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Greater Phoenix Economic Council launches effort to recruit Californians to Arizona

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Posted at 8:40 PM, Jun 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-13 01:21:14-04

PHOENIX — Ask any of many, many people who chose to make the Valley home, and you'll hear a few familiar responses.

"Sunshine and warmth," Kayla Caldwell, who recently relocated from Washington, said when asked why she moved.

Even though Maricopa County is already growing faster than any other county in the country, business leaders want more.

"Our target is to recruit technology workers and technology companies to greater Phoenix," said Chris Camacho, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. "Yesterday we launched 24 cars on the roads of California that are wrapped in messaging: Time to get out."

The cars, along with tweets and a website, feature statistics and pithy messages about life in the Golden State.

"That website gives you a wealth of information about the cost of living, the cost of doing business," Camacho said, adding that the initiative's focus is on the Bay Area.

The message is simple: life in Arizona is better.

"The gas prices are lower, rent, everything is cheaper [in Arizona]," said DeAndre Dickard, who was born and raised in Phoenix.

Camacho says already 100 California companies are thinking about relocating or expanding, and the greater Phoenix chamber wants to make sure it's not to somewhere else.

"I'd prefer they come to Phoenix over all these other metropolitan areas," Camacho said.

Not everyone is as welcoming to the idea of even more permanent residents from out of state, which could see Arizona turn into its western neighbor.

"Stay there! We don't need more, we don't need to become a California," Caldwell said. "We don't need more traffic. We don't need higher rent prices."

The economic council says Bay Area tech companies will create jobs and pay taxes. And as for the heat?

"Anything after 90 degrees feels the same," Caldwell said.