Power Road Knowledge Corridor is great start - East Valley Tribune: Ahwatukee Foothills

Power Road Knowledge Corridor is great start

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Posted: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 12:00 am | Updated: 1:33 pm, Wed Oct 10, 2012.

Our View: Homegrown ingenuity and dedicated marketing of community strengths are essential sparks for long-term economic stability. So it will be exciting to watch Mesa and Gilbert take advantage of a newly identified confluence of educational institutions along Power Road to market both cities to potential new employers.

Homegrown ingenuity and dedicated marketing of community strengths are essential sparks for long-term economic stability. So it will be exciting to watch Mesa and Gilbert take advantage of a newly identified confluence of educational institutions along Power Road to market both cities to potential new employers.

As Tribune writer Blake Herzog reported Sunday, Mesa Mayor Scott Smith is building momentum for a branding strategy called the Power Road Knowledge Corridor. This description refers to a north-south cluster of public and private higher-education campuses and research facilities including Mesa and Chandler-Gilbert community colleges, Arizona State University Polytechnic, A.T. Still University and the future M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Smith's idea is to lure new and relocating businesses that desire close access to ongoing training locations and advanced research.

The marketing name might need a little tweaking to make it roll off the tongue. But the concept already has worked in other places from San Diego to San Francisco to North Carolina. In fact, we only have to look to Chandler and its Price Road technology corridor to understand how to successfully leverage a collection of similar business institutions. Chandler started with just a couple of high-tech companies, lots of vacant land and the promise of a new freeway that became Loop 101 to spin marketing gold that delivered thousands of well-paying, stable jobs to that community.

Mesa and Gilbert have even more raw material to work with along Power Road: the sheer number of existing and planned knowledge centers, a growing commercial airport, and the political will to not waste the rare opportunity that these connections could provide.

The two cities do have a challenge, as effective marketing usually costs money and there's none of that to spare in any government's coffers these days. But the Power Road Knowledge Corridor represents a long-term economic agenda that can develop gradually and organically without improperly diverting limited resources.

The first point on that agenda simply was to outline a new way of thinking about east Mesa and Gilbert that could entice the business world to their doorsteps. The Power Road Knowledge Corridor accomplishes that in style.

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