Economic Development and Education Strategic Plan

A diverse, vibrant economy that provides economic opportunity for residents is essential to achieving the City’s aspirations for a high quality of life.  Creating and preserving jobs and enhancing our revenue base are key objectives. Businesses, neighborhoods and individual residents benefit from the improved quality of life that the City’s economic development efforts create. The most important building block of a strong economy is an educated and productive workforce.

Priorities

Create and retain high-quality jobs focusing on key domestic and international business sectors. 

To a great extent, the quality of life for Phoenix residents will be dependent on the number and quality of jobs created and retained that are convenient and appropriate for residents of the city of Phoenix.

Strategies

  • Support the attraction of wealth-generating, emerging technology, manufacturing, producer service, renewable energy and bio-science employers to the city of Phoenix.
  • Support the retention and expansion of key wealth-generating employers.
  • Attract foreign direct investment from around the world.
  • Further develop the creation of a film production industry as a key business sector.

Foster an environment for entrepreneurial growth.  

Entrepreneurs make critical contributions to the economy, including the generation of new jobs. Energized, educated entrepreneurs create economic opportunity for others and enhance a culture of innovation.

Strategies

  • Facilitate the retention and expansion of small- and medium-sized wealth-generating businesses, particularly businesses focused on innovation, technology, finance/business services, and bio-sciences.
  • Participate in regional collaboration to enhance entrepreneurial opportunities.
  • Support and grow diversity in Phoenix business ownership.
  • Support initiatives that create and expand venture capital funds.

Revitalize the urban areas of Phoenix. 

Thriving urban cores are critical to the economic health and well being of the entire metropolitan area.  Strong urban centers enhance Phoenix’s image and should be reflective of the city’s collective social and economic aspirations as a region.

Strategies

  • Support development of the downtown research and educational campuses.
  • Promote residential and commercial infill compatible with neighborhoods.
  • Promote adaptive reuse of existing structures.
  • Enhance the city by redeveloping Brownfields.
  • Comprehensively revitalize targeted neighborhoods.
  • Engage and collaborate in Discovery Triangle.

Expand the City’s revenue base.

Sales taxes provide the largest source of local government funding. Phoenix needs to attract and retain a fair share of retail activity to sustain quality public services for residents.

Strategies

  • Continue efforts to preserve and expand the city’s retail sales tax revenue base.
  • Attract new auto and other vehicle dealerships and retain existing auto centers/corridors.
  • Market the Phoenix Convention Center.
  • Promote and market the region to the business and leisure traveler.
  • Support professional/amateur/youth sports, film, entertainment, and special events, which generate tourism revenue.
  • Encourage the revitalization of existing retail centers and neighborhood retail businesses.

Develop and retain qualified talent to meet the needs of business and the community.  

A skilled workforce is essential for an economy to sustain and enhance its competitiveness. A workforce development strategy that allows employers to grow and residents to enhance their income is critical to maintaining a high quality of life for Phoenix residents.

Strategies

  • Provide assistance to job seekers and employers by focusing on high skill, technology, and other key occupation areas.
  • Collaborate regionally with community colleges, universities, and other providers to develop school and training curriculum to develop skill sets for targeted key business sectors.
  • Strengthen the relationship between the public-sector workforce programs and the business community.
  • Coordinate and enhance economic development efforts with the education community by promoting quality STEM models within the K-12 system, including math and science career pathway programs that provide real world context.
  • Focus resources on enrichment and education programs through community centers and libraries.
  • Promote access to information technology and provide Phoenix residents with instruction and access to available resources.

Promote early literacy and prepare young children for academic success.

Early childhood development is critical in preparing youth for success in school and developing a foundation of knowledge, skills, and life-long learning in families and the community.

Strategies

  • Promote the increased funding of early childhood development, health, and social service programs.
  • Collaborate with community resources to ensure all children have access to preventative and continuous health care, including physical, oral, mental, and nutritional health.
  • Support families with the information and services they need to help their children achieve academic success.
  • Partner with institutions of higher education to train well-qualified early childhood teachers and care providers.

Commit to achieving educational excellence for all Phoenix residents through sponsored facilities and programs.

The future success of the region depends on ensuring that residents are prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st Century as educated, productive and engaged residents.

Strategies

  • Partner with schools, after-school providers, neighborhood organizations, businesses and other stakeholders to maximize educational opportunities for Phoenix residents.
  • Leverage educational resources at Phoenix public libraries, including access to information technology.
  • Promote sports, experiential learning, arts and other recreation programming known to improve learning outcomes.
  • Focus resources on quality youth engagement, enrichment and education programs through community centers, libraries and school-based, after-school programs during out-of-school hours, when children are most at risk.
  • Increase access to, and success in, higher education through the College Depot.