Sixty-five percent of workers leave Fountain Hills everyday

December 11, 2018 9:23 am

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Understanding the workforce in Fountain Hills is key to determining why so many people leave each day to go to work.

According to the Town’s economic development director, Scott Cooper, about 7700 workers leave Fountain Hills for employment. Nearly 2900 are imported from neighboring areas and over 1200 live and work here. 

The concern of having a 65% exodus of workers is centered around spending patterns. People are more likely to spend outside of Fountain Hills as opportunities arise to and from work. Such options may include gas, hair appointments, medical, groceries and even lunch time dining. This could be cutting out millions in tax revenue for the Town. 

Attracting new and retaining existing employers provides opportunities to earn sales tax revenue on the very same services–gas, groceries and workday lunches. Additionally, by increasing the quantity of people who both live and work here the numbers climb even higher as they are more likely to spend consistently in Fountain Hills.

The economic development strategic plan targets key areas where gaps in services have been identified. These are Finance & Insurance, Healthcare, Professional & Technology and Higher Education. The Town Council has agreed these are excellent opportunities for the right types of businesses to open in Fountain Hills.

How do we keep and encourage workers to live in Fountain Hills?

Housing, community assets, activities and schools are the most important things people consider when finding a place to live. 

Given that a house is the single largest family purchase, the competition for style, design, features and location is steep in the Phoenix metro area. A simple new home search yields over 400 communities. While some areas may have multiple communities, it truly poses a challenge for Fountain Hills to compete in the Valley of the Sun housing market. 

The community assets in Fountain Hills are significant. Parks, the world-famous Fountain, play areas for kids, unique art collection, community garden, basic shopping and typical selection of restaurants, gas stations, coffee shops, gyms and convenience stores. Many are locally owned and operated.

The Town of Fountain Hills maintains a very active youth and senior recreation schedule. From bingo, frisbee golf and yoga to nerf wars, movies in the park and sports, residents can find a wide array of fun and athletic experiences. 

Centered around a small school environment, the Fountain Hills Unified School District is large enough to operate several locations, bus routes and an EVIT campus while also providing a competitive education for students.  According to a national school ranking site, the district earns an overall B grade, C for clubs/activities but an A for college prep. Earning the 50 spot for SAT scores, the high school recently ranked in the Phoenix Business Journal ranking. With over 125 high schools in Arizona that puts Fountain Hills high school near the upper third.

You will not find the small town feel, within a reasonable proximity to big city assets, anywhere in the Phoenix metro area besides Fountain Hills. From locally owned restaurants, hair salons and medical providers to grocery stores, Target and the niceties of bigger cities like Starbucks, this community has a little bit of everything minus rush hour traffic and crowded roads.

To keep more people from departing for work means we must find a variety of companies to employ our workforce and satisfy their housing needs. That’s truly the challenge for Fountain Hills.

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