By Terri Jo Neff |
State Senator Sine Kerr was recognized Thursday by the Arizona Manufacturing Council as its Legislator of the Year, while Dexcom received the group’s Manufacturer of the Year award, EMD Electronics was named Medium Manufacturer of the Year, and S&A Industries took home the title of Small Manufacturer of the Year.
Kerr (R-LD13) chairs the Senate’s Natural Resources, Energy, and Water Committee, and is a member of the Appropriations and the Transportation / Technology committees. She said she was honored to receive the award, and thanked her legislative colleagues for their support “of pro-business policies” which Kerr says continue to strengthen Arizona’s job creators, manufacturing, and economy.
Others recognized by the Arizona Manufacturing Council on Thursday include Advocate of the Year – Steve Trussell of Arizona Rock Products Association and the Arizona Mining Association; Excellence in Innovation Award – CP Technologies; Excellence in Sustainability – Lucid; and Economic Driver Award – intel.
The award summit also featured a statement by Gov. Doug Ducey, as well as a panel discussion about Workforce That Works and a legislative update from U.S. Rep. David Schweikert.
Ducey has declared October as Arizona Manufacturing Month to draw attention to all the manufacturing businesses in the state which play a vital role in expanding Arizona’s economy. Currently there are 179,500 manufacturing jobs in Arizona, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
During his comments, Ducey said one of his priorities is pushing back against policies coming from Washington D.C. that are slowing the nation’s and Arizona’s economic recovery. He also pointed to the state’s positive reputation for being receptive to new businesses has helped make Arizona a global manufacturing hub.
“We are committed to bringing many more high-tech manufacturing companies to our state with our friendly business climate and talented workforce,” he said. “This month, Arizona is proud to recognize all the hardworking men and women who are making key contributions to our state.”
The governor’s office released several statistics about Arizona’s manufacturing sector, including the fact that between 2016 and 2020 the state ranked number two in the country for manufacturing job growth. In addition, total manufacturing exports grew by $2.1 billion in 2019 to a record high of $24.7 billion.
Specific industries which reported significant manufacturing employment growth from 2015 to 2019 include optics and photonics (46 percent increase), bioscience (43 percent increase), and chemicals, medical equipment, and pharmaceuticals (39 percent increase).