by City of Maricopa Communications Department
Former Economic and Community Development Director Nathan Steele recently was promoted to Chief Economic Development Officer (CEDO) for the City of Maricopa, a transition due in large part to the city’s recent considerable growth.
As CEDO, Steele plays a critical role in guiding Maricopa’s economic development and communicating its vision.
As the face of the community, he works to attract new businesses and employers. One example — securing the commitment of a new surf resort development.
“They appreciated the face-to-face interactions, our desire to understand their needs and helping find the right piece of land and facilitating discussions with area utilities,” Steele says.
Steele and his team worked closely with Thompson Thrift Retail Group for the Sonoran Creek Marketplace. Vice-President of Development Andrew Call says, “The key to building a healthy and strong economy is supporting the local businesses, giving them the tools, and assuring their success. Maricopa has been absolutely tremendous with working with the businesses within our development Sonoran Creek Marketplace.
“The City was instrumental with bringing Sprouts to Maricopa along with many of the other businesses to our development, including Mod Pizza and Cold Beer & Cheeseburgers. Maricopa is blessed with strong leadership that continues to forge ahead with a growth plan that involves the businesses and investors.”
A major component of Economic Development, Steele says, is showing employers that Maricopa has the needed workforce.
“Take health care for example,” he says. “There are over 1,800 Maricopa residents who work in the healthcare field, but about 1,300 have to drive over 30 minutes in their commute. When I share that statistic with health care professionals, they get excited because they know there is already an educated and experienced workforce in the community. I share similar statistics related to nearly every industry.”
Two new health care facilities were announced in the last year; Exceptional Healthcare expects to open by end of the year.
It’s about building relationships with potential businesses and developers.
“We’re doing something unique that not a lot of Arizona cities do,” Steele says. “Business leaders and developers are seeing this vision of what Maricopa is becoming; it’s contagious, and they want to come and be a part of it. My job is to make the sometimes-tricky process of finding land and securing entitlements as simple as possible. ”