How Scottsdale Became a Global Destination for Business

-By Julia Steege-Reimann-

Scottsdale, Arizona’s award-winning economic strategy attracts, retains, and develops companies.

While Scottsdale, Arizona has long been known for the natural beauty of the Sonoran Desert, more recently it has become known as a global destination for business.

“We know the residents feel the energy and excitement we put into our work on a daily basis to make Scottsdale a better place to live,” said Rob Millar, Economic Development Director of Scottsdale. 

In fact, multiple data points highlight that Scottsdale’s efforts are paying off. 

Datafox recently named Scottsdale the best place to live, work, and launch a startup. Wallethub rated Scottsdale as the top city in the US for jobs in 2019. And results from The National Community Survey (The NCS), a survey that the City regularly conducts to gather feedback from residents, also recognize Scottsdale’s economic strengths. With the exception of cost of living, Scottsdale residents rated all aspects of the City’s economy higher than the national benchmark.

Scottsdale’s leadership in business support has been recognized with a 2019 Voice of the People Award for Excellence in the Economy. This is the only national award that honors local governments based on feedback from residents. The award is presented by National Research Center (NRC) and the International City & County Management Association (ICMA). This award acknowledges local governments that have the highest ratings on The NCS and that take the best actions on behalf of their communities.  

An Economic Strategy

In 2015, Scottdale adopted a five-year Economic Development Strategic Plan. The mission of this plan was for “the City of Scottsdale to retain, grow and attract targeted sources of wealth generation to enhance the community’s tax base and quality of life, preserve the natural environment, and foster prosperity for all citizens.”

“In practice this mission boils down to our department focusing on attracting new companies to Scottsdale, working to retain and grow existing companies, and helping to attract an educated and skilled workforce,” said Cristel Rodriguez, Economic Development Manager for the City of Scottsdale.

Attracting New Companies

To attract new companies, Scottsdale partners with the Arizona Commerce Authority, Greater Phoenix Economic Council and utility partners. It focuses on attracting the target industries of technology, advanced business services, healthcare, and hospitality.

Retaining and Growing Existing Companies

To retain and grow existing companies, Scottsdale meets with approximately 100 existing companies each year. At these meetings, the City connects companies with programs, resources, and other companies in the area. Scottsdale also often provides research to local companies related to demographics and labor analytics.

Attracting and Retaining a Quality Workforce

To attract and retain a quality workforce, Scottsdale created a Choose Scottsdale Job Board that is available to any Scottsdale-based business to post positions for free. The city also highlights a new “Job of the Week” to several thousand followers and produces a monthly E-Newsletter that features important information for employers.

The City is also partnering with Scottsdale Community College and Arizona at Work to put on a joint job fair. Scottsdale’s leaders hope to continue to deepen partnerships such as these with colleges, businesses, and other agencies.

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