CHANDLER, Ariz. — Chandler, Ariz. is 110 years old, and what once was a small town of about 10,000 people is now home to more than 270,000.
Micah Miranda is the economic development director for the city of Chandler, which he said was once known for its agriculture.
“When we look at when the first fab that was put in West Chandler on Chandler Boulevard back in the 1980s, there was nothing out there,” Miranda said. “It was, again, fields, right? So farmers, alfalfa, cotton was a major part of Chandler's economy.”
Kevin Hartke, the mayor of Chandler, said the city is now known for its semiconductors.
“We are known as a semiconductor manufacturing, advanced manufacturing city, a city of innovation and our roots of farming are only preserved in the museum,” Hartke said.
Technology company Intel laid roots in Chandler in 1979 and began production in 1980. As Intel grew, so did the city.
“When Intel originally showed up, there was a lot of excitement around it. itwas really building upon our historic tech climate; Motorola, Boeing, Honeywell all had major operations out here,” Miranda said. “So it was seen in that vein, and they came in and they grew over time. And as they grew, the community grew around them. So we've really grown hand in glove with Intel over the past 42 years.”
Intel’s Ocotillo campus currently has four fabrication facilities also called FABs. The campus employs about 12,000 people. Last year, the company began building two new “fabs” that are expected to create another 3,000 jobs.
“We look at the induced or indirect employees. Statewide, it's probably another 55,000 employees that Intel's presence is responsible for,” Miranda said. “So it's almost a one-to-five ratio, and that's everything from your CPA, to your florist to your graphic designer, to your local barber. So they provide a lot of ancillary opportunities for professional growth, job growth and upward mobility within the community.”
A similar effect is expected in Ohio. Gov. Mike DeWine’s office said Ohio’s megaproject will generate more than 20,000 jobs in the state, including 3,000 direct Intel jobs and 7,000 construction jobs.
In Arizona, Intel has brought in large and small businesses. Mark Wagner is from Ohio and came to Arizona in 2007. He and his wife, Stephanie, own Decadent Macaron, located just a few miles from Intel’s campus.
“We saw that domino effect of having the good population increases, people wanting to spend money in the smaller businesses,” Wagner said. “So we’ve really seen the, the after effects of that in these areas. That's allowed businesses like us to really thrive, you know, over the past six years.”
Wagner credits Intel for helping his small business feel financially secure.
“I think 100% that it does that,” Wagner said. “That has given us the economic security, ... like this supports us wanting to grow into a second location without having to worry about, you know, even with the inflation and the labor shortages and everything like that.”
Based on 2019 data, Intel’s estimated annual economic impact in Arizona is more than $8.6 billion.
“I think Intel's total investment in Arizona exceeds $70 billion in terms of the what they put into here in terms of just hard costs. That doesn't that doesn't include the benefit of high wage employees in terms of how they add benefit to your overall community with discretionary spending,” Hartke said.
Miranda said a lot of that money is invested into the community.
“I have no problem saying that Intel is a significant driver of tax revenue for the city of Chandler whether direct or indirect, through those ancillary jobs in goods and services they purchased, they're very important not just to Chandler, but to the state in general,” Miranda said. “Intel, from our perspective has been a company that's invested back in the school districts, the communities, and the people of Chandler. They're major supporters of STEM education in the community, major supporters of our educational institutions. And so they really encourage their staff to volunteer and give back. And it's a corporate culture that really aligns with a lot of what Chandler values.”
Hartke said the company drives a lot of hospitality, including nights at hotels, shopping, eating in restaurants and much more.
"It's been what has put Chandler on the map as a quality city are known as one of the safest cities in the United States, an innovative city, a city with great education,” Hartke said. “And this can be if you so desire, this can be the future for you as well.”