Question: How is manufacturing supporting your industry?
Senior VP, Administration
Sundt Construction, Inc.
Construction activity simply reflects economic activity in the private and/or public sector. If construction is doing well, it means someone else is doing well. The most obvious benefit to our industry if manufacturing is robust is the opportunity to build new manufacturing facilities or to add to existing ones.
In addition, there can be benefit to our industry from manufacturing if the items being manufactured are supply-chain needs for construction. When we can work with a local company that is manufacturing rebar, steel, HVAC or electrical components, for instance, there are reduced costs in such aspects as transportation and the components themselves that then reduce construction costs, resulting in a benefit to the project’s owner.
Richard Condit is the Senior Vice President for Administration of Sundt Construction Inc., which has an annual volume of $1 billion in preconstruction and construction services. Sundt is a highly diversified general contractor with self-performed capabilities in concrete, civil and utility construction processes. Condit heads up Sundt’s Change Management, Craft Center of Excellence and Continuous Improvement initiatives. He represents Sundt in many Arizona educational programs and serves as director on the Sundt Companies Board.
Executive Director, Industrial Properties
Cushman & Wakefield of Arizona, Inc.
Sector: Real Estate
In Arizona, we’re getting better at courting manufacturing. Certainly the Apple deal, bringing onshore manufacturing from such a large, well-known, multi-national company, has helped us. I don’t know anywhere where any substantial manufacturer comes to the market that they don’t have people that follow them. There will be some ancillary things that will follow that type of commitment to Arizona. The Intel effect as a manufacturer is a great example. To Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert and Ahwatukee, it means everything.
We are behind in where we need to be in actual manufacturing — OEMs, equipment makers and manufacturers are not coming here in droves. But more and more, we’re getting our fair share of those types of businesses. It’s hard for Arizona when states like Texas have a huge war chest with cash to entice companies to move to that state. And having controversial bills passed by the Legislature in opposition to the general public — that really affects us.
Jim Wilson has been with Cushman & Wakefield since 1989, where he has several times earned “Top Producer” Industrial/Technology Services for the Arizona region. His primary concentration is the representation of tenants, landlords, sellers and buyers of industrial properties in the Metro Phoenix market. Wilson helped close out a stellar year for Cushman & Wakefield of Arizona by helping broker the $113.57-million sale of the First Solar plant in Mesa to Apple.
Steven G. Zylstra
President and CEO
Arizona Technology Council
Manufacturing has always been a powerful driver of the technology industry in Arizona, and has changed our economy significantly. Ever since Motorola manufactured the world’s first commercial high-power germanium-based transistor in Arizona in 1955, the state has benefited from forward, innovative-thinking companies, both large and small.
The perception that manufacturing is dirty nails and loud factories is out of date. Manufacturing employees today work in clean, state-of-the-art facilities that require skilled engineers and technicians. This push for a better-educated work force benefits the technology industry as a whole by putting an emphasis on graduating more students with science and technology degrees that will ultimately be paid some of the highest wages in the state.
Another major contribution to the technology industry are the know-how and operating procedures that the international firms such as Intel, Boeing, General Dynamics and Raytheon can bring to the smaller, local firms.
It’s clear that innovation is the single most important factor in driving any economy. Today, Arizona’s advanced technologies are in great demand because of our rich manufacturing heritage.
Steven G. Zylstra, Sc.D. (Hon.), serves as president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council, where he is responsible for strategy, operations and accomplishment of policy development. Zylstra is a vocal spokesman for the value technology can provide in raising social and economic standards in Arizona. He has served in numerous technology advisory roles to the Governor and currently serves on several association, industry and community boards.