General Motors announced it will hire 1,000 workers for an information technology center in Chandler. Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny will talk about the latest boost to his city’s economy.
Ted Simons: Good evening, welcome to "Arizona Horizon." I'm Ted Simons. General Motors announced yesterday it plans to open an I.T. innovation center in Chandler. Could mean 1,000 new jobs in the east valley. Here is Chandler mayor Jay Tibshraeny. Good to see you again. Thanks for joining us. What is an I.T. invasion center?
Jay Tibshraeny: I.T Invasion center, at least in this instance it's center where G.M. will do research and development into software to put in automobiles. It's for information technology services, software development.
Ted Simons: Basically G.M. car in the near future you leave the door open, the voice says you left the door open, that was probably developed or programmed in Arizona.
Jay Tibshraeny: we're one of four.
Ted Simons: where are the others?
Jay Tibshraeny: The others, this is a new concept. They are taking their information technology software development, it used to be outsourced, they are doing it internally now. So they have located four of these to help them develop the software. One of them obviously Chandler, Arizona, in Michigan, a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, and Austin, Texas, are the others.
Ted Simons: Why Chandler?
Jay Tibshraeny: Besides being known as the southwestern innovation and technology hub, that's one reason, but that corridor is very, very strong. But this was a team effort. I think they looked at Arizona and with Arizona commerce authority and G-PEC, and Chandler partnering and working on this together because of maybe it entailed some of the other high profile companies that located in that corridor they said Chandler. Plus they are going to lease so they have a developer that can build them a building quickly. That building has not started construction yet. It's a 200,000 square foot building. They want it to be up and running a year from now, so they will work close with the city. We have good expertise in turning around projects, getting them up and running. I think there was a lot of factors in locating in Chandler.
Ted Simons: Where will the building be located?
Jay Tibshraeny: It will be at the 101 and 202 in Chandler. Chandler fashion mall in Chandler, this is just south of there.
Ted Simons: Okay. Near that hub, that hollowed out building?
Jay Tibshraeny: Maybe we'll get another high-tech company to locate there eventually. That's the game plan.
Ted Simons: What about incentives? Folks not excited about the city, of the state offering incentives to folks like G.M. How important were incentives in this deal?
Jay Tibshraeny: We're dealing with national competition for these and incentives were important. We're very prudent in Chandler and I know the state is also about when and how you offer them and look at all the factor involved with that. There was incentives on both of our ends to get this. I doubt that we offered more than whoever we were competing against. But I think those help secure these kinds of projects.
Ted Simons: As far as the city is concerned it was reported Arizona Republic had $1200 for the first 750 jobs, 900 for the next 250 with a cap at I believe at 1,000 jobs and/or 1.13 million.
Jay Tibshraeny: about 1.1 million. I think the state has some money in too based on other things. It's job-based performance and there's a cap on it. We looked at the numbers and it made sense.
Ted Simons: It made sense for them, obviously, as well. What about having ASU nearby? Even U of A near by in a sense as well. How much of a factor?
Jay Tibshraeny: They are going to be hiring a 1,000 people. A rot of -- lot of them will be information technology graduates. They say 30-35% of the people they hire will be new graduates. That means they are looking at your university system. Can you support that structure. Not only were they favorably impressed with Arizona state university and University of Arizona they are looking at educational opportunities within five or 600 miles of that location. That takes them into California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, so on. They are looking at that and they were fairly impressed with what they would have to draw on.
Ted Simons: airport nearby a factor as well?
Jay Tibshraeny: They didn't mention it but I'm sure it is. We have a great airport in Sky Harbor. That was good. Transportation obviously very important. That was good too.
Ted Simons: We're talking about 1,000 jobs?
Jay Tibshraeny: Correct.
Ted Simons: What skill level -- you referred to that earlier. Give us a better indication of skill level and corresponding salary ranges.
Jay Tibshraeny: He didn't give me the salaries. They call them highwage jobs. Information technology degrees from universities would be your skill level. Which is good news for people even starting to school now. Wondering what should I get my degree in. This is another area. We have engineers at Intel, technology at General Motors. There will be a lot of college graduates.
Ted Simons: Are these new jobs or transfer jobs?
Jay Tibshraeny: These are new jobs.
Ted Simons: these are people that basically will be hired out here as opposed to coming from other areas.
Jay Tibshraeny: True. What we're looking at from Chandler's perspective, new people coming in. Even if they are not hired from within the state they will be moving into Chandler hopefully or the east valley and homes and adding to our economic base.
Ted Simons: last question, we talked about the price road corridor, trying to make that, turning it into a technology hub. Is this in the pride road corridor?
Jay Tibshraeny: This is right smack dab in the middle. It's helping cement our reputation as a regional hub for technology and innovation. It was a good addition to our company, a fortune 500 company adding to some of the great companies already in that corridor.
Ted Simons: how long did it take for this deal to happen? Was this something that happened quickly or did they look into this site for quite awhile?
Jay Tibshraeny: We have been working on this since last summer.
Ted Simons: wow.
Jay Tibshraeny: Early last summer. These things take a lot of time an there's a lot of competition.
Ted Simons: we're going to see people up and running in a year?
Jay Tibshraeny: They want to be up and running a year from now.
Ted Simons: wow.
Jay Tibshraeny: occupying that building.
Ted Simons: Well congratulations. Sounds like things are happening.
Jay Tibshraeny: lots more to come.
Ted Simons: sounds good. Thanks for joining us.
Jay Tibshraeny: Thanks.
Jay Tibshraeny:Mayor, Chandler;