Second Quarter 2018

Bill - Newsletter

The Quick Jab

by Bill Jabjiniak

Spring is a good time to refresh Mesa’s economic development brand

The City of Mesa Office of Economic Development (OED) has launched a comprehensive brand refresh and a new web-based aerial view tool, The new creative for the suite of marketing materials and are used to promote Mesa as a premier location for businesses to locate and grow.

The OED team works to enhance Mesa’s economy, by supporting the creation of quality jobs, increasing per capita income, and improving the quality of life for residents. Economic Development staff accomplishes this mission by promoting Mesa as a premier location for business by targeting key industries that provide high wage jobs. The City of Mesa Office of Economic Development is the primary point of contact for businesses, site selectors, and community stakeholders to obtain technical expertise and support services necessary to properly evaluate business opportunities in Mesa.

To fulfill our mission, it is critical that we have well-branded, professional marketing collateral and tools to tell a compelling story about why Mesa is the right place for companies to locate and grow. Although OED’s collateral is periodically revised with the latest content, the branded look and feel had not been updated in several years. It was time to review our target audiences, value propositions, positioning, and key messages for our various industries sectors and apply that in both word and image in our collateral.

OED partnered with HAPI, a full-service branding firm to conduct a brand audit and develop a refreshed look and feel for OED marketing collateral. That brand was then applied to Mesa’s City Profile and four targeted industry brochures, namely healthcare, education, aerospace/aviation, and technology. Additional marketing collateral is forthcoming.



In addition, OED partnered with Salt River Project to build and launch, a 360-degree, interactive, bird’s-eye view of five Mesa business districts, major assets and employers, new developments and investments, key amenities, and development opportunities. This tool allows us to effectively promote development opportunities 24/7 to industry executives, site selectors, brokers, and developers in a visually appealing way. Please visit today and give us your feedback.







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ATSU-ASDOH helps American Indian college students prepare for dental school

American Indian ATSUA.T. Still University (ATSU) is committed to increasing representation of American Indians in dentistry. Last month, the National Center for American Indian Health Professions, with the support of ATSU’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-ASDOH), hosted the third-annual American Indian Pre-dental Admission Workshop (PAW). The purpose of PAW is to help American Indian college students who are preparing to apply to dental school navigate the application process and expand their professional networks. This year, 12 college students from across the country attended the free workshop.

In addition to preparing for the application process, PAW participants get hands-on experience in the dental simulation lab, one-on-one time with current dental students, and a tour of the dental school. ATSU-ASDOH even provides the aspiring dentists with professional headshots.

“We want students early in the process to understand what it is to become a dentist,” Sarah Hill, a third-year student at ATSU-ASDOH, who played a major role in planning the workshop, said.

According to the Society of American Indian Dentists (SAID), American Indian communities struggle with limited access to oral healthcare. In fact, SAID estimates there are fewer than 300 American Indian dentists serving a population of 5.2 million. Many of the students who participate in PAW plan to practice in the communities where they grew up, increasing access to quality dental care in rural American Indian communities.


updated mcc logo 10-11-17



MCC offers new Blockchain Technology Certificate Program

Mesa Community College is one of the first community colleges in the country to offer a Blockchain Technology Certificate of Completion (CCL). Fall 2018, MCC will begin preparing students for emerging high-tech careers requiring blockchain knowledge.

Blockchain technology secures transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way.

As a major resource for workforce development, MCC works with local businesses to develop courses that meet emerging needs of industry.

“The technology underlying blockchain is proving to be an effective tool for many industries,” Sasan Poureetezadi, MCC Interim President, said. “Data indicates the demand for employees with knowledge of blockchain technology will continue to grow as industries adopt this cutting-edge technology. By being the first community college in the state to offer this certificate, we are helping students position themselves to compete for high-wage, high-demand career opportunities.”

The first eight-week hybrid class in the program, CIS109AM Networking Technology I, provides the basics of networking and Internet technology related to blockchain architecture. Additional courses will include blockchain fundamentals, a proof of concept course and an internship.

Mesa Community College is proud to enrich Arizona’s economy by preparing students for a gainful place in the workforce.



Northern Arizona University Partnering with Mesa Public Schools to serve English Language Learners

Award-winning public schools are a critical selling point in attracting new businesses to Mesa and convincing existing businesses to expand. Mesa Public Schools (MPS) and Northern Arizona University (NAU) are teaming up to help tackle a major issue facing all schools in Arizona – supporting a growing number of K-12 second language learners.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, there were 67,050 English Language Learners (ELL) in Arizona’s public schools in fiscal 2016, which is about 6% of all public school students. MPS has approximately 4,000 ELL students, which is roughly 6% of all MPS students.

Under the new partnership, NAU is offering MPS teachers an accelerated path to a master’s degree in Bilingual and Multicultural Education with an ESL emphasis. The program will be taught by highly qualified MPS instructors and NAU faculty and will focus on the latest teaching techniques and research to help ELL students advance and thrive in Mesa Public Schools.

“This partnership program provides a great opportunity for Mesa Public Schools teachers to learn the best instructional practices for English language learners and immediately apply it in their classrooms to positively impact student learning,” Dr. Dawn A. Foley, Director of Teaching and Learning at Mesa Public Schools, said.

The program will be taught in a cohort model where MPS teachers will attend classes together. It also includes a study abroad experience in Costa Rica, where MPS teachers will observe and learn how another country approaches second language learning. The program begins this fall at the NAU Mesa campus, 1833 W. Southern Ave. in Downtown Mesa. For more information on the NAU master’s degree in Bilingual and Multicultural Education for MPS teachers, contact Rich Heath at or 928-775-4567.





Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Posts Fourth Consecutive Month of Commercial Passenger Growth

For the fourth consecutive month, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (Gateway Airport) posted year-over-year growth in passenger activity during January 2018. After finishing last year with a strong fourth quarter that included several new nonstop destinations and record-setting passenger activity, the positive trend continued in January with an 11% increase; the second best January recorded in the Airport’s history. A total of 118,926 air travelers used Gateway Airport during the month.

Gateway Airport currently serves 46 nonstop destinations through its airline partners Allegiant and WestJet. Anticipating continued growth in the future, the Airport recently completed expansion projects in the security checkpoint area and installed the first fully-automated exit door system in the Southwest. Both projects provide enhanced security, increased efficiency, and a better overall passenger experience.

“More and more air travelers are choosing Gateway Airport for its unparalleled value and convenience,” Gateway Airport Executive Director and CEO J. Brian O’Neill said. “New nonstop destinations, larger aircraft, and increased frequency are helping make Gateway the airport of choice for the Phoenix East Valley.”

For more information about Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, please visit



Australian Artist’s Giant Interplanetary Aliens to bring many new visitors to Mesa

MAC Aliens exhibitSix gigantic inflatable humanoid figures will land in Downtown Mesa, May 4-13, 2018, where they will be installed for two large public events, a calendar of ancillary programming, and thousands of visiting museum professionals. The light installation Fantastic Planet will be viewable for free across several blocks in the heart of Downtown Mesa. Timed to put Mesa’s best foot forward for the opening night party of the American Alliance of Museum’s (AAM’s) Conference, the installation of the monumental inflatable sculptures by Australian artist Amanda Parer is expected to draw additional visitors from across the Phoenix-Mesa metro area and beyond.

The nine-day installation will kick off on Friday, May 4, 2018, with a free community celebration at several sites in Downtown Mesa on a night coinciding with the monthly Motorcycles on Main event. The following Friday, May 11, Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum opens exhibitions of figurative work in all five galleries, which will be complemented by Fantastic Planet, and coincide with Second Friday in Downtown Mesa.

To explore sponsorship opportunities, please contact Renee Lopata, Development Director, Mesa Arts Center, or 480-644-6613.

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Visit Mesa updates travel app for staycation planning this summer

Visit Mesa, the destination marketing organization for the City of Mesa and regional visitor industry advocate for the East Valley, has updated its mobile travel app which is great for residents to download as they plan summer staycations close to home. The revamped digital, interactive travel app is available for download on both the AppStore and Google Play, and acts as a valuable resource and guide to exploring Mesa.

The features of the City Limitless® App are many, including:

  • Pre-planned itineraries tailored to lifestyles such as Culture Seeker, Fresh Foodie, and Adventure Explorer
  • Real-time Calendar of Events listing and Things to Do, Dining and Nightlife categories
  • Offers featuring deals and discounts in five categories
  • Exclusive vacation packages including Summer Staycation listings
  • Access to the Visit Mesa destination videos, resource materials, and all social media links

The app also features push notification that Visit Mesa uses to share alerts on events, new attractions, and ideas for the weekend. Visit Mesa will be celebrating National Travel and Tourism Week, May 6-12, 2018, and promoting Mesa hotel deals and added values available at all area attractions during the key summer travel season. For more information and to book summer Mesa hotel deals directly, visit