Economic Development Advisory Board
Laura Snow, Chair
Jo Anne Wilson, Vice Chair
Benedictine University at Mesa
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Phoenix
Gateway Commercial Bank
Jeff S. Pitcher
Ballard Spahr, LLP
The Boeing Company
Mayor, City of Mesa
City Manager, City of Mesa
Southwest Business Credit Services
Campbell Law Group, Chartered
Crocket Law Group PLLC
Mesa Chamber of Commerce
The Quick Jab
City of Mesa launches new brand for Falcon Field area
Plus new additions to the Airport
The City of Mesa Office of Economic Development has launched a new brand for the Falcon Field Economic Activity Area in northeast Mesa. The area has been designated the “Falcon District” complete with a new logo and website to promote the District as a destination for aerospace, defense, manufacturing, and technology companies.
The Falcon District is anchored by Falcon Field Airport and encompasses more than 35 square miles of retail, commercial, and industrial parks, as well as quality residential neighborhoods. Companies such as Boeing, MD Helicopters, Orbital ATK, Special Devices Inc., and NAMMO Talley have major operations in the Falcon District.
This new brand for the Falcon District will help bring local and national recognition as a vibrant advanced manufacturing hub, ideal for medical technology companies, advanced business services, and next generation aerospace and defense. We will be telling the story of the Falcon District as a very special place with a dense cluster of world-class manufacturing and technology companies, an abundant and highly-skilled workforce, and open space which offers protection from encroachment, security and certainty for long-term planning.
The branding effort was a result of recommendations detailed in the Falcon Field Economic Activity Area Strategic Plan published in September 2014. The plan contained several action items for the District including increased emphasis on business attraction, expansion, and retention activities, as well as a brand and marketing plan to promote the opportunities. During the summer of 2015, the Office of Economic Development conducted meetings, interviews, and focus groups with area employers, property owners, developers, residents, and stakeholders, which resulted in the new Falcon District brand.
The website, www.MesaFalconDistrict.com, contains information including key industries, demographics, utilities, workforce, available real estate, and much more.
New Falcon Field Airport Terminal
In addition to the new Falcon District brand, the City-owned Falcon Field Airport terminal is being renovated with construction expected to be finished in November. The completion of the $2 million project will be celebrated with a ribbon-cutting celebration for the general public on December 12 at 11:00 AM. www.FalconFieldAirport.com
Falcon Office Center
The City of Mesa is promoting a development site for a new office/hangar complex on the northwest corner of Falcon Field Airport at the intersection of Greenfield Rd. and McDowell Rd. The development, proposed as the Falcon Office Center, could support a 180,000 sq. ft. building with a combination of office and hangar space. The complex would be well suited for aviation-related companies or companies with corporate aircraft.
Companies considering locating or expanding in the Falcon District may contact Andrew Clegg, Project Manager, City of Mesa Office of Economic Development, at Andrew.Clegg@mesaaz.gov or 480-644-3961.
HIGHER EDUCATION ROUNDUP
A.T. Still University supports Special Olympics’ Healthy Athletes Initiative
A.T. Still University and Special Olympics Arizona teamed up on 9/11 for Patriot Day, a national day of service, and an opportunity for more than 200 athletes to receive free sports physicals – an event to support Special Olympics’ Healthy Athletes® initiative.
Members from the Mesa Fire and Medical Department Honor Guard & Pipes and Drums, City of Mesa Police Department, and Olympic gold medalist, Misty Hyman, attended to show their support.
Athletes participated in a range of screenings and evaluations including musculoskeletal testing to dental screenings and hearing examinations. Nearly 600 athletes and volunteers united to celebrate healthy and active lifestyles.
The event marked the first stand-alone Special Olympics Healthy Athletes gathering hosted by any medical university nationwide. www.atsu.edu
Benedictine University at Mesa hits enrollment benchmark, new programs being added
Benedictine University at Mesa hit its first enrollment benchmark when more than 300 students enrolled for fall 2015 classes.
New to BenU at Mesa this fall is a concentration in Medical Spanish for the existing Spanish major. The concentration in Medical Spanish addresses the impact on health care and the socioeconomic challenges faced by the U.S. Hispanic population, and provides students with an emphasis on medical terminology, vocabulary and cultural proficiency to help them meet the needs of Latinos in various health care settings and emergency situations.
In addition, two new degree programs have been added – a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Arts and Design and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with an available concentration in Pre-Law for classes beginning in 2016.
BenU’s Department of Political Science offers students many opportunities for hands-on participation in public service activities. Students annually participate in Model United Nations and Mock Trial competitions, consistently placing high.
The Pre-Law concentration provides students with an understanding of government systems and social problems while they gain skills in critical analysis. The concentration is an option for Political Science majors who plan to attend law school.
Athletic programs are also expanding. Students will be able to choose to play one (or more) of 12 sports with the addition of baseball and women’s basketball beginning in 2016-17. BenU at Mesa, a member of the California Pacific Conference (CAL PAC) currently offers 10 NAIA sports: men’s and women’s cross country, golf, tennis and volleyball, softball, and men’s basketball. Dance and cheer teams are available as club sports.
The Benedictine University at Mesa Redhawks women’s volleyball team made history when it competed as a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) during the Arizona Christian University tournament in Phoenix in late August. The team went undefeated in the tournament. www.ben.edu/mesa
MCC awarded Department of Education TRIO Student Support Services Grant
Individualized counseling and noncognitive skill development promotes success.
Mesa Community College (MCC) has been awarded a TRIO Student Support Services Grant (SSS) from the U.S. Department of Education to help college students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds succeed in obtaining a higher education. MCC will receive $220,000 annually for five years to increase retention, graduation, and transfer rates of eligible students.
“Educational attainment is one of our critical community needs in Mesa. Last year alone more than 12,000, or 79%, of MCC students who applied for financial aid were considered eligible for TRIO-SSS participation,” Dr. Shouan Pan, MCC President, said. “This grant positions MCC to participate in a nationwide effort to provide effective evidence-based interventions to help more students succeed in attaining a higher education.”
Each semester, 140 eligible students will be selected to participate in the MCC SSS program. Program participants will receive individualized counseling, and be required to attend weekly program activities such as orientations, panel discussions, coaching sessions, workshops, seminars and cultural events.
The TRIO Student Support Services Grant program will play a critical role in integrating the lower-income college students into Mesa’s skilled workforce of tomorrow. www.mesacc.edu
Upper Iowa University offers classes at your convenience
Upper Iowa University (UIU) is a regionally accredited, not-for-profit, liberal arts university with a unique academic calendar that offers year-round courses. The first of six 8-week terms in 2015-16 began August 24, with five additional terms beginning October 19, January 4, February 29, May 2, and June 27. A personal advisor is available to help students tailor their academic plan and advise them on financial aid. Associate degree credits can be easily transferred and UIU will take up to 90 college credits from other colleges and universities. Learn more by visiting UIU at the East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT) campus at 1601 W. Main St., Building 15, Mesa, Arizona 85201, or call, 480-461-6790.
Wilkes University offers a unique approach to professional development
Preparing students for lifelong success is at the core of the Wilkes mission. Each undergraduate student takes part in the Personal and Professional Development (PPD) series, an innovative way for students to discover their interests and unleash their true potential.
The PPD series engages students in a process of discovery and development, exploring their strengths, weaknesses, and competencies as they learn professional skills such as: résumé writing; interview skills; leadership and management skills; workplace etiquette; and networking tips.
Combined with small classes and personal attention, Wilkes students graduate with the skills needed to excel in their professional path, at a competitive cost. Tuition for a bachelor’s degree can be as little as $1,100 per semester after scholarships and with financial aid.
NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS
International Outreach: China meets Mesa City Limitless®
Visit Mesa, the destination marketing organization (DMO) for the City of Mesa, will be conducting it’s first-ever China Sales Mission in October. Produced by East/West Marketing Corp, this mission will establish relationships with the top-producing Chinese tour operators and wholesalers, and introduce buyers to new Arizona travel product. Kimberly Freer, senior vice president at Visit Mesa, will attend the mission that will include visits to Chengdu, Shanghai, and Xian, China, as well as Taipei, Taiwan.
Visit Mesa’s sales team also produced a product training video in Mandarin that highlights the unique attributes of Mesa, the surrounding region and notable destinations in Arizona including both the Grand Canyon and Sedona. The video will be showcased during presentations and appointments, and was produced in collaboration with Arizona China and Travel Tours.
During the week-long mission, Chinese clients will be introduced to Mesa, a mascot lizard that was featured throughout the video and will be showcased during Visit Mesa’s scheduled trainings. The lizard will connect Mesa’s destination appeal to a character unique to our location.
To expand upon the success of Visit Mesa’s social media campaign in China, which generated 250,000 followers on China’s popular social media site Weibo last year, the lizard will be spending the week with Visit Mesa’s Essentially America sweepstakes winner when they visit the city later this year. Visit Mesa staff will also conduct photo opportunities with the lizard mascot throughout the upcoming mission in those key Chinese destination cities.
Visit Mesa is one of the only Arizona DMOs proactively targeting China and this is the second year the organization has directly marketed to Chinese consumers. Chinese travelers have a foreign travel direct spending impact of $165 billion annually, and in the U.S. alone are among one of the fastest growing groups of travelers.
Visit Mesa will promote its convenient one-stop access through Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Las Vegas for extended-stay visitors. To learn more, contact Greg Allison, director of travel industry sales, at 480-682-3641 or Greg@VisitMesa.com. www.VisitMesa.com.
Arizona Commerce Authority opens applications for training grant up to $4,000 per new employee
The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) recently announced the Job Training Incentive Program will be ending December 31, 2016 with funding for the program being terminated December 31, 2015. With funds still available, the ACA has revised the structure of the program to include a competitive selection process until termination, as opposed to the previously used “first-come, first-serve” model. The goal of the Job Training Program, as a job-specific grant program, is to meet the training needs of employers, increase the skill and wage levels of employees, and create new jobs. The maximum award amount for the program is now $1 million per employer, with rural and small businesses eligible to receive up to $4,000 per employee, and all other businesses eligible to receive up to $2,500 per employee. Once a grant is awarded, an employer training net new employees may take up to one year to complete the approved training plan.
This program is an excellent way to decrease the burden of new employee training costs for employers. If you have further questions or would like assistance, please contact Cindy Grogan at CindyG@azcommerce.com. Visit the link below to learn more and submit an application via ACA’s Electronic Application System (also known as “EASY”). The deadline for submission for this competitive round is October 14, 2015.
Learn more at www.azcommerce.com/incentives/job-training.