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Maricopa County receives recognition for skilled worker attraction

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(The Center Square) – Business investment continues to pour into Arizona, which is earning Maricopa County some accolades.

Lightcast ranked the county as the top place for getting new skilled workers as part of their 2023 Talent Attraction Scorecard. Maricopa County has been the top county for the category in six of the last seven years.

“Innovative industries are choosing to grow in Arizona and Maricopa County resulting in a steady increase of skilled job opportunities,” Greater Phoenix Economic Council President and CEO Chris Camacho said in the scorecard report.

“Combined with an agile higher education ecosystem that meets the needs of today’s economy and that of the future, Greater Phoenix leads as a nationally competitive region with an environment that supports talent and employers alike,” Camacho added.

Other local leaders praised the ranking.

“There’s no better place in the country for skilled workers!” Arizona Commerce Authority President and CEO Sandra Watson said in a post.

Maricopa County Supervisor Thomas Galvin also touted local economic policies as reasons why the county has been successful getting new workers.

“I’m proud of the hard work that everyone in [Maricopa County] has done (keeping taxes low & workforce development), particularly my colleagues on the Board of Supervisors,” he posted.

While the county has been attracting skilled workers, there are some concerns in sectors like the semiconductor industry. For example, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, which is building a massive chip fab in north Phoenix, delayed its opening to 2025 due to the lack of necessary talent.

The Center Square reported that the Hobbs administration has been pouring money into apprenticeship programs to bolster the industry with Arizonans, including “workforce accelerator” programs with institutions such as Maricopa Community Colleges.

Besides worker attraction, Maricopa County is also considered the “largest gaining” county in the United States between July 2021 and July 2022, according to a U.S. Census Bureau estimate. The bureau said that 56,831 people moved to the county during that time frame, which equates to a 1.3% increase.

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