Advanced materials can grow Arizona’s economy and create quality jobs

New report shows Arizona’s advanced materials industry could support 66,000 jobs annually
Media Contact:

Tiffany Wong –  |  866.517.5045 ext. 703

Date Published: April 5, 2017

TEMPE, Ariz. – Building on Arizona’s strengths in advanced materials can maximize job growth and give the state a competitive economic edge. That’s according to The Arizona Jobs Project: A Guide to Creating Jobs in Advanced Materials, a new report created by the American Jobs Project in partnership with Arizona State University. The report is funded by The JPB Foundation, Incite Labs, the Berkeley Energy and Climate Institute, the Fung Institute, and the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society. This is the latest publication from the American Jobs Project after its release of ten state reports last year.

“Our research shows that smart policies and a focus on industrial clusters can allow states to become hubs of innovation and job creation in advanced industries that dovetail with a state’s own strengths,” said Tiffany Wong, author of the Arizona Jobs Project. “For Arizona, this approach could employ an average of 66,000 people annually in the advanced materials industry over the next 14 years.”

Millions of Americans lost good-paying jobs during the recession, and unfortunately, many of the jobs created during the recovery have been in relatively low-skill, low-income occupations. In contrast, the Arizona Jobs Project proposes innovative strategies to create thousands of skilled jobs that pay well for Arizonans today and into the future, informed by principles of competition, local control, and less red tape.

The report recommends state-specific policies and non-legislative solutions to support job creation by capitalizing on growing market opportunities and aligning manufacturing with critical economic system components, including access to capital, innovation ecosystems, and workforce development.

The Arizona Jobs Project finds that:

  • Arizona is home to 89 companies engaged in advanced materials development and application, including those working across large end-user industries such as aerospace, defense, solar, and electronics.
  • The advanced materials industry is an ideal mechanism for job growth in Arizona due to the state’s robust supply chain, deep materials research expertise at its universities, skilled manufacturing workforce, and a continued commitment to growing an entrepreneurial culture and business-friendly environment.
  • Advanced materials are the foundation for Arizona’s top manufacturing industries and can enable technological innovation for energy-efficient manufacturing and products, creating middle-income jobs for Arizonans and elevating Arizona companies in the marketplace.
  • By building strong economic foundations that support industry growth, Arizona’s advanced materials industry has the opportunity to employ an average of 66,000 Arizonans each year for the next 14 years.

Arizona State University’s Nikhilesh Chawla and Zachary Holman were advisors to the Arizona Jobs Project. Chawla stated, “The Arizona Jobs Project captures the importance of materials science and materials industries to the future of Arizona. It showcases the opportunities for growth and collaboration between university and industry partners.”

“With the policies recommended by the Arizona Jobs Project, Arizona is positioned to become a leader in advanced materials innovation, manufacturing, and use. I am particularly excited about industry-university partnerships as a mechanism to translate materials discoveries into job growth and value creation,” added Holman.

The American Jobs Project website features reports on Arizona and many other states, as well as a Policy Bank detailing best practices and innovative ideas for job growth in advanced energy and advanced materials industries. To learn more or to download a copy of the Arizona report, visit