Realizing the Potential
It may come as a surprise to some to learn that with nearly five million residents, the Phoenix metropolitan area is one of the fastest growing conurbations in the United States. But for many residents of the Valley of the Sun, the Phoenix area is simply home. With a host of diverse cultures, thriving communities, and growing businesses, it is a bustling center for development.
Chris Camacho is very familiar with the metro Phoenix area’s rapid expansion. As the president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC), Chris works daily to drive economic strategy. And he’s not alone. With more than 22-member cities, Maricopa County, and 150 private investors, GPEC is committed to improving life for companies and citizens alike. “Our people, labor force, and talent is unparalleled to other places.” With emerging tech companies booming and the restaurant and lifestyle scene flourishing, there is untapped potential for locals and transplants alike.
Rising to the Challenge – Growing the State
Although born and raised in the Midwest, Chris came to Arizona in 2004 with the intent of spending a few years in Phoenix before moving home. Now, 15 years later, he couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. “I love it here. My kids love it here. It’s home.”
As a public-private partnership, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council works as the economic development organization for its members and investors. Its goal is straightforward — attract quality businesses through research, connectivity, and an impeccable reputation. And the work of GPEC has garnered some serious success. Since 1989, it has assisted in over 740 assisted company relocations, created 133,000 jobs, and raised over $14.8 billion in capital investments.
Growing an economic powerhouse requires foresight, planning, and extensive effort. GPEC works in several sectors to ensure it is providing the most research and strategy for continued development. With operational cost comparison and regional labor market data, it can provide a business with near-exact cost saving and relocation data as well as wage rates, labor force and skill levels based on occupation and industry, labor force availability data, and connections with local employers for insight into ease of hiring.
It’s these efforts that have made the economic council a force within the metro Phoenix area.
“We are enhancing this place so future families can be educated here and eventually get jobs here,” says Chris, who describes the Valley as a place where anyone can come and be someone immediately.
“Our market is unique because it’s easy to connect to people,” he adds.
Our people, labor force, and talent is unparalleled to other places.
Innovation and Community
Chris talks about connectivity within the metro area and the rare unity it offers to new people. “The inclusive nature of our communities sets us apart from other places, where it’s harder to break into the job market as a transplant.”
He often thinks about the future of his community. His goal for 2030 is to see the greater Phoenix area as one of the top five most innovative markets in the United States.
He believes it’s important to communicate to people how welcoming the area is, and how much opportunity it truly offers to those willing to work hard. It can be challenging to increase innovation while fostering communities at the same time, but Chris assures us that the Greater Phoenix Economic Council is 100 percent up for the challenge.
Greater Phoenix Economic Council
2 N Central Ave Suite 2500