Investments and expansions from companies in high-tech industries including semiconductors, electric vehicles, batteries, biotech, solar and more have positioned Arizona as a manufacturing powerhouse.
Over 180,000 people work in manufacturing across the state. Arizona is ranked no. 3 in the country for semiconductor manufacturing employment and top 5 for aerospace and defense manufacturing employment.
“Arizona’s emergence as an advanced manufacturing powerhouse means more good-paying jobs and high-value industries in our state,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “This Manufacturing Month, we are proud to celebrate Arizona’s manufacturers large and small and continue to support their growth and success.”
By the numbers – Manufacturing surging
Arizona has added 14,100 jobs in manufacturing over the year, a growth rate of 7.8%, more than double the U.S. rate of 3.7%. Jobs in the manufacturing of durable goods (those with a lifespan over 3 years) are growing at the fastest rate since 1995.
Between 2015 and 2021, Arizona’s manufacturing share of Real GDP, a measure of economic output, grew from $25.2 billion to $32.8 billion for a rate of 30.4% – more than double the U.S. manufacturing growth rate (14%).
Programs to support local manufacturers
The ACA heavily emphasizes providing support for small and local manufacturers through programs such as the Small Business Bootcamp, the Small Business Digital Academy, and Arizona Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which lends support to small-to-mid-sized manufacturers through operational assistance and training.
Since April 2020, the Small Business Boot Camp has completed over 250 sessions with more than 200 speakers and over 12,600 attendees from all 15 Arizona counties. In April, the Small Business Boot Camp won the Best of Arizona “Excellence in Economic Development” (EDDE) Award. Over eight cohorts, the Small Business Digital Academy has supported more than 220 small businesses.
Recent manufacturing announcements
Manufacturing announcements taking place in 2022 include:
- Corning, one of the world’s leading innovators in materials science, announced it will build a new optical cable manufacturing facility in Gilbert, creating 250 jobs.
- Nucor, the largest steel and steel products producer in the U.S., announced it is investing $100 million to add a new melt shop at its bar mill in Kingman, creating 140 new jobs.
- Enviro-Log announced plans to open a new wax box recycling and firelog manufacturing facility in Glendale, creating over 50 jobs.
- Solvay, the leading global producer and supplier of hydrogen peroxide solutions, will build a new electronic-grade hydrogen peroxide facility in Casa Grande to supply the growing U.S. semiconductor market.
- U.S. Merchants bought a manufacturing facility in Glendale to manufacture its storage crates, package and distribute various products, employing 600-700 people.
- Steel Jupiter, a specialty coating manufacturer, leased a manufacturing and research facility in Sahuarita for manufacturing, research and development.
- Bespoke Manufacturing Company announced a new state-of-the-art apparel manufacturing plant in Phoenix, creating over 250 jobs.
- PowerPhotonic, a Scottish designer and manufacturer of wafer scale optics for advanced lasers and optical systems, selected Sahuarita as the site of its U.S. headquarters and manufacturing facility.
- Nestlé announced in March a $675 million investment to build a new beverage manufacturing facility in Glendale, creating over 350 jobs.
- Edwards, a leading supplier of vacuum and abatement services and solutions to the global semiconductor industry, announced plans to establish a manufacturing facility in Chandler, creating 200 jobs.
- Kohler, a global leader in kitchen and bath products, announced construction of a multi-million dollar manufacturing facility in Casa Grande, creating over 400 new jobs.
- XNRGY, one of the largest custom air handling manufacturers in North America, is building a new 1-million-square-foot manufacturing facility in Mesa, creating over 900 jobs with an investment of $300 million.
- Sunlit Chemical, a leading semiconductor supplier based in Taiwan, announced plans in January to build a $100 manufacturing plant in Phoenix, its first in the U.S.
- EMD Electronics, the North American Electronics business of Merck based in Germany, announced a new factory in Chandler to manufacture equipment for its gas and chemical delivery systems business, creating over 100 jobs with an investment of $28 million.
In addition, Intel’s $20 billion investment to build two new semiconductor fabs in Chandler was named one of six “Manufacturing Projects of the Year” by Area Development Magazine in June 2022. Arizona was also awarded its fourth Gold Shovel Award in June for the state’s success in terms of high-value job creation and capital investment in 2021.