Anchored by the nation’s fifth largest city, the state capital of Phoenix, the Valley of the Sun draws together vibrant suburbs, friendly small towns, urban villages, and other major cities to embrace every lifestyle and environment. Serving as a leading business and cultural hub of the Southwest, Phoenix is the heart of a rapidly growing metropolis. The reasons behind this region’s phenomenal growth are rooted in the enviable high quality of life and a cost of living that compares favorably with other leading cities across the nation.

The very same bright sunshine, superb recreational opportunities, and first-rate attractions that draw millions of tourists and seasonal visitors have made the Valley one of the most popular relocation destinations in the nation. Tourism and hospitality, healthcare, education, retail activity, high-tech manufacturing, and construction are just a few of the established and growing industries. Accolades for the Valley of the Sun are abundant. Expansion Management magazine recently cited the desirability of the Phoenix Metropolitan area in its report on “America’s 50 Hottest Cities,” ranking it second only to Jacksonville, Florida, as a preferred site for business.

Efficient and extensive, the Valley’s vast transportation network includes high-speed freeways that traverse every quadrant and loop the metropolis. Fixed-route buses, park and ride lots, ride sharing and vanpool assistance, special lanes for high-occupancy vehicles, and dial-a-ride services are already in place. The New light rail system is in place, with the first segment from the East Valley into central Phoenix synchronizing well with Arizona State University’s expanded presence in downtown Phoenix. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport ranks among the nation’s busiest, managing more than 20 passenger airlines.

Nearly 60 public school districts offer a complete range of educational services, complemented by a selection of private schools, both independent and parochial. Traditional and special programs offer students ample space to learn, grow and meet their unfolding academic and social challenges in a safe, supportive atmosphere. The high school curriculum is geared toward college preparation, vocational training, and grooming today’s students to assume vital, productive roles as young leaders in a competitive marketplace.

Arizona State University stands as the undisputed leader in higher education, serving more than 60,000 students on four valleywide campuses. Maricopa County manages a network of respected community colleges that offer affordable vocational and college-track programs close to every metropolitan address. A wealth of general and specialized institutions also call the Valley of the Sun home. Included on this impressive list are DeVry Institute of Technology, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, Grand Canyon University, High-Tech Institute, ITT Technical Institute, Devry University’s Keller Graduate School of Management, and Thunderbird Garvin School of  International Management.

Newcomers can look forward to state-of-the-art healthcare service  throughout the metropolitan area, encompassing such world-renowned innovators as the Mayo Clinic. Banner Health serves as one of the Valley’s largest employers and one of the largest, nonprofit healthcare systems in the entire nation. Scottsdale Health, the John C. Lincoln Health network, and IASIS Healthcare represent other major systems that efficiently manage the Valley’s hospitals and specialty care centers. Support facilities meet every need, from family practice and emergency walk-in care centers to same-day surgery, rehabilitation therapies, and sports medicine. Area hospitals are active in the community, providing health screenings, classes, immunization clinics, and public education programs.

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