Bio Talent Pool Attracts Bridgestone to Mesa

by RaeAnne Marsh

Bridgestone Corporation, the world’s largest tire and rubber company, is bringing a multi-million-dollar capital investment to the Greater Phoenix area with the establishment of a research and development facility in southeast Mesa. The facility will be focused on the use and production a Guayule, a shrub native to the Southwest that produces natural rubber in its roots and bark. Economic benefit to the region includes the creation of 32 high-wage jobs (average annual salary of $75,000).

“We felt that Arizona has a resource pool of candidates from local universities with strong engineering and environmental foundations; it is also common to find those experienced in chip manufacturing, chemicals, mining, and other industrial backgrounds which are applicable to the biorubber research. Arizona State University, for example, has an emphasis in renewable fuels that has synergies with the biorubber processing,” says Bill Niaura, director of new business development for Bridgestone Americas, Inc., explaining that the Mesa area is particularly attractive because of the population density and concentration of higher education programs. He notes that Arizona is attracting businesses that are innovators in bioagricultural and bioscience interests.

“By locating in the Mesa Industrial Park, we have also located close to our research farms areas,” Niaura says. “Mesa offers convenience and the opportunity for growth.”

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