Electronic job

Here’s Why Arizona Won the Gold Shovel Award for Creating High-Quality Jobs

Arizona today received Area Development magazine’s prestigious “Gold Shovel” award, the second straight year for the state in the 5-8 million population category. The Shovel Awards recognize states that “have achieved great job creation and investment projects through innovative policies, infrastructure improvements and other processes” in 2021.

Additionally, Area Development named Intel’s $20 billion expansion in Chandler one of ten “Manufacturing Projects of the Year.” Intel innovated in September on two new semiconductor factories in Chandler. The factories should be operational in 2024 and create more than 3,000 jobs.


READ ALSO: 25 tech startups to watch in the Phoenix metro


Since 2007, Arizona has won four gold spade awards and six silver spade awards. Arizona’s four gold shovels have all been awarded in the past six years.

“Arizona is continuously leading the way in creating high-quality jobs,” Governor Doug Ducey said. “Whether it’s semiconductors, electric vehicles, batteries, and more, Arizona has become the epicenter of innovation. This award is a reflection of the ingenuity and perseverance of Arizona entrepreneurs and workers, and we are proud to be continually recognized as one of the top states for economic development.

“Intel is grateful to have been named ‘Manufacturing Project of the Year’ for the $20 billion expansion of our Ocotillo campus in Chandler,” said Keyvan Esfarjani, executive vice president, chief operating officer and Managing Director of Manufacturing, Supply Chain and Operations. at Intel Corporation. “Arizona has been an integral part of Intel’s growth over the past 40 years. Intel continues to be committed to investing in Arizona talent, capacity expansion, environmental sustainability, and community support. We look forward to the commissioning of our two new factories, which will manufacture our most advanced technologies, and thank the State of Arizona and the City of Chandler for their continued support. »

“We are honored that Arizona has received a Gold Shovel award for the second consecutive year,” said Sandra Watson, president and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “Last year, Arizona set records for economic development, with more jobs planned and capital investments announced than ever before. We are working closely with our regional and local partners across the state , and I want to congratulate them all and our amazing industry partners on this honor.

“Intel’s latest multi-billion dollar expansion in Chandler is creating economic ripple effects in our city, region and state,” said Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke. “We are proud of the strong partnership we have built with Intel over the decades and wish to congratulate them on this well-deserved national recognition.”

Area Development Magazine ranks states with scores weighted by number of high-value jobs per capita, amount of investment, number of new facilities, and industry diversity.

Arizona saw statewide economic development gains in 2021, landing electric vehicle, battery, aerospace and renewable energy projects.

In addition to Intel, 2021 projects include:

Li Cyclea Canadian-based battery recycling company, announced plans to build a lithium-ion battery recycling facility in Gilbert, its third facility in the United States

HelloFresh announced plans to open its world’s largest shipping and distribution center in Phoenix, creating more than 1,000 new jobs.

ElectraMeccanicaa Canadian manufacturer of electric vehicles, opened its first assembly plant and technical engineering facility in the United States in Mesa, investing more than $35 million and creating nearly 500 new jobs.

KORE Poweran Idaho-based battery manufacturer, announced plans to build a 1 million square foot lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant in Buckeye, creating 3,000 new jobs.

Zep, Inc.. announced the completion of its new AFCO production facility in Kingman, creating 25 jobs.

Owens Corning announced plans to restart production at its 42,500 square foot insulation manufacturing plant in Eloy, creating more than 50 jobs.

Facebook announced in August an investment of $800 million to build a 960,000 square foot sustainable data center in Mesa, creating 100 jobs.

UACJ Whitehallan electric vehicle parts maker, announced a new manufacturing facility in Flagstaff, creating 350 new jobs.

Gulfstream Aerospace is investing more than $70 million to build its sustainable 225,000 square foot aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul facility at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, creating hundreds of jobs.

Leonardo Electronics US Inc announced the expansion of its semiconductor laser manufacturing plant in Oro Valley, creating 200 jobs.

ZenniHome announced plans to build eco-homes on a former Navajo Power Plant site in Page, creating 150 jobs.

Meyer Burgera Swiss-based company, announced it was building a solar module manufacturing plant in Goodyear, its first plant in the United States, creating more than 500 jobs.

According to the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO), Arizona to add more than 720,000 jobs by 2030 for an annualized job growth rate of 2.2%, three times the US growth rate.

A report on the 2022 Shovel Award winners is published in the Q2 2022 issue of Area Development and posted online at areadevelopment.com/shovels.