses are creating, individually and as a community, to attract a workforce to support a thriving business community.

Among the issues that affect employee engagement is communication. Are business owners and managers communicating with employees in ways that get them fired up about the company mission and the value of their role? This is the subject of Susan Bowden’s feature, “Make Internal Comms Fun.” And the Roundtable discussion addresses employee engagement from another angle: helping them embrace the change that businesses incorporate for their own survival. 

Debuting a special section on an industry that is a crucial cornerstone of business, this issue presents “Excellence in Banking,” with profiles of the individuals leading the banking institutions in our community.

The usual broad range of relevant content provides valuable information to help job creators and workers stick together and flourish in our magnetic community. I am pleased to help bring you this August issue of In Business Magazine, and hope you enjoy reading it.

Sincerely,

Dawn Grove
Corporate Counsel, Karsten Manufacturing Corporation
Chair, Workforce Arizona Council

Dawn Grove is Corporate Counsel for Karsten Manufacturing Corporation, the parent company of PING (one of the top golf equipment brands in the U.S.) and related subsidiaries, and has served on the board of directors of Karsten Manufacturing Corporation continuously since 1995. Grove chairs the Arizona Manufacturers Council and also serves on the board of directors and executive committee of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry. She served on former President Obama’s U.S. Manufacturing Council, and currently chairs Governor Ducey’s Workforce Arizona Council.

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