The Bridgestone Corp. has chosen Mesa for a new research and development facility that will focus on turning a native desert shrub into tire-grade rubber.
Bridgestone, the world’s largest tire and rubber company, plans to bring 32 jobs to the area with an average wage of $75,000, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council announced Tuesday.
The company chose the Mesa location because of the area’s educated workforce and the warm climate that’s suitable for growing the Guayule bush. Researchers at the facility will develop ways to make rubber from Guayule, which produces natural rubber in its roots and bark.
The facility will be built near Pecos and Mountain roads in southeast Mesa. Groundbreaking is expected in early 2013 and the facility should be open in 2014. Trial rubber production is estimated to start in 2015.