City of Prescott welcomes high-tech manufacturer CP Technologies as new job creator

By Doug Cook |  dougout_dc

Originally Published: June 12, 2021 4:05 p.m.

The new, high-tech CP Technologies North American headquarters and manufacturing facility at 2620 Deep Well Ranch, north of Prescott Regional Airport, could be a harbinger of things to come in the Quad Cities.

Gov. Doug Ducey has already lured several high-tech manufacturing firms to Arizona by providing such incentives as lower taxes and a growing skilled labor force. Until now, though, most of those firms have landed in the Phoenix and Tucson areas, perhaps as expected. Prescott and Flagstaff, for example, have recently found a way to get in on the game.

Prescott Mayor Greg Mengarelli, far left, stands next to Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey as he helps the head of CP Technologies Mike McCormack cut the ribbon on the company’s new facility in Prescott on June 9, 2021. (Doug Cook/Courier)

Prescott Mayor Greg Mengarelli, far left, stands next to Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey as he helps the head of CP Technologies Mike McCormack cut the ribbon on the company’s new facility in Prescott on June 9, 2021. (Doug Cook/Courier)

On June 9, Ducey, Prescott Mayor Greg Mengarelli, Arizona business leaders and CP Technologies brass, among others, gathered for a ribbon-cutting event for CP Technologies’ high-tech facility, showing off the company’s impressive line of computer hardware and surveillance products.

“What we’re seeing here today is Arizona in the midst of a manufacturing boom,” said Ducey, who referenced other new high-tech manufacturing complexes, specifically in Chandler. “These are not one-off enterprises. They are interconnected, and they were attracted to the state for a reason.”

CP Technologies’ 50,000-square-foot complex is unique because it builds “rugged” high-performance computer platforms, data links and LCD displays for the military, industrial and commercial markets. It also makes combat-proven Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) for the Department of Defense, among other clients.

CP Technologies specializes in rugged computers that are built to withstand harsh elements outdoors, such as extreme heat and bitterly cold weather, and certain levels of vibration, G-forces and shock.

JOBS

However, most importantly for quad-city residents, by relocating from its 22,000-square-foot complex in San Diego to Prescott, CP Technologies is bringing well-paying jobs to the area.

“We see a bright future for Prescott, with more high-paying jobs coming to our region,” Mengarelli said.

CP Technologies also plans to expand its operations east of the current complex in the future, company Vice President Mark Kempf said.

Currently, CP Technologies has 40 to 50 employees at its Prescott plant, but it eventually plans to grow to 150-plus full-time employees at the facility over the next 1.5 to 2 years, Kempf said. CP Technologies intends to hire engineers, technicians and salespeople.

“We want to build another 50,000-square-foot complex [next door], but we need to get this one fully loaded first,” Kempf added.

Kempf said another reason CP Technologies chose Prescott for its expanded headquarters is because of the variety of local businesses that operate here, such as metal fabricators.

PARTNERING WITH ARIZONA

Rafael Chairman Dr. Uzi Landau (the grandfather of CP), CP Aeronautics President and CEO Moshe Elazar and CP Technologies President and CEO Mike McCormack all commented on what it meant to them to partner with the state of Arizona and the City of Prescott as they sought a new home outside of Southern California.

Burdened by high taxes and a high cost of living in California, McCormack said Arizona made it a no-brainer to relocate.

“It was a choice between five states, but Arizona made it an easy choice,” said McCormack, who relocated a portion of his staff with him from San Diego to Prescott.

Elizar said one of his first tasks as the newly appointed CP Aeronautics president and CEO in March 2020 was moving the company from California to Arizona, despite it being in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We feel at home, and we’re proud to be part of the local community,” he added. “We want to play a role as an essential economic player in Arizona.”

Landau said that there were “a lot of economic reasons to move CP” and that the “governor welcoming us was a key factor,” adding that CP Technologies will continue to invest more of its resources in Arizona.

“Prescott has an impressive array of institutions dedicated to the field of aeronautics,” Landau said, referring in part to the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Yavapai College campuses. “It is a privilege to work with you, Arizonans.”

ABOUT CP TECHNOLOGIES

Since being bought by Israeli-based Aeronautics Ltd. in 2018, CP North America, which operates CP Technologies, CP Systems, and CP Aeronautics, has expanded its offerings and necessitated its move to Prescott.

McCormack said CP Technologies has built rugged computer equipment for the past 24 years.

For more information, visit cp-techusa.com.

Follow Doug Cook on Twitter at @dougout_dc. Email him at dcook@prescottaz.com or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2039.

Center for the Future off to a promising start at repurposed city building

It has taken nearly five years to come to fruition, but Prescott’s business-incubation project known as the Center for the Future is off to a vigorous start.

Jon Haass, professor of cyber intelligence and security at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and one of the organizers of the Center for the Future, reports that spaces are filling up fast at the office suites that are being repurposed from their previous uses by City of Prescott departments.

Currently, suites in the two-story city building at 218 S. Marina Street are already housing early start-up companies, and others are waiting in the wings.

The business-incubation concept initially got underway in 2016, when the Prescott City Council approved a letter of support for the idea.

Since then, the center’s direction has evolved, and in late 2020, the city moved ahead with a plan to allow start-up companies to occupy the offices that were being vacated as city departments relocated.

Initially, the relocation of the city offices was to be to the current City Hall building at 201 S. Cortez Street.

But those plans changed with the City Council’s recent approval of the purchase of the National Bank building on North Montezuma Street. Now, city officials say that the city departments currently housed at the Marina Street building would likely move directly into the new City Hall building on Montezuma Street (after the building purchase closes escrow).

Prescott Recreation Services Director Joe Baynes said Monday, May 24, that he expects the offices in the Marina Street building to be moved to the new City Hall within the month.

“In the next 30 days, we’ll have that top floor cleared,” Baynes said, referring to the office space at 218 S. Marina that currently houses the city’s Human Resources Department and other offices.

Haass said there would be start-up companies ready to move in as soon at the offices
are vacated by the city.

Already, the building houses tech companies SimpleWan and 360SOC (Security Operations Center) – both of which are employing recent Embry-Riddle graduates.

MORE THAN JUST OFFICE SPACE
Although providing the office space and assistance is important, Haass said it is not the main driver of the program. “The center is not just a building; it’s a concept,” he said.

As its name implies, the Center for the Future’s concept is one that looks far ahead to what Prescott could become. Since its inception about five years ago, the center’s main objective is to bring high-tech jobs to Prescott.

Ultimately, Haass said the goal is to help diversify the local economy beyond the retail and tourism jobs to include high-paying jobs in technology and cyber security. That, in turn, would make the local economy stronger, he said.

POTENTIAL GRANTS
Currently, the Center for the Future is in its first phase, which involves providing space for start-up companies in the building at 218 S. Marina Street.

The next goal would be to expand at that location, Haass said, noting that there might be space available nearby for more start-up offices.

The third goal is to construct a stand-alone building that could eventually become part of a high-tech campus. Haass said preliminary plans are being developed for either a 15,000-square-foot or a 30,000-square-foot option, depending on the needs and resources.

Although there is currently no certainty on the location or schedule, Haass said he would like to see the new Phase III building become a reality by January 2023.

Meanwhile, the Marina Street offices would serve as a funnel to help small start companies.

To help fund the project, the Center for the Future has already applied for two grants, and there are other possibilities as well.

The city’s proposed budget for the coming 2021-2022 fiscal year includes a possible $2.4 million expenditure for the Center for the Future.

Tyler Goodman, assistant to the city manager, said that amount is an estimate of what the city might contribute in the coming year toward matching grant amounts that the center might receive.

“The center is proving its value already,” Goodman said.

Follow Cindy Barks on Twitter @Cindy_Barks. Reach her at 928-445-3333, ext. 2034, or cbarks@prescottaz.com.