Note from the Chairman

Dawn of a new day for manufacturing

by Steve Macias
November 24, 2015

While observing recent national politics, one cannot be faulted for pondering the old Elvis Costello line “Oh, I used to be disgusted, and now I try to be amused.”

Fortunately, we are in Arizona, so a more apropos song for today could be Coldplay’s anthem, “A Sky Full of Stars,” which is a far cry from the beginning of the tumultuous economic period in place when I took the reins of the Arizona Manufacturers Council chairmanship seven years ago. However, in retrospect, the past several years have turned out to be a fortuitous time to focus on manufacturing and growing the Arizona economy.

As the state was seeking ways to climb out of the economic cliff we had fallen off, the AMC was looking to reestablish manufacturing in our government’s frontal lobes as a pillar of the economy, not an afterthought.

Beginning in 2010 with Governor Jan Brewer and the Arizona State Legislature trying to fill a massive deficit in the state budget, manufacturing came to be looked upon as a solution to help move the Arizona economy forward, and the AMC and the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry were sought after for guidance in achieving that goal.

Working closely with the Governor’s office and the then newly formed Arizona Commerce Authority, the AMC made great strides in achieving policy that has helped existing manufacturers thrive and attracted new business into the state. Now Governor Doug Ducey has taken the Little Deuce Coupe (I’m rolling with music analogies) and dropped a supercharger into the economic engine and we are seeing an even higher level of business attraction. Combine that with the renewed focus and leadership on the part of our federal delegation and we are in exciting economic development times.

Arizona is well on the road to understanding the importance of our aerospace, defense, and semiconductor industries and how they can be leveraged and utilized as the cornerstones upon which to continue building our manufacturing base.

So what happens when governments, business, and the community work together? Results like the Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area south of downtown Phoenix. My company is located in the area and back in 2000 when we started in business, the river bottom was full of mattresses, abandoned cars, tires and other junk. Yet, a few Saturday mornings ago, I was jogging along through the Restoration Area and was joined by hawks, burrowing owls, lizards, a coyote, quail, joggers, bicyclists, walkers and a running stream, a far cry from the wasteland it used to be and a testament to working together.

Now that I am moving on to other Arizona Chamber duties (along with running Pivot Manufacturing), who will help lead the Arizona Manufacturers Council and Arizona manufacturing into the next stage of habitat restoration? None other than Dawn Grove, corporate counsel for Karsten Manufacturing, which is the parent company of PING, the makers of world famous Ping golf equipment. Dawn is as committed to manufacturing as anyone I have ever met and she will be the ideal chair for the AMC.

Dawn’s family has invested in Arizona since Karsten  Manufacturing began in 1959. She works for one of the premier manufacturing companies in Arizona that has a global reputation for excellence. Her devotion to the community and her family is unchallenged and I look forward to working with her as she moves the AMC forward and helps makes Arizona a great place to manufacture.

By the time she is done, dare I say we’ll have a whole bunch of Shiny Happy People!

Steve Macias is the president of Pivot Manufacturing and the immediate past chairman of the Arizona Manufacturers Council

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Made In Arizona

It’s Manufacturing Month. Here are five things you need to know.

  by Dawn Grove

October 6, 2016

Commentary from a manufacturing perspective

It’s October,which means it’s the season for the annual celebration of manufacturing. For the Arizona Manufacturers Council, this is our time to shine.

Think of this time of year as the annual manufacturing checkup. We get to remind policymakers why Arizona should continue to advance public policy that encourages manufacturing, discuss how we can attract more of these good-paying job creators, and make the case as to why we should grow a sector that is on the leading edge of technological innovation. We also showcase our manufacturing facilities, share best practices and make the connections that strengthen all of us.

Here are five things you need to know about manufacturing and Manufacturing Month.

1)      Manufacturing means jobs. Manufacturing employs 12.3 million Americans and over 150,000 Arizonans. Our state’s total manufacturing output is $23.77 billion, according to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). And manufacturing means good, career track jobs. NAM reports manufacturing jobs in Arizona pay over 75 percent above Arizona’s average annual compensation. Plus, every manufacturing job births additional service and supplier jobs, and innovation, research and development eventually follow manufacturing wherever it goes.

Next time someone tells you that America’s best manufacturing days are behind it, point to the tremendously positive impact manufacturing is making on Arizona.

2)    Arizona manufacturing is world class. What does manufacturing look like in Arizona? Forget the caricature of sparks flying on a grimy shop floor. Manufacturing in Arizona today is defined by technologically advanced, environmentally conscious, world-class companies turning out products that improve the lives of people around the world.

Think of high tech manufacturers like Intel in Chandler, which employs nearly 11,000 Arizonans who are making products that will define our future. Or our aerospace and defense manufacturers like Boeing or Raytheon, who are equipping our men and women in uniform with the tools to ensure they emerge victorious in the toughest battles and come home safely. And I’m incredibly proud of Karsten Manufacturing and PING, which makes premium, custom fit golf equipment. Our clubs are in the hands of tournament-winning professionals and weekend duffers alike, in each case helping golfers putt, chip and drive their best.

3)      We’re preparing our talent pipeline for tomorrow’s jobs. The Arizona Manufacturers Council was strongly supportive of the Legislature’s and Governor Doug Ducey’s work in the 2016 legislative session to bolster funding for career and technical education, otherwise known as CTE.

States are in a pitched battle for good-paying manufacturing jobs. If we’re going to win the jobs of tomorrow’s economy, we must grow the talent pipeline to meet employers’ needs. That’s why CTE, which prepares high-school students with the skills and credentials they need to be successful in fields like manufacturing, is so critical.

CTE also sets the stage for students to move on to even more advanced training. According to a report from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, two-thirds of tomorrow’s jobs will require some sort of post-12th grade industry certification or credential. That doesn’t necessarily mean a bachelor’s degree, but it does mean further education. To that end, Governor Ducey recently launched Achieve60 AZ, which seeks to increase to 60 percent (from the current 42 percent) the number of Arizonans with post-high school training. This is the right move at the right time for Arizona’s economy.

4)  Manufacturing thrives when we cut red tape. An onerous regulatory environment negatively affects all businesses, but it’s like kryptonite to our manufacturing heroes.

Those of us in manufacturing are dealing with the same federal regulations that all job creators are confronting: anti-employer labor rules, mandates affecting wages and employee leave that discourage hiring, and a legal environment that forces many to spend more time worrying about lawsuits than growing their businesses.

But Arizonans are disproportionately affected by environmental regulations coming from Washington, D.C. Beltway bureaucrats are issuing rules that, in the name of improving air and water quality, are thwarting job creation while having almost no positive effect on theenvironment. Thankfully, leaders like Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich are standing up to Washington’s regulatory overreach.

5)  October 21, 2016 is our Manufacturer of the Year Summit and Awards Event. I hope we’ll see you Oct. 21 at the Arizona Biltmore for the AMC’s annual Manufacturer of the Year event.

This year we’re proud to welcome both Senator John McCain and Senator Jeff Flake, who will give us an inside look at what’s happening on Capitol Hill and how what’s happening at a federal level affects Arizona’s manufacturing sector. We’ll also have discussions on preparing Arizona’s workforce for the careers of tomorrow, how recent changes in Internet governance may affect manufacturers, and honor our large and small manufacturer winners for innovation, sustainability and overall excellence.

Register online today. I look forward to seeing you there.

There are many great events occurring around the state for Manufacturing Month. or contact Christine Martin to find a tour and join in on the action.

Dawn Grove is Corporate Counsel for Karsten Manufacturing Corporation, parent company of PING, Inc. and the Chairman of the Arizona Manufacturers Council.

The Arizona Manufacturers Council within the Arizona Chamber is the state affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). For more on manufacturing and NAM, visit

The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry is committed to advancing Arizona’s competitive position in the global economy by advocating free-market policies that stimulate economic growth and prosperity for all Arizonans. For more information visit


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