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Mesa, open for business

Mesa employers can look forward to larger pool of qualified job applicants
By Debra Gelbart

Mesa Open for Business

The City of Mesa is now one of the most education-rich communities in the nation, and the major employers located here will be key beneficiaries. Two nationally known universities, Benedictine University and Wilkes University are located in Downtown Mesa, and Upper Iowa University recently moved on to the campus of the East Valley Technical Institute.

The educational expansion significantly increases the pool of qualified applicants as major employers seek to fill high-quality jobs. These institutions of higher learning join Mesa Community College, Chandler-Gilbert Community College, ASU Polytechnic and A.T. Still University in preparing students to work within Mesa’s pillars of enterprise.

Mesa’s diverse employment sectors help create a sustainable economy and are the foundation for these pillars. The pillars are: healthcare, education, aerospace/defense/aviation and technology and tourism, known in economic development circles as HEAT.

“By studying here in Mesa, students are able to reach across the globe intellectually and professionally through the prestigious companies located right in our community,” said Jaye O’Donnell, deputy director of the Office of Economic Development for the City of Mesa. She said graduates aren’t the only ones with these opportunities; students may be able to intern with some of these companies while attending school.

Companies and organizations that are part of the enterprise pillars include Falcon Field Airport; The Boeing Company; Banner Health; ATK, a manufacturer of solid rocket propulsion systems and other defense- and aerospace-related products; CMC Steel; Fuji Chemicals; Timken, which manufactures bearings, alloy steel and power transmission components, among other products; and Nammo Talley, which designs, develops and produces propellant-based products.  In February 2015, Apple announced that it would be opening their $2 billion global command facility in Mesa, one of the largest investments the company has ever made.

“Aerospace and defense contractors and manufacturers are looking for a local pipeline to generate more engineers,” O’Donnell said, adding that 30,000 additional degrees need to be awarded locally every year over the next 10 years to keep up with the demand for engineers and other professionals. ”We look forward to working with all of these colleges and universities to fill in that gap,” she said.

For more information on the City of Mesa, visit www.mesaaz.gov/economic.

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