Welcome to Manufacturing Month!
Nationwide, the industry uses the month of October to showcase the potential of modern manufacturing and generate interest in manufacturing careers. According to the Manufacturing Institute, the sector will be looking to fill 4.6 million high-skill and high-paying jobs over the next decade.
Northern Arizona has a wide range of manufacturing businesses in the region, from the area’s largest private employer, W.L. Gore, to smaller companies producing everything from defense products to spices.
Additional manufacturing opportunities on the horizon
More manufacturing opportunities for the region may be on the way. During the second quarter of this year – in the midst of the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic – ECoNA fielded 11 inquiries from manufacturers that were considering northern Arizona as a location for their business.
These companies would represent almost 3,500 jobs for our region and about $1.3 billion in capital investment.
There are a couple of factors that should be noted that have helped with resurgence of manufacturing. The first is passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) which became effective in July.
According to the National Association of Manufacturers, the renegotiation of the NAFTA accord: “expands U.S. manufacturing’s ability to export products abroad, ensuring manufacturers can sell their products duty free and eliminating red tape at the border that often hinders small- and medium-sized businesses seeking to sell their products in both Canada and Mexico.”
Credit also has to go to the Arizona Commerce Authority under the leadership of President and CEO Sandra Watson and Executive Vice President, Business Development Paul Hughes, who have made a concerted effort to make sure all of Arizona benefits from potential new manufacturing ventures.
We’ll be focusing on manufacturing all this month, including notable segments like medical devices and the food industry, as well as the future of manufacturing in our region, including potential development at Camp Navajo. Stay tuned.