By Recker McDowell —
Chandler’s Price Road Corridor is on the verge of taking its regional reputation as a technology hub to another level.
Intel is expanding in Chandler with a $7 billion investment its semiconductor fabrication operation.
Intel also has an autonomous driving laboratory and research and development in Chandler. Alphabet / Google’s self-driving Waymo also does major testing in Chandler and the East Valley.
New automation and autonomous technology coupled with Chandler’s existing and growing semiconductor cluster has significant potential for the Price Road Corridor stretch of the Loop 101.
There will also be continued growth in artificial intelligence, 3-D printing, virtual and augmented reality.
Those all present opportunities for Chandler and other technology clusters.
The Price Road Corridor is already home to more than 525 companies with more than 39,000 employees. The challenge for Chandler has been finding enough space for expanding and new employers.
The goal and challenge for developers and city of Chandler officials is to be forward thinking, innovative and creative in how they plan the corridor’s future and what gets built there.
That will mean sometimes thinking outside the Arizona development box when it comes to projects and making sure they appeal to younger workers and innovative employers.
Technology and creative employment areas — whether they are in Chandler, Scottsdale or downtown Phoenix — are also key to help Arizona shake its longstanding images as being home to call centers and service jobs. There is nothing wrong with those latter jobs. The Phoenix region just needs to further cultivate and be recognized more for its diverse employment base.