Gilbert, Arizona | Resonance
Gilbert, Arizona

A long-term, Inclusive Economic Development Plan Empowered an Understated Phoenix Commuter Community to Optimize its Numerous Attributes on its Road to Sustainable Growth.

Situated in the southeast valley of the Phoenix metropolitan area, Gilbert is consistently ranked as one of the best places to live and raise a family in Arizona and its population has grown 8% over the past five years. Gilbert offers a vibrant environment, high-performing schools, and an assortment of recreational opportunities. Gilbert’s destination and economic development assets help to attract talent, visitors, and investors from across the globe.

Despite its attributes, the city needed to ensure its robust and diverse economy—driven by a wide array of industries from information and communications technology (ICT) to life sciences and photonics—had an economic blueprint and implementation plan in place to keep attracting a highly educated workforce and the companies that covet it.

To support the creation of Gilbert’s Economic Development Strategic Plan, Resonance performed a comprehensive demographic and economic assessment that evaluated the city’s performance across a variety of metrics compared to benchmark communities and evaluated Gilbert’s industry clusters to guide future business attraction and expansion efforts. Resonance also completed an Employment Area Analysis that enables the town to assess the importance and economic value of its key employment areas. Focusing development efforts on these areas positions Gilbert to improve the quality of life for its residents and workforce. We complemented the research with stakeholder engagement to address Gilbert’s assets and opportunities for the future. Our research and analysis identified 10 distinct competitive advantages around which the city could invest, activate, and tell its story.

Our economic development strategic plan outlined five goals for Gilbert  to invest in, powered by its community-identified competitive assets: 

  • Investment in an economy that transforms Gilbert into an innovative and resilient town for tomorrow. This goal will require the City to grow its BRE initiative, align policy and planning, and reimagine underleveraged commercial space.
  • Creating an investment environment as the premier entrepreneurial town in Arizona, a community that intentionally cultivates and supports its businesses through improved technical support services and growing capital access. 
  • Development of a robust talent pipeline to fuel the future of Gilbert through increased partnerships with the private sector and the region’s workforce providers.
  • Growing destination assets, hotel offerings, and placemaking initiatives to attract business, families, talent, and visitors.
  • Amplification of the good and distinct, by promoting Gilbert’s brand: a place for life, investment, and business growth.
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