Glendale's new business means new jobs
by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on September 13th, 2016

By: Robert Heidt, azcentral.com​

In real estate, it’s about “location, location, location.” For us, it’s about “relationships, relationships, relationships.”
 
2016 has been a terrific year for economic development in Glendale, and the city is moving forward fast from the recent economic crisis that hit many cities hard.
 
This summer, the chamber reached the exciting milestone of adding its 1,000th member, and it is a result of the relationships we have built within the business community. Glendale is open for business. Companies large and small are making significant investments here, and there is more to come.
 
More than a dozen companies ranging from health-care providers to technology and business-service industries have either moved to Glendale recently or announced growth plans. That translates to about 3,300 new jobs in the months and years ahead.
 
A unified effort
 
We know these businesses have chosen to invest in our community in part because they see the unified effort between the chamber and city leadership that is driven by a core philosophy that great partnerships are of great business value.
 
That’s really what it’s about for us. As an industry, chambers have become too transactional; we’ve returned our focus to personal relationship-building with our city leaders, elected officials and with businesses.
 
Glendale’s new city manager, Kevin Phelps, has stated that he is especially proud of the strong collaboration between elected officials, city staff and the chamber as we establish a locally based economic-development vision. This vision must be supported with coordinated public policies designed to create an environment where it’s easier for business to open and create well-paying jobs.
 
The city leaders are showing they embrace having a strong business-advocacy organization like the chamber in their community, and we believe that working in tandem with them on economic development and other community initiatives is crucial. We have already seen results from our partnership, and I believe it will only pick up momentum benefiting everyone in Glendale.
 
As a team, we are homing in on strengthening the foundation of existing business relationships, such as with Conair Corp., which has reaffirmed its longstanding commitment to this city in a major way.
 
Good news from Conair
 
Conair is a global brand name known for manufacturing hair dryers, curling irons and other grooming products. In 1992, it opened a distribution center in the vicinity of the Glendale Airpark. In 2009, it went on to expand operations in the midst of the downturned national economy by opening a national return center. Fast forward seven years and Conair has just announced it has broken ground on a $40 million expansion to its existing campus. When complete, this state-of-the-art global-distribution and e-commerce center will be part of a 2.3-million-square-foot campus with almost 53 acres under-roof. In Maricopa County, only the Intel campus will be larger than Glendale’s Conair campus.
 
The expansion will bring with it hundreds of new jobs employing 750 people at buildout. The new jobs will be at all levels ranging from management and executive staff to customer-service representatives. A skilled workforce is vital to a strong economy, and we are thrilled with this news.
 
In addition, Kevin Phelps and Glendale’s Economic Development Director Brian Friedman and I have been focused on visiting dozens of local businesses of all sizes. We are there to listen and to learn. We want to find out the problems businesses are facing and how we can assist.
 
The Glendale Chamber of Commerce and the city of Glendale are on a mission to achieve a broader, stronger economy that results in the expansion of the labor force and an improved quality of life for those who call Glendale home.
 
Glendale is clearly growing and achieving results time and time again. We have many reasons to be proud. And, we are.
 
Robert Heidt is CEO and president of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce.


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