October 1 is Manufacturing Day, the kickoff to a month-long nationwide celebration of this sector, which has grown dramatically in northern Arizona over the past few years.
In fact, manufacturing is now one of the five top business clusters in our region (the others are health care/social services, food service/accommodations, education and retail.) Manufacturing pulled us through the pandemic as one of the few industries that grew during the past 18 months. This past year alone, our office has fielded more than 35 different inquiries about establishing manufacturing operations in northern Arizona.
On top of this, manufacturing helps raise living standards more than any other sector. When a community has a vibrant manufacturing base, it leads to more research and development, increased productivity, higher export rates, and the creation of well-paying jobs. No other industry comes close to the positive economic activity generated by manufacturing.
ECoNA’s Business Retention and Expansion will be focusing on the manufacturing community during our upcoming meeting. Among the topics we’ll be discussing is the virtual reality platform for career exploration and training the Coconino Community Workforce Develop Board recently launched in our community.
At Northern Arizona University, one day of their week-long virtual career fair will be focused on engineering and science careers, including those in the manufacturing realm. The STEM-related career day will be Thursday, Oct. 7. For more information, contact Jose.DiazAquino@nau.edu.
Our partners at the City of Flagstaff are also planning to celebrate local manufacturers and encourage residents and students to consider manufacturing careers.
Flagstaff manufacturers make everything from ice cream cones to auto parts for electric vehicles to medical devices. They are award-winning businesses known for their innovation and for being great places to work. They are true assets to our community.
Throughout this month, we’ll be sharing with you stories from this sector and how they are helping our local economy thrive.
Watch this space, and Happy Manufacturing Month.