TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – While COVID-19 may be crippling the economy across the nation, two cities here in the Valley may be experiencing a mini-boom because of the virus. Tempe is seeing an increase in companies from California moving in. In comparison, Mesa will soon have more than 100 job openings thanks to a new personal protective equipment company.
At the start of COVID-19, Kevin Thorpe was managing a hotel chain. When that industry took a hit, they shifted from hospitality to hospitals, making medical-grade masks for health care workers.
“If you would have asked me six months ago what I would be doing now, it wouldn’t be making masks,” said Thorpe.
The company U.S. Power AZ PPE has a patent for a smart filter, which allows its mask to be worn for up to one week before disposing of them. Now the company is hiring at its new headquarters in Mesa.
“Two hundred jobs, jobs that will be line level people on the actual manufacturing to our senior-level people. We are projecting a million dollars a month in payroll by the time we are at full staff,” said Thorpe.
Applicants are encouraged to apply now.
Also in the East Valley, Tempe is experiencing its own mini-economic boom. Recently, a California company, Test Max, specializing in remote education, relocated its headquarters there, says CEO Mehran Ebaolahi.
“Whether it’s traffic, whether it’s cost of housing, whether it’s basic costs of everyday life, essentials we feel our employees will be less stressed in a lower-cost area,” said Ebaolahi.
Women’s rights in the U.S. have made leaps and bounds since the passage of the 19th Amendment, yet many women still struggle to break the glass ceiling because of unequal treatment in society.
He said the remote working experience helped him realize his more than two dozen employees no longer needed an expensive office building to be productive. Tempe’s completive rental spaces sealed the deal.
“It’s great because they are bringing revenue into the city providing jobs for our community,” said Ann Gill with the Tempe Chamber of Commerce.
In the past year alone, companies like Amazon, Morgan Stanley, U-Haul and DoorDash have brought thousands of new jobs to Tempe.
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