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AZ Technology & Innovation: Chandler as a High Tech Hub
Original Airdate: 2012-12-05

Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny discusses the City’s emergence as a leader in high technology.

 
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Ted Simons: In our continuing coverage of Arizona technology and innovation, we look at Chandler's growing reputation as a hub for high tech. I recently spoke with the Chandler mayor. Thank you very much. Thank you for being here. Good to see you again.
Jay Tibshraeny: Thank you for having me out. Appreciate being here.
Ted Simons: How did Chandler become a high-tech hub?
Jay Tibshraeny: It doesn't happen overnight. It is a long-term vision. I have been involved politically in the city about 30 years. It is visions of what you want to be and what you don't want to be. I think a long time -- when I first got involved politically, I didn't want Chandler to be a bedroom community, I wanted it to be a business community. So did many of our other forefathers. We put in place things to encourage and attract industry. It was a lot of hard work and a lot of vision and holding to your principles. Intel located in the community, Intel facilities in the state in Chandler. First one in west Chandler. Then when I was mayor, they located their second facility in the mid 90s into south Chandler. But those large facilities kind of anchored our high-tech businesses and then where Intel located for example on the corridor, southern end of it, Motorola located a huge facility. It is not there anymore. But those two huge locates and then a lot of other businesses kind of started going and getting attracted to it. And we put in a good
Ted Simons: The importance of Intel's presence can't be overstated. It is major out there. High-tech start-ups, Chandler ranked fourth in the country. It is pretty impressive what is going on out there. What is government doing to encourage start-ups?
Jay Tibshraeny: What we have done, because people don't realize, companies that are in Chandler, for example, today like Intel or microchip or other ones started as small companies. We have a facility in Chandler, a former high-tech facility. We called our innovations incubator. Smaller companies into smaller spaces, but we have access for them of nitrogen lines, for example, clean rooms, lab space, and where they can come in and kind of invent and work on their things. They pay rent. I mean, it is -- it is not a loss for the city. But we encourage that. We have about 60,000 square foot of the incubator space in Chandler seeing some pretty good results. U of A in there with 7,000 square foot doing a lot of their stuff. And they're also there to help the other companies that are there. So, the incubator has been successful, and what we hope will happen they will be the next Intel or next micro chip when they spin off --
Ted Simons: I know ASU is involved -- higher education in general. We hear that there is a lack of engineering folks, a lack of high-skilled workers that could be a concern for a place like Chandler. Talk about that.
Jay Tibshraeny: You know, when we located, this last expansion of Intel, which is a $5 billion expansion. It has like 5,000 construction workers and 1,000 permanent workers. That wasn't their main concern. They could hire those. And working with Dr. Crow from ASU, and Dr. Heart from U of A, that hasn't come to the forefront as a problem. I think they are addressing that. I know it was mentioned a few years ago. We are not running up against companies. Recruiting all of the time. Meeting with fortune 500 companies in the last month. Not coming up and saying hey we're not interested in your city or state because of the engineer graduates. I think the universities have picked it up and are addressing that concern right now.
Ted Simons: Is there a concern, talking about manufacturing jobs, the competition, threat of offshore to these particular jobs, this particular line of work, is there some concern there?
Jay Tibshraeny: Yeah, our competition, Chandler and the state, we're in a global competition. Intel, for example, has manufacturing plants all over the world. So, when we compete for a project, we're competing all over the world. We have competed fairly well. I think when you look at it overall, though, we need to continue to look how we can be more competitive, and how we can address. We're stronger in some areas and in some areas we're not. The president was out last January, as was the treasury secretary. I sent a letter after he won the election to congratulate him. If he is -- America getting these manufacturing plants, I offered my service to sit on a panel or be involved with that. We need to encourage more of it. We are doing okay. We are not getting our fair share of manufacturing. We are lucky in Chandler, we have Intel. I would like to see 10 of those in Arizona.
Ted Simons: Speaking of Intel. We mentioned that a lot. It is obviously a major player there. Is it too much of a player in Chandler? Is Chandler too dependent -- what happens if something goes wrong with Intel?
Jay Tibshraeny: We don't want that to happen. We are working hard on diversifying. They are such a large business and such a large facility. The facility to give people an idea, the facility in south Chandler, 700 acres there. They have room for a lot of expansion. West Chandler, 160 acres. West Chandler, research and development of brand new $300 million facility. South Chandler,high-volume manufacturing of their product. We have a couple of data centers, large data centers that have located. eBay, PayPal is there. Wells Fargo is there. And I could go on and on. We are trying to diversify. But that is also something that you have to be very careful about how dependent you get on one industry. We're cognizant of that and watching it. We are supplementing what is going on there.
Ted Simons: You mentioned the price row corridor a number of times. Where does it begin and end?
Jay Tibshraeny: Ends kind of like where Intel is in South Chandler, OKATIA Road and Price Road.
Ted Simons: North boundary --
Jay Tibshraeny: Probably Chandler Boulevard -- six, seven mile run and fairly, probably the most dynamic high-tech corridor in the state, one of the most dynamic in the western United States.
Ted Simons: Sounds like things are happening there. Good for the update and good to hear from you. Thank you for joining us.
Jay Tibshraeny: Thank you.

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