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Technology

MESA: A Strategic Location for Technology Companies

Boasting a population of nearly 500,000, Mesa is the 36th largest city in the United States and third largest in Arizona. Larger than Miami, Minneapolis, Atlanta, and St. Louis, Mesa covers 138 square miles inside a 21-city region with a total population of 4.3 million, projected to reach 6 million by 2030. Smart companies such as Apple, Boeing, Bridgestone, FUJIFILM, and Mitsubishi all have large operations in Mesa.

WORKFORCE: ABUNDANT, SKILLED, AFFORDABLE

The Phoenix-Mesa metro labor pool is abundant, affordable, highly educated, and technically skilled. Arizona is a right-to-work state with a unionization rate of 4.5%.

Compared to other metro markets, Mesa offers a compelling value proposition for wage rates and payroll costs for many different technology occupations.

 Wage Comparison and Payroll Costs

Phx-Mesa
Metro
Denver
Metro
Austin
Metro
San Jose
Metro
Seattle
Metro
 Labor Force
 (Age 16+)
2,226,263 1,543,393 1,102,704 1,072,149 2,025,048
 Median Wage $42,300 $48,500 $45,300 $66,600 $53,600
 - Engineers $91,200 $93,500 $94,400 $123,900 $100,700
 - Software
   Developers &
   Programmers
$88,500 $96,900 $94,400 $131,400 $117,500
 - Computer
   Programmers
$79,400 $84,100 $82,500 $93,100 $122,200
 - Life Scientists $63,800 $62,500 $61,800 $101,100 $69,700
 - Biological
   Scientists
$63,400 $71,400 $59,600 $95,200 $75,700
 - Unemployment
   Insurance
   (per employee
   per year)
$140 $213 $243 $238 $558
 Source: JobsEQ - April 2017; US Dept. of Labor, Employment and Training
 Administration - January 2017

COMPETITIVE OPERATING COSTS

The Phoenix-Mesa metro area compares very well with other competitive technology markets.

Operating Cost Comparison
  Phx-Mesa
Metro
Denver
Metro
Austin
Metro
San Jose
Metro
Seattle
Metro
 Employee Annual
 Payroll
$4,239,672 $4,589,651 $4,463,786 $5,533,117 $4,869,055
 Annual Fringe
 & Mandated
 Benefits
$1,026,279 $1,112,204 $1,083,879 $1,368,844 $1,214,954
 Utilities
 (electric, water,
 wastewater)
$92,153 $68,913 $106,933 $167,717 $132,502
 Building/Lease
 Payments
$850,850 $864,500 $1,086,475 $1,719,900 $1,273,350
 Property Tax $112,320 $119,413 $118,990 $60,100 $52,303
 Total
 Operating Tax
$6,321,274 $6,754,681 $6,860,063 $8,849,678 $7,542,165
 Index 100.00% 106.90% 108.50% 140.00% 119.30%
 Source: GPEC, Applied Economics MetroComp Tool

LARGE EDUCATION PIPELINE

The Phoenix-Mesa metro area is fed by a remarkably large education pipeline.

 Higher Education: Quantity and Quality Comparison
  Arizona
State Univ.
Univ. of
Colorado
Boulder
Univ. of
Texas
Austin
Univ. of
California
Berkeley
Univ. of
Washington
Seattle
 Undergrad
 Enrollment
 (Fall 2016)
58,848 26,726 39,619* 29,310 31,418
 Fullbright
 Scholars
 National
 Ranking
 (2016-2017)
6th (tied) Unranked
(outside
top 15)
6th (tied) Unranked
(outside
top 15)
6th (tied)
Sources: Enrollment from individual school websites for Fall 2016 enrollment, asu.edu, cu.edu, *utexas.edu (fall 2015 enrollment), ops.berkeley.edu, opb.washington.edu; The Chronicle of Higher Education, Top Producers of Fulbright Scholars 2016-17

Moreover, the City of Mesa alone hosts more than 30,000 students at 12 institutions of higher education including Arizona State University (ASU) Polytechnic Campus, Benedictine University at Mesa, A.T. Still University, Mesa Community College, Chandler-Gilbert Community College, and DeVry University among others.

THE NATION'S LARGEST ENGINEERING PIPELINE

The Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at ASU ranks #1 in the nation in undergraduate enrollment for Engineering. ASU’s Research Awards for 2015 totaled $89.33 million and Research Expenditures were $89.06 million.

 Engineering Enrollment
  Bachelor's Master's Ph.D. Other Total
 ASU Polytechnic
 Campus (Mesa)
4,268 254 34 -- 4,556
 ASU, All
 Campuses
 (Tempe, Mesa,
 Online)
16,273 2,900 1,088 105 20,366
 Source: https://engineering.asu.edu/facebook/rankings/;
 https:///engineering.asu.edu/factbook/data/ (Fall 2016 Enrollment)

IN GOOD COMPANY

Mesa is home to more than 24,000 businesses including a large number of technology companies.

Apple Inc. purchased a 1.3 million square-foot building in the Elliot Road Technology Corridor investing $2 billion into converting the facility into its Global Command Center.

Auer Precision, is one of the leading Class A tool design/build and stamping companies in the world. Auer provides services to the medical, life science, semiconductor, greentech, and automation industries. Auer developed tooling for point-of-care diagnostic strips that launched the diabetic strip industry.

Boeing manufactures the Apache helicopter and composite parts, as well as components for many of Boeing’s other products at its Mesa facility.

Bridgestone Corporation’s Mesa facility is a state-of-the-art, biorubber research and development center exploring the use of the native Guayule plant as a sustainable source of rubber.

Cambridge Filter Corporation, a subsidiary of Kondoh Industries Ltd., manufactures and provides a complete line of highly-specialized air filters, particle counters, and cleanroom related equipment for the semiconductor, pharmaceutical, and medical industries, as well as other industrial applications.

Clean Router is a software startup based at Mesa’s LaunchPoint technology accelerator, and has developed the “Ultimate Parental Control.” Its system makes it easy to block websites and set time restrictions for all devices on one Wi-Fi network.

Dexcom, a leader in continuous glucose monitoring for patients with diabetes, expanded to Mesa in April 2017 opening a 180,000-square-foot manufacturing facility.

DSM Dyneema specializes in custom, high-performance laminates and fabric fibers to produce equipment for aerospace, medical, and other industries.

FUJIFILM Electronic Materials USA supplies advanced technology, chemistry, and delivery equipment such as photoresists, cleaners, and CMP slurries to the semiconductor and flat panel display fabrication market.

GECO designs and manufactures embedded hardware and software for military, medical, commercial, and industrial applications. In addition, GECO supports some the of the world’s most strategically important defense hardware and software systems.

Guided Therapy Systems, LLC is a medical technology company that develops, optimizes, and commercializes unique ultrasonic therapeutic and imaging medical devices and other related technologies.

Infineon is a pioneer and world leader in advanced power management technology from digital, analog, and mixed-signal integrated circuits to advanced circuit devices, power systems, and components.

Iveda Solutions, headquartered in Mesa, delivers secure, open source, and enterprise class managed video surveillance services by leveraging the power of cloud computing.

MD Helicopters, headquartered in Mesa, manufactures and markets helicopters for users around the world including police, medical transport, military, and commercial, among others.

Nammo Talley develops aircrew escape systems, automobile airbag components, dispensing systems, shoulder-launched weapons, and other key propellant-loaded devices. Its Mesa facility operates a complete industrial complex designed for the development, testing, and manufacturing of a wide range of propellant-based products.

Northrop Grumman is a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies. The company’s Armament Systems Test Facility is located in Mesa.

PCT International, with its headquarters and manufacturing facility based in Mesa, is a leading worldwide developer and manufacturer of last mile and access network solutions for broadband communication networks.

Pyramid Technologies, Inc. (PTI) manufactures and markets bill acceptors that incorporate dual-stage, optical, anti-stringing technology. Nearly 100 transactions a second (all day, every day) are processed around the world with PTI technology. PTI products are used in the retail, vending, amusement, and gaming industries.

Special Devices Inc., a Daicel company, specializes in high-volume production of pyrotechnic products such as high reliability initiators and micro gas generators for a variety of applications in the automotive, industrial, and medical devices industries. More than one billion of these devices have been produced and used worldwide.

Telonics is the most recognized and trusted name in the field of wildlife and environmental telemetry. Telonics products are used around the world in wildlife and environmental research programs, oceanographic and meteorological research, weather forecasting, military instrumentation, search and rescue, remote sensing and intrusion detection, and numerous other special applications.

Ulthera, a Merz company, is a global medical device company that develops and commercializes technologies for aesthetic and medical applications using its therapeutic ultrasound platform technology. Applications include non-invasive aesthetic lifts for skin above the eyebrow, on the neck and under the chin, as well as cosmetic procedures to correct cellulite. 

Urbix Resources, based at Mesa’s LaunchPoint technology accelerator, specializes in all aspects of the graphite value chain, and is a premier provider of graphite ore, refined graphite powders, graphene, and other advanced graphite products.

Other high-tech companies with significant operations in the Phoenix-Mesa metro area include:

  • Avnet
  • First Solar
  • General Dynamics
  • GoDaddy
  • Honeywell
  • IBM
  • Infusionsoft
  • Intel
  • JDA Software
  • L3 Communications
  • LifeLock
  • Microchip Technology
  • Medtronic
  • NXP (Freescale Semiconductor)
  • ON Semiconductor
  • Yelp

STRATEGIC LOCATIONS FOR TECH COMPANIES

Mesa has thousands of acres of shovel-ready land and a quality selection of commercial buildings available for your expansion or location. Here are just a few opportunities that can be found in Mesa.

LaunchPoint, the Mesa Technology Accelerator, is a unique place for entrepreneurs and small companies that provides flexible space, business development assistance, networking, and training opportunities. Located in the heart of Downtown Mesa, LaunchPoint helps companies launch and scale to create new jobs and capital investment in the community.

The Elliot Road Technology Corridor, home to Apple’s 1.3-million-square-foot global command center, is perfectly suited for large power users such as high-tech campuses, light advanced manufacturing, and data centers. The Corridor is uniquely positioned to offer more than 1,000 acres of shovel-ready sites with robust infrastructure and a streamlined entitlement process. Within the Corridor, the City of Mesa has created a Planned Area Development Zone that reduces entitlement risk and greatly expedites the development process. The land within the Elliot Road Technology Corridor is designated as light industrial, but landowners can keep their current zoning until they are ready to develop their property, at which time they can opt-in.

The Pecos Advanced Manufacturing Zone is located in southeast Mesa and is planned to become a campus setting for advanced manufacturing companies. The Zone is ideal for manufacturers interested in large parcels of land for their operations. Within the Pecos Advanced Manufacturing Zone, the City of Mesa has created an Employment Opportunity (EO) Floating Zone that reduces the entitlement risk and greatly expedites the development process. Much like the Elliot Road Technology Corridor, the EO Floating Zone allows landowners to keep their current zoning until ready to develop their property, at which time they can opt-in to the EO Floating Zone. 

Mesa’s Falcon Tech Center is the premier location in the Southwest for emerging and established medical technology companies. Located within Mesa’s Falcon District, a hotspot for aerospace, manufacturing, and technology, the Falcon Tech Center offers a high-end, campus setting where companies conducting research and development, manufacturing, or software development, have the unique advantage of locating with others in related industry sectors.