Phoenix Hits The Top 5 in Small Business Wage Gainshttps://www.phoenix.gov/newsroom/ced/2294Community and Economic Development3/30/2022 2:00:00 PMhttps://www.phoenix.gov/newssite/Lists/NewsArticle/Attachments/2294/AdobeStock_Licensed-265809361.jpegPhoenix Hits The Top 5 in Small Business Wage Gains<div class="ExternalClass042A2BE9D3644E41B5F1404EA7B5D8E9"><html> <p></p> <span id="ms-rterangepaste-start"></span> <p>A 4.7 percent average gain in weekly small business earnings placed Phoenix fifth in the nation for year-over-year wage growth in the March 2022 Paychex IHS Markit Small Business Employment Watch.</p> <p style="text-align:center;"> <em>By Eric Jay Toll for the PHXNewsroom</em> </p> <p>Metro area average weekly earnings approached $993, just shy of the western states’ average of $1,036. Phoenix’s average small business hourly wage climbed 5.1 percent to $29.70 when comparing March 2022 to March 2021, ranking seventh among metropolitan areas in the U.S.</p> <p>Paychex IHS Markit publishes a monthly report based on data collected from companies using Paychex to manage small business payrolls. Phoenix small businesses have been pushing up the average paycheck over the past year.</p> <p>Last March, the Valley ranked 17th when compared to March 2020, with an average weekly wage of $930. By July 2021, year-over-year data showed the average weekly earnings moved up to $949. By December, the average small business weekly wages hit $963, and Phoenix moved into the top ten among U.S. metro areas.</p> <p>Arizona ranked fourth in the nation with small business upping weekly wages by 4.5 percent over last year. The statewide average wage is $946 per week. The average U.S. small business pays $29.99 per hour, still more than the Phoenix metro area. Statewide the average is $28.63.</p> <span id="ms-rterangepaste-end"></span> <p>​</p> </html></div>https://www.phoenix.gov/econdevNewscedCED
Phoenix Adds Nearly 90,000 Jobs in February Year-Over-Year Numbershttps://www.phoenix.gov/newsroom/ced/2286Community and Economic Development3/28/2022 2:30:00 PMhttps://www.phoenix.gov/newssite/Lists/NewsArticle/Attachments/2286/AdobeStock_364843654.jpegPhoenix Adds Nearly 90,000 Jobs in February Year-Over-Year Numbers<div class="ExternalClass5DD46A203EED4C23AD9D6C0AB4C7337D"><html> <p>​Greater Phoenix added nearly 90,000 new hires over the past year, according to the latest employment reporter from the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity. The metropolitan area unemployment rate continued to fall, dipping to 3.1 percent, down 0.1 percent from January and down from 6.7 percent a year ago.<br></p> <p style="text-align:center;"> <em>By Eric Jay Toll for PHXNewsroom</em> <br> </p> <p>Most hires took positions in the food and beverage industry sector reflecting seasonal hiring, increased tourism and more new restaurants opening this year than last February. Nearly 21,000 new positions were filled in the sector.</p> <p>Retail hiring was also strong with almost 15,000 new hires compared to last year. </p> <p>Professional, technical and scientific positions placed third, in a strong showing once again. More than 12,000 new positions were filled in the sector over the past year. The professional sector has been among the top three hiring sectors for the last five months in a row. This is the first time in the last five years the sector has had so many consecutive months of significantly increased hiring.</p> <p>Jobs in the scientific sectors reflect Phoenix’s nation-leading position in life sciences hiring, according to the CBRE 2022 Life Sciences market report.</p> <p>Arizona’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.6 percent, down from 3.7 percent in January and 6 percent a year earlier. The state added nearly 127,000 jobs in year-over-year comparisons with 30 percent of jobs statewide landing in areas other than Greater Phoenix. Dining and retail showed the greatest growth statewide outside the Phoenix metropolitan area.</p> <p>Manufacturing hiring continued its Greater Phoenix growth adding 5,400 jobs compared to February 2021 and outstripping construction hiring again. Another 7,500 jobs were added in health care hiring.</p> <p>Greater Phoenix continues to be among the strongest markets for hiring compared to other major metropolitan areas around the country, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.</p> <p> <br> <br> </p> <p> <br> </p> </html></div>https://www.phoenix.gov/econdevNewscedCED
Phoenix Expands the Bio Research Campus Brand; Welcome the ‘Phoenix Bioscience Core’https://www.phoenix.gov/newsroom/ced/2280Community and Economic Development3/23/2022 4:00:00 PMhttps://www.phoenix.gov/newssite/Lists/NewsArticle/Attachments/2280/BIO 20220104 PBC Video Thumbnail.jpghttps://youtu.be/wMA9blusmSsPhoenix Expands the Bio Research Campus Brand; Welcome the ‘Phoenix Bioscience Core’<div class="ExternalClass29D03E1BB7804A9AA00A6733580CB305"><html> <p>​Health-advancing discoveries underway in Phoenix show promise that the cure for cancers comes through the city’s biosciences ecosystem. </p> <p style="text-align:center;"> <em>By Eric Jay Toll for the PHXNewsroom</em> <br> </p> <p>The reason is the 30-acre Downtown bioresearch and discovery campus located between Fifth and Seventh streets in the city’s core. Bustling from a more than $600 million investment by the City of Phoenix and its partners, the campus is the core of a bio and life science ecosystem that rolls outward across the city and throughout Greater Phoenix.</p> <p>Recognizing its role at the center of driving translational discovery, Phoenix is rebranding the campus as the Phoenix Bioscience Core. The core partnership involves various major bioscience research organizations, including the Arizona Board of Regents, Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, University of Arizona, Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), Dignity Health and others. </p> <p>“Our bioscience landscape has expanded exponentially from the campus approach we first imagined for downtown,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. “Phoenix is now a center for treatments discovered and cures delivered. We lead the nation in bioscience job growth, and are recognized among the top five emerging life science markets. It is the right time to update our image to mirror this growth in medical technology, life sciences and medical devices.”</p> <p>Located on the edge of the Roosevelt Row Arts District and within the heart of the Evans Churchill neighborhood, the Phoenix Bioscience Core physical boundaries fall between Monroe and Garfield streets, and from Fourth to Seventh streets. With more than 20 institutes of research excellence located on or within a 2-mile radius of the PBC, bioscience companies have unprecedented collaboration partnership opportunities to accelerate novel innovations.</p> <p>“When the Flinn Foundation proposed that Phoenix follow the Arizona Bioscience Roadmap in 2002, few saw it as anything more than a dream,” said the Mayor. “Today, we’re seeing the destination at the end of that journey with our Downtown campus at its core.”</p> <p>Over the past two years, brokerage CBRE placed Phoenix in the top ranks of its life sciences scorecard. This year, the report showed Phoenix with the fastest-growing increase in life science jobs, more than any bio legacy market. Only Boston has more new bioscience facilities under development than Phoenix.</p> <p>The branding refresh doesn’t change the classic stylized Phoenix and globe depicting the core’s connection to the world of science from Phoenix; the new name will begin appearing around the Downtown campus and in marketing materials at the Bio International Conference in San Diego this summer.<br></p><div><br></div> </html></div>https://www.phoenix.gov/econdevVideocedCED
CBRE: Phoenix Tops Nation in 2021 Life Sciences Hiringhttps://www.phoenix.gov/newsroom/ced/2263Community and Economic Development3/9/2022 7:00:00 AMhttps://www.phoenix.gov/newssite/Lists/NewsArticle/Attachments/2263/NEWSROOM 20220309 Thumbnail Life Sciences Hiring.jpghttps://youtu.be/853QASj8YyICBRE: Phoenix Tops Nation in 2021 Life Sciences Hiring<div class="ExternalClass8CCE7AC93C9C46F797D732AE4349DC19"><html> <p></p> <div>Life science hiring in Greater Phoenix has paced the city to the top of the nation for emerging life science market job growth, according to a study by commercial real estate brokerage firm CBRE.</div> <div> </div> <div style="text-align:center;"> <em>By Eric Jay Toll for PHXNewsroom</em> </div> <div> <br> </div> <div>The company’s annual report for 2021 reported Phoenix with an 8.5 percent increase in life science hiring in year-over-year data. Phoenix’s growth topped job growth in legacy markets San Francisco (5.6 percent), Raleigh-Durham (5.0 percent), Boston (4.4 percent), Dallas-Fort Worth (3.8 percent) and Austin (3.7 percent).</div> <div> <br> </div> <div>“Phoenix has attracted and grown global innovators and leaders advancing precision medicine for the fight against cancer and other life-threatening diseases,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. “Investments of more than $500 million in the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, and new growth under development, underscore the vibrancy of our bioscience and life science ecosystem. It’s resulting in good jobs with high wages to support families, and more importantly, creating a center of innovation and an emerging cluster of advanced therapeutics which will benefit Arizonans and people worldwide.”</div> <div> <br> </div> <div>The trend is continuing. For December, the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity reported that professional, scientific and technical services hiring rose 12.2 percent in 2021 compared to December 2020. Another 14,600 jobs were added to the healthcare sector. Together the bio/life sciences healthcare industry sectors added more than one of every four new Greater Phoenix jobs in December 2021 year-over-year data.</div> <div> <br> </div> <div>The industry’s job growth also reflects in demand for more lab and research space, and Phoenix, again, is a leader in healthcare square footage under development. </div> <div> <br> </div> <div>CBRE reports 23.8 million square feet of labs under construction across the U.S. In the city of Phoenix alone, the Community and Economic Development Department shows more than 5.5 million square feet of bio/life science and primary healthcare facilities under construction or in the development pipeline.</div> <div> <br> </div> <div>Among the legacy life science markets, only the Boston metro area has more healthcare square footage in development than Phoenix. </div> <div> <br> </div> <div>In 2021, Wexford Science and Technology opened its first 227,000-square-foot ground-up lab and research facility on the Phoenix Biomedical Campus. Additional facilities are being planned on the campus. More than $3.5 billion has been invested in new bio/life science healthcare facilities in Phoenix, supporting more than 9,000 jobs anticipated over the next 24 months.</div> <div> <br> </div> <div>This is the second year in a row CBRE has highlighted Phoenix as a top emerging market in life sciences.<br></div> <div> <br> </div> </html></div>https://www.phoenix.gov/econdevVideocedCED
All Our New Neighbors; They’re Not Just From L.A.https://www.phoenix.gov/newsroom/ced/2239Community and Economic Development2/14/2022 7:00:00 AMhttps://www.phoenix.gov/newssite/Lists/NewsArticle/Attachments/2239/NEWSROOM-20220214-NEWS-Migration-Patterns-Map.jpgAll Our New Neighbors; They’re Not Just From L.A.<div class="ExternalClass24B0915C29774674848507817C4B02E0"><html> <p> <strong>Say “hello” to more than 230,000 new Phoenix neighbors. There are even more on the way, as Arizona continues its rapid population growth into 2022.</strong> </p><p style="text-align:center;"><strong><em style="font-size:13.3333px;text-align:center;">​By Eric Jay Toll for the PHX Newsroom</em>​<br></strong></p> <p>When you hear about all these people making Greater Phoenix their new home, do you wonder where they are moving from? </p> <p> <strong>The Top Migration Sources for Greater Phoenix</strong> </p> <p>The U.S. Census Bureau recently released data covering five years of migration patterns from its 2020 American Community Survey. </p> <p>Topping the list for new Phoenicians was the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, California metro area. More people moved into Greater Phoenix from L.A. than the entire population of El Mirage. Just about 38,000 Angelinos chose to make Phoenix their new home. The more than 11,600 people moving north from Tucson put that metro second on the list.</p> <p>Asian countries were the third-largest group, with over 10,500 people moving to Phoenix, almost the same number as the combined total of Central American, Mexican and Canadian immigrants coming to the Valley.</p> <p>Anyone wondering why the Cubs sell out all their spring training games and why so many Chicago- restaurants open in Phoenix needs to look at Windy City’s contribution to Phoenix’s nation-leading population growth. The Chicago metropolitan area, which includes counties in Indiana and Wisconsin, was the fourth-largest contributor of new residents, with almost 8,000 people leaving Lake Michigan snow for Sonoran desert sunshine.</p> <p>Central America (not including Mexico) ranked fifth, adding nearly 7,000 people to the Greater Phoenix population. Other metropolitan areas rounding out the top ten include Seattle, San Diego and Riverside, California, Flagstaff, and the combined totals from Mexico and Canada (the Census Migration Report does not separate the countries but instead combines them as “Northern America”).<br></p> <p> <strong>The Migration Patterns Are Not a Surprise</strong> <br> </p> <p>None of these migration patterns comes as a surprise to Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. “Phoenix is a city full of opportunity. People come here to improve their lives,” said the Mayor. “Large businesses are finding we have well-trained professionals in key industries like biosciences, engineering, and green energy. Small businesses are finding the support and resources they need to grow and thrive. Our new neighbors like the job opportunities, the accessible outdoor life, and the kind of welcoming neighborhoods that make them feel right at home.” </p> <p> <strong>Arizona Continues Fast Population Growth</strong> </p> <p>Even though the 2020 Decennial Census numbers have hardly been digested, the U.S. Census Bureau released its 2021 state population estimates on December 21. The new data projects Arizona will grow by nearly 100,000 people in 2021 over 2020, making the state the third fastest-growing. Only Texas and Florida added more people than the Grand Canyon State. Arizona continues to rank 14th nationally in population.</p> <p>Over the last three national census counts, seven out of ten new Arizonans moved into Greater Phoenix, a percentage that has increased each decade. When Census 2021 county and metropolitan area population estimates are released in March 2022, it is likely that the Valley will once again top the nation in population growth.</p> <p>“This data affirms what we are seeing in the market every day,” said Christine Mackay, Phoenix Community and Economic Development Director. “We are excited to continue to see impacts of Phoenix’s business environment, large workforce and quality of life in the attraction of new businesses and jobs into our community.”</p> <h3 style="text-align:center;"> TOP 20 SOURCES </h3> <p style="text-align:center;"><span style="font-size:24px;"> <strong>IN-MIGRATION TO PHOENIX</strong></span></p><p style="text-align:center;"><strong style="font-size:24px;background-color:window;color:windowtext;">Metro Area or Continental Region</strong></p> <p>1. Los Angeles, CA<br></p> <p>2. Tucson, AZ<br></p> <p>3. Asia<br></p> <p>4. Chicago, IL</p> <p>5. Central America</p> <p>6. Seattle-Tacoma, WA</p> <p>7. San Diego</p> <p>8. Riverside-San Bernardino, CA</p> <p>9. Flagstaff, AZ</p> <p>10. Canada and Mexico</p> <p>11. Portland, OR</p> <p>12. New York City</p> <p>13. Denver, CO</p> <p>14. Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN</p> <p>15. Prescott-Prescott Valley, AZ</p> <p>16. San Francisco Bay Area, CA</p> <p>17. Las Vegas, NV</p> <p>18. Europe</p> <p>19. Dallas-Fort Worth, TX</p> <p>20. Salt Lake City, UT<br></p> <p> <em>U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2015-2019.</em><br></p> </html></div>https://www.phoenix.gov/econdevNewscedCED
Micro and Small Business Grants Up to $15K Now Available for Phoenix Businesseshttps://www.phoenix.gov/newsroom/ced/2155Community and Economic Development12/1/2021 2:00:00 PMhttps://www.phoenix.gov/newssite/Lists/NewsArticle/Attachments/2155/PHXbizGrants Social Media 04 Grants For You Too.jpghttps://youtu.be/Jbb3_s0CO84Micro and Small Business Grants Up to $15K Now Available for Phoenix Businesses<div class="ExternalClass0FAB1F5DB6BC41FC95B6B44C645F545B"><html> <div> <span style="font-size:13.3333px;">Small business resiliency grants up to $15,000 are available beginning this week for Phoenix businesses through the PHXbizGrants program.</span> </div> <div> <span style="font-size:13.3333px;"> <br> </span> </div> <div> <span style="font-size:13.3333px;">An allocation of $8 million in funds from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 by the Phoenix City Council created a program helping micro and small businesses with the pandemic’s economic impact. The PHXbizGrants application portal is now available on the city’s website.</span> </div> <div> <span style="font-size:13.3333px;"> <br> </span> </div> <div> <span style="font-size:13.3333px;">Grant money covers any business expense categorized as a “deductible expense” by the Internal Revenue Service. Companies receiving awards from previous city grant programs are eligible to apply. Payroll, business rent or mortgage payments, insurance, inventory, or utilities were among the uses of previous grant awards. There is no repayment required for grants used for these legitimate business expenses.</span> </div> <div> <span style="font-size:13.3333px;"> <br> </span> </div> <div> <span style="font-size:13.3333px;">“We want small businesses to use the money to regain traction in our growing Phoenix economy, and our grant program offers the flexibility for each individual business owner to determine what she or he needs to get back on track,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. “We opened PHXbizGrants to help small businesses with as much flexibility as possible.”</span> </div> <div> <span style="font-size:13.3333px;"> <br> </span> </div> <div> <span style="font-size:13.3333px;">Business expenses incurred since March 2021 are eligible for the grant funds. </span> </div> <div> <span style="font-size:13.3333px;"> <br> </span> </div> <div> <span style="font-size:13.3333px;">Micro and small businesses with 25 or fewer workers may apply for PHXbizGrants. Grant awards range from $3,000 to $15,000, depending on the number of employees and the location of the business. Eligibility requires businesses to have operated in Phoenix for at least one year and show a 25 percent loss of revenue due to COVID-19.</span> </div> <div> <span style="font-size:13.3333px;"> <br> </span> </div> <div> <span style="font-size:13.3333px;">Designed to help across the City, PHXbizGrants provides additional assistance to eligible businesses located in any of the City’s 129 Qualified Census Tracts as set for 2021. A Qualified Census Tract is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development designation for areas where half the households have incomes below 60 percent of the Maricopa County area median gross income of around $69,000 per year or a poverty rate of 25 percent or more. Eligible businesses in a Qualified Census Tract receive additional funding.</span> </div> <div> <span style="font-size:13.3333px;"> <br> </span> </div> <div> <span style="font-size:13.3333px;">The Arizona Community Foundation and Local First Arizona are processing grant applications on behalf of the City. Visit <a target="_blank" href="https://phoenix.gov/phxbizgrants">Phoenix.gov/PHXbizGrants</a> for complete information and a link to the grant application form. For assistance, answers to questions, and more information, contact Local First Arizona at <a target="_blank" href="mailto:phoenixgrants@localfirstaz.com">PhoenixGrants@LocalFirstAZ.com​</a> or call 602-777-7636.​</span> </div> </html></div>https://www.phoenix.gov/econdevVideocedCED
Phoenix Digital Divide Solution, 'PHX DECC' Connects 250K Familieshttps://www.phoenix.gov/newsroom/ced/2037Community and Economic Development8/25/2021 7:00:00 AMhttps://www.phoenix.gov/newssite/Lists/NewsArticle/Attachments/2037/NEWSROOM_CED_08001.jpgPhoenix Digital Divide Solution, 'PHX DECC' Connects 250K Families<div class="ExternalClass5C96200D317D459EBDE09E25BB885261"><html> <p>Deployed as a digital divide solution, the Phoenix Digital Education Connection Canopy is a replicable network connecting students to schoolwork and virtual classrooms in Phoenix, Arizona.<br></p><p style="text-align:center;"><em>By Eric Jay Toll for PHX Newsroom</em><br></p> <p>“It’s the silver lining from the pandemic cloud,” said Laura Pastor, Phoenix city councilwoman, whose district includes many of the city’s digitally underserved neighborhoods. “Children will no longer need to sit in library parking lots or coffee shops to access high-speed broadband to do their homework.”</p> <p>The COVID-19 health emergency closed schools, libraries and community centers, sending students to learn from home. Realizing that more than 250,000 families did not have access or adequate internet speeds to go to school or complete assignments, city and education officials clamored for a digital divide solution.</p> <p>“Overcoming challenges is in Phoenix’s DNA,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. “This is a great example of how, by looking at things differently, we can produce innovative solutions that highlight Phoenix as a top-tier city. PHX DECC is a cost-effective, collaborative, digital divide solution we’re proud to champion.”</p> <p>In a nearly 18-month effort, the concept, the testing and the reality came together with a scalable digital divide solution connecting students to virtual classrooms, conferences, homework assignments and curated school resources.</p> <p>It all started at Phoenix College with just four words</p> <p>Pastor had a lead role in bringing together the consortium to engineer and deploy the PHX DECC. In her unique position as a city councilwoman in America’s fifth-largest city and employed full-time as the community liaison for Phoenix Community College, Pastor is also an elected member of the Phoenix Union High School District Governing Board. She leveraged her connections pushing forward a digital divide solution.</p> <p>“Paul Ross and I were called into (then Phoenix College President Larry Johnson Jr.’s) office. He gave us a simple charge,” she said. “He said, ‘Solve the digital divide.’”</p> <p>Ross, Phoenix College Associate Vice President and CIO, came up with the idea of using existing technology and applications to create a digital canopy over a school district connecting students to virtual classrooms, homework assignments and schools’ digital resources over an accessible, no-cost, wireless high-speed intranet.</p> <p>“I first had the idea in 2016 in Ohio, again in 2017 in Washington, and I couldn’t get any traction on the idea of solving the digital divide with existing technology,” said Ross. “With the coming of the pandemic, this was no longer just something occurring in pockets; the ability to connect was affecting everyone, everywhere.”</p> <p>Able to tap into the cross-agency resources, Pastor built the collaboration.</p> <p>“I didn’t know how to solve the digital divide,” she said. “But I knew where to find those who would. I knew the city would have money from the CARES Act, as with the school districts in the college. If everybody contributed, we would have the know-how, the commitment and the money to make it happen.”</p> <p>Once the challenge of ensuring access to classrooms and education resources was on the table, the walls between the city, education, business and the telecommunications industry disappeared.</p> <p>“It is in the best interest of the city to make this a sustainable city at the end of the day, so you want to make sure that you have a level playing field for all of your families,” said Christine Mackay, director, Phoenix Community and Economic Development. “That means they all have access to a quality education so that they can find good jobs. That’s really what you want for all of your citizens.”</p> <p>She said that the telecommunications industry and business community were committed to a long-term solution for all our student’s educational opportunities. </p> <p>An investment in the workforce of the future</p> <p>As America’s fastest-growing large city, Phoenix is a magnet for growing companies and a steadily increasing demand for workers.</p> <p>“From an economic development standpoint, we couldn’t take a chance that we would have any gaps in our future workforce,” said Mackay. “We’ve really worked diligently across all sectors to create a place that makes Phoenix Arizona a great destination for high-wage technology-related businesses that we hadn’t seen before. They are really attracted to the workforce that we have.”</p> <p>The key is off-the-shelf technology</p> <p>No special consultants, no proprietary hardware; the charge was to make the solution fit maintenance and upkeep within existing school district budgets.</p> <p>Ross said the key to making it happen was thorough research. And he invested hundreds of hours reading specification sheets and testing off-the-shelf equipment. He had the makings for PHX DECC: free broadband connecting students to schools in a scalable concept and economically efficient solution. </p> <p>On paper, Ross and Pastor were holding a recipe for a solution to the digital divide.</p> <p>Finding a long-term solution</p> <p>“We have significant information about our students,” said Dr. Chad Gestson, superintendent of the Phoenix Union High School District. “We have a staggering number who live with food insecurity. (So we know) the students who live without access to resources, and they certainly live without access to technology.”</p> <p>Gestson said the priority was getting high-speed school access to families with a permanent solution.</p> <p>“Through the willing businesses, students could access WiFi in coffee shops; they could log on to the Internet near libraries and some public buildings,” said Gestson. “These are short-term solutions.”</p> <p>The pandemic showed that even the short-term solutions had significant problems.</p> <p>“When the pandemic hit, all students were sent home, and so were their parents,” said Ross. “This meant that the household internet connection was being used by parents for work and multiple students for school. There wasn’t the capacity for everyone at the same time. Plus, businesses that normally provided WiFi for students were also closed, and many turned off their wireless networks.”</p> <p>Pastor noted that the problem existed in her own home, where she juggled the role of parent, employee, board member and council member. </p> <p>“We had internet connection issues with all the video conferences and virtual classes,” she said.”</p> <p>For thousands of families, trying to go to school from home was impossible. They didn’t have food on the table, let alone a high-speed internet connection. Sitting in a parking lot at closed libraries and recreation centers helped, but it was not a solution for doing homework.</p> <p>It wasn’t just pockets here and there</p> <p>Ross observed that the pandemic highlighted digital divide problems that weren’t just scattered pockets in rural America. </p> <p>“Almost everyone with a student at home was impacted in some way by demands for bandwidth,” he said. “That was when we decided it was time to take the theory and test it in practice.”</p> <p>Phoenix wasn’t the only municipality facing the challenge. Other cities and organizations have attempted solutions. Reports say that costs skyrocketed, and the numbers served were limited. The answer coming from Phoenix College would serve 250,000 families for far less than other systems. Using off-the-shelf equipment, school districts could take on the system maintenance within their budgets. </p> <p>Micro concept tested with college students</p> <p>With seed money from the city of Phoenix, Ross put a test installation into play at Phoenix College. Students at the campus participated in the test, taking courses, doing schoolwork and tapping into resources. The microconcept was a resounding success.</p> <p>In summer 2020, the phase I deployment started. </p> <p>“We needed to blanket the school districts. I can tell you more about every pole under the (PHX DECC) canopy than anyone,” said Ross. “I walked neighborhoods; I talked to people; I checked out all the locations. I knew this would work.”</p> <p>The goal was to be ready for the start of the 2021-22 school year. The program goes live on September 1 in three school districts: Phoenix Union High School District and Alhambra and Cartwright elementary school districts.</p> <p>A public effort supported by business and the private telecom industry</p> <p>The WiFi canopy for the schools required security, high-speed broadband capacity, and individual districts’ ability to manage cost and maintenance within existing technology capabilities. PHX DECC delivers all three solutions. It required financial backing to make it possible, that’s where Phoenix played a major role.</p> <p>“ARPA and the CARES Act provide necessary federal funding to invest in a res​​ilient, strong future that will last for generations,” said Gallego. “Investing those monies into PHX DECC will create a more connected community and deliver the critical results our city needs.”<br></p> <p>The canopy connects students and parents to virtual classrooms and conferences, homework assignments, and school-curated resources. It does not provide unfettered access to the Internet.</p> <p>Telecommunication companies generally oppose cities and educational institutions offering broadband services. With PHX DECC, the Southwest Telecommunications Association is supporting the effort.</p> <p>“The cable communications industry supports this effort. We don’t want to see government entities competing with private businesses; this system does not compete,” said Susan Bitter Smith, Executive Director of the Southwest Cable Communications Association. “The Association understood the communities’ needs and the (PHX DECC)’s unique connection of student to classroom is giving underserved communities the help they need.”</p> <p>Affordable, attainable, scalable PHX DECC</p> <p>“We wanted something that any educational organization could use,” Ross said. </p> <p>Instead of issuing a blank check, the collaborative effort kept in focus the cost of maintaining the PHX DECC system.</p> <p>“We didn’t want districts to have to hire outside vendors with specialist costs to maintain the system,” said Pastor. “We wanted the districts to be able to integrate the maintenance into existing budgets and capabilities. We succeeded.”</p> <p>That controlled cost and using existing equipment make the system scalable and transferable to school districts anywhere. Ross is genuinely excited about what this means up and down the education ladder.</p> <p>“We are creating a program here at Phoenix College that trains our technology students,” he said.  They learn how to install, maintain and operate (PHX DECC), which can help them find jobs with schools locally or anywhere this system will be installed.”</p> <p>Those involved in the entire process say they almost get goosebumps thinking about how PHX DECC is a life-changing technology for families. </p> <p>“Our entire community is very excited that we’ve become involved in this intergovernmental effort to solve the digital divide,” said Gestson. “Once we roll out this network, our staff and faculty will truly be able to keep students engaged on nights and weekends. For our students, they are very excited.”</p> <p>Gestson said, “In this highly technological world, tech access should not be a privilege; it should be a right.”</p> <p>PHX DECC Phase I goes live on September 1.​<br></p> </html></div>https://www.phoenix.gov/econdevNewscedCED
Small Biz Gets Big Opportunity with Phoenix Firehouse FastPITCHhttps://www.phoenix.gov/newsroom/ced/1983Community and Economic Development7/9/2021 10:00:00 PMhttps://www.phoenix.gov/newssite/Lists/NewsArticle/Attachments/1983/NEWSROOM_CED_2107001.jpgSmall Biz Gets Big Opportunity with Phoenix Firehouse FastPITCH<div class="ExternalClass24D85E6BF0254D68ACD4D91D35F47D64"><html> <span style="background-color:window;color:windowtext;font-size:10pt;">A one-of-a-kind redevelopment opportunity for a full-service restaurant on the edge of Hance Park is coming from the city of Phoenix. The former firehouse at the corner First and Moreland streets will soon be open for lease, redevelopment and operation as a full-service restaurant. The firehouse is the only restaurant site that directly connects to the reimagined park.<br></span><br> <p style="text-align:center;"><em style="font-size:13.3333px;text-align:center;">​B</em><em style="font-size:13.3333px;text-align:center;"><em>y</em> Eric Jay Toll for the PHX Newsroom</em>​<br></p><p>Small businesses have a chance to be part of a team that proposes to adapt the firehouse into a restaurant. Development and restaurateur proposers will be required to reach out to small businesses for goods, services, food, equipment, furniture and more. Making it easy for small businesses to introduce themselves to  proposing teams, Phoenix is hosting the Firehouse FastPITCH.</p> <p>This unique opportunity places small businesses center stage to make quick pitches to an audience of proposing teams at one time. Then development teams have the opportunity to discuss the potential for small businesses to join their proposals to the city to create the next Phoenix dining hot spot.</p> <p>Additional information about the Firehouse FastPITCH and the upcoming Request for Proposals are on the<a href="https://phoenix.gov/econdev/firehouse-fastpitch" target="_blank"> Firehouse Restaurant​</a> website. <br></p> <p> <strong>FastPITCH Information Session </strong> <br> </p> <p>Tuesday, July 20th at 9:00 a.m.:  Phoenix will host a virtual information session for small businesses or restaurateurs to learn how to fine-tune their pitch, ask questions and be ready for the Firehouse FastPITCH. </p> <p>Tuesday, July 20th at 10:00 a.m.:  Potential proposers can attend a virtual information session for information about the required small business outreach. </p> <p>Registration for the FastPITCH Information Session is required and can be found on the <a target="_blank" href="https://phoenix.gov/econdev/firehouse-fastpitch">Firehouse Restaurant website</a>. <br></p> <p> <strong>The Firehouse FastPITCH</strong> <br> </p> <p>Potential proposers will fill the seats, and small businesses or restaurateurs will take the stage to make their pitch to the entire group at one time in Phoenix City Hall, Thursday, August 12th. Only pre-registered businesses or proposers will be eligible to attend. Registration will open July 21st and close on August 6th.</p> <p>Requests for Proposal</p> <p>Later this year, Phoenix will issue a formal request for proposals to lease, adaptively reuse the building, complete improvements and operate a full-service restaurant in the former firehouse. The RFP will follow normal city processes, including the transparency process.</p> <p>For more information, answers to frequently asked questions, and additional resources, please visit the <a target="_blank" href="https://phoenix.gov/econdev/firehouse-fastpitch">Firehouse Restaurant website.​</a><br></p> </html></div>https://www.phoenix.gov/econdevNewscedCED



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