Our recent report, The Economic Impact of Arizona’s Manufacturing Sector, demonstrates how the manufacturing sector has been one of the fastest growing parts of the Arizona economy over the past decade. In March, manufacturers added 2,000 jobs in Arizona (1st in the country), even as the overall labor market shrank. The manufacturing sector has for decades been a focus of public policy and public investment, but despite these efforts, the story of American manufacturing since the late 1970’s has been one of slow decline – at least in terms of employment and at least relative to the rest of the world. However, since 2017, the state and to some extent the country have been undergoing something of a ‘manufacturing renaissance’.

On this edition of Common Sense Digest, Chairman and Host Earl Wright welcomes CSI Board Member and Co-Owner of Pivot Manufacturing Steve Macias and CSI Director of Policy & Research Glenn Farley to the show to discuss how policies enacted at both the state and federal level have contributed to manufacturing growth, what obstacles remain, the complex puzzle of workforce development, and much more. What has contributed to Arizona’s manufacturing renaissance? What challenges remain? Where do we go from here? All that and a lot more await you in this episode.

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Steve Macias is a co-owner of Pivot Manufacturing and has been the President and CEO since the company’s inception in 2000. Pivot is a vibrant part of the manufacturing community that does machining and assembly work for a variety of companies, primarily in the defense industry. Pivot has grown significantly during the last several years by leveraging the excellent relationships the company has built with existing customers into new manufacturing opportunities. Those opportunities are currently translating to another growth period as Pivot is expanding their building footprint to accommodate future production.

Glenn Farley is CSI Arizona’s Director of Policy & Research. For the past eight years he has worked in the Office of the Arizona Governor, most recently as Gov. Doug Ducey’s Chief Economist and a policy advisor. In that role he advised on issues of tax, fiscal, and regulatory policy, and was one of the Governor’s lead architects of his two major tax reforms. Mr. Farley has also led the budget team that produced the Executive revenue forecasts and caseload spending numbers that have helped ensure the longest run of conservative, structurally balanced budgets in State history. Mr. Farley has a Masters in Economics from Arizona State University’s WP Carey College of Business, as well as a B.S. from Arizona State University.