Maricopa County Ranked No. 1 Again for Talent Attraction

Arizona Commerce Authority

At a time when workers are in high demand across the country, Maricopa County’s efforts to attract skilled talent lead the nation, according to a new report. Labor market analyst EMSI ranked the Phoenix region no. 1 in talent attraction, the second year in a row and 4th time in six years.

According to the report, Arizona’s largest county saw the highest increase of working age residents in the nation between 2016 and 2020 at 199,460. That was nearly double the next-highest county, Clark County, Nevada, which added 106,617.

Maricopa County also had the highest Regional Competitiveness ranking among large counties, a measure that tracks a region’s ability to attract and retain skilled workers.

“Thanks to our incredible quality of life and robust talent pipeline, once again, Arizona is the best place in the nation to hire skilled workers,” said Governor Doug Ducey. “Arizona is laser-focused on equipping our state’s workers with skills for in-demand jobs. We bring everyone to the table, with industry driving where we have demand and how best to meet it. We look forward to continuing this forward-thinking strategy to equip even more residents with the skills needed for tomorrow’s jobs.”

Arizona’s workforce training programs have received national recognition. In September, the National Governors Association hosted its 2021 Fall Workforce Symposium in the state, bringing workforce officials from more than 23 states to learn about Arizona programs. The group toured Drive48, a manufacturing training center in Coolidge, a unique collaboration among government, industry and academia that’s currently training workers for jobs in advanced automotive assembly in Pinal County.. The state-of-the-art facility features cutting-edge robots and multiple hands-on training rooms where technicians will train for jobs in advanced manufacturing.

In addition to Drive48, workforce Arizona’s training initiatives include the Arizona Advanced Technology Network, a first-of-its-kind partnership developed by Arizona’s employers, public sector and academic institutions to meet the demand for high-tech manufacturing skills. Through the network, select community colleges developed a unified, industry-recognized curriculum that is scalable throughout the state.

Arizona’s growing workforce and quality of life continue to attract people who seek affordability, a world-class education and top companies across various industries. Arizona is the 9th fastest-growing state in the country according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau data, growing 11.88% between 2010 and 2020 with a population of 7.1 million in 2020. Phoenix was the fastest-growing big city in the U.S. between 2010 and 2020, adding 163,000 more residents, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

In recent years, Arizona has seen the rapid growth of emerging technologies and high-tech industries as semiconductors, electric vehicles, batteries, renewable energy, aerospace and defense, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and more.

Emsi’s sixth annual Talent Attraction Scorecard ranks counties based on migration data, skilled and overall job growth, education attainment, regional competitiveness and job openings per capita.

View the full scorecard HERE.

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