January 25 was a historic day for Chandler. It marked the first time a sitting president of the United States visited our community. It was impressive to have the leader of the free world choose Chandler as a backdrop to showcase American ingenuity and free enterprise.
I was proud to represent our city that day as I greeted the president at Intel’s Ocotillo campus in south Chandler. The FAB 42 microchip plant is one of the largest construction projects in the world, and I suspect most all of Chandler has witnessed the towering crane that is on site.
That particular piece of equipment is the largest land-based crane in the world, and served as a fitting background for this event.
Regardless of one’s political affiliation, it was an honor to have President Barack Obama spend time in Chandler discussing the great alliance we have built with Intel. It was a great moment when the president said, “I’m here because the factory that’s being built behind me is an example of an America that is within our reach, an America that attracts the next generation of good manufacturing jobs.”
Intel is an outstanding business partner. The new plant alone has created thousands of construction jobs and will employ 1,000 well-paying and sustainable jobs. But this did not happen by accident.
This City Council, as well as past councils and city staff, have worked hard to ensure Intel’s presence has been a positive one for our community. We have worked not just with Intel but with Chandler-Gilbert Community College and our state universities to see that a dedicated and trained workforce is at hand to accommodate the skilled positions that Intel and other high-tech employers in Chandler demand.
People throughout our great country are talking about the need for job development and for keeping jobs here in America. The president and the members of Congress are talking about plants like this and the role they play in a stable economy. Good.
By shining the spotlight on Intel and Chandler, we are focusing on what really matters. It is good for the country and good for Chandler.
January 25was a day I will not soon forget. Speaking with the president about our community about Intel, and about mutual acquaintances like my friend Gabby Giffords, was truly an honor.
It may have taken 100 years, but I suspect that future presidents will make similar treks to our city, now that the rest of the country understands the magnitude of the success we have attained here in Chandler.
Finally, I want to thank the employees of Intel and our city staff who worked diligently to organize the President’s visit on such short notice. In just a few days, they coordinated a major undertaking that went smoothly and showcased our community well.
Our community can be proud of this moment.
-Jay Tibshareny is the mayor of Chandler.