More than 100 people from throughout the Quad Cities heard Governor Doug Ducey say how pleased he is the Arizona economy has turned upward these past few months.
Ducey spoke during a morning breakfast program June 22 at Touchmark at the Ranch, a retirement resort in Prescott.
Introduced by Sanford Cohen, immediate past chair of the Prescott Chamber of Commerce, Ducey praised area business, city and town leaders for their aggressive and persistent effort to support existing businesses and woo new companies to Yavapai County.
He noted in particular Prescott Mayor Greg Mengarelli and Prescott Valley Mayor Harvey Skoog, saying they consistently were advocates for positive business and economic growth.
“Arizona really suffered during the Great Recession years of 2007 and 2008,” he said. “Businesses had to struggle to survive. At one time, the state was $1 billion in the red. But the past few years have seen a turn-around.”
His staff distributed a flyer that summarized economic advances in Arizona, including the greater Prescott area. Among those were:
- 160,000 new private sector jobs created
- 200,000 new residents in Arizona, and that growth is accelerating; Arizona is one of the fastest growing states in the nation.
- A falling unemployment rate – down by 2.2 percent.
- More than 300 companies have relocated to Arizona.
- Several new companies have selected Yavapai County as their home base, such as Vinyl Visions, RESAWear, Superior Industries and Signs Plus.
The first-term governor, who is running for re-election, said the Arizona Legislature focused upon finding essential support for education at all levels. “We put $2.7 billion into K-12 education. Districts across the state will reward all their employees with raises.”
Ducey applauded in particular two District 1 legislators, Rep. Noel Campbell and Sen. Karen Fann, both from Prescott. “These two legislators worked not only for what was good within their home districts, but also for the entire state.”
Ducey noted several major challenges ahead, including intensifying efforts to save and protect Arizona’s water rights and sustainability; and, finding continuing support for all levels of education, including identifying ways to keep students safe in all campus environments.
He also discussed the opioid epidemic. “In just these past few months, we’ve seen more than 4,000 overdoses and 800 deaths as a consequence of opioid and drug abuse.” He praised the legislature for passing the Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act, saying it was a major step in combatting the problem. A special session will focus specifically on the issue.
The crowd applauded when Ducey commented that Glendale will once again be the site for an NFL Super Bowl in 2022. “We know that thousands of people come to Arizona and travel the state both before and after the game. We all benefit economically from the money spent and the glowing visibility the state gains from such a popular event.”
But perhaps the biggest applause came when the governor was commenting about the influx of new residents. “As you know – and you are really affected by it here – a lot of people are relocating from California. I welcome them,” he paused, “…as long as they are not Dodgers fans.” QCBN
By Ray Newton, QCBN