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Best American Cities: Gilbert and Scottsdale AZ

Updated on February 5, 2015
Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West: the Garden Room; Scottsdale, Arizona.
Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West: the Garden Room; Scottsdale, Arizona. | Source

The Good Life in Arizona Suburbs

I worked with a disabled chronic pain-and-stress patient for several months one year, helping to provide ways of managing a number of stressors as well as chronic arthritis pain in the damp Ohio autumn and winter. In the spring, this lovely woman was able to move to Arizona. Within several weeks, the dryer, warmer climate allowed her to recover to the point that she was able to return to full-time employment. Arizona can be a fantastic place to live during work and retirement years - even if you never retire.

Two suburbs of the Phoenix - Mesa - Scottsdale Metropolitan Area are among Money Magazine's Best 100 Cities to Live in America. These are Scottsdale and Gilbert, suburbs lying near Highway 101, approximately 30 and 40 miles respectively from city center.Gilbert is also south of the Superstition Freeway or State Route 60..


Aggressive City Planning to 2020

Owing to Phoenix proximity and aggressive city planning through 2020, Gilbert and Scottsdale are among the fastest-growing cities in the state, and busy college towns. These factors assist cities to be resilient during economic recessions and developmentally explosive in economic upturns. The few places that rival such planning and features include towns like the Salt Lake City Suburbs that are growing as if in a tidal wave of rising economies.

The City of Gilbert is Number 36 (pop. 216,000 in 2010) of the Top 100 Best Cities, while the Scottsdale AZ is Number 71 (pop. 235,000) for work, families, travel, and retirement. Both cities are eastern suburbs of Phoenix, near Tempe, Mesa, Glendale and some other growing suburban locations. Not far distant, Sun City is a particularly fast-growing suburb to the west of Phoenix, a planned community populated by residents in the higher income brackets.

Scottsdale "Bests"

  • Among the Top 10 Fiscally Fit Cities
  • Number 21 on Healthiest Cities List
  • Top 10 Most Playful Cities In America
  • Top 15 Best Cities for Telecommuting
  • Top 25 Manliest Cities for sports and other reasons.
  • Top 10 “Best Cities for Families” by Parenting Magazine, 2010.
  • Top 100 Places to Live in the US by RelocateAmerica, 2010.
  • Top-50 Bike-friendly Communities by Bicycling Magazine, 2010.
  • 6th Most Popular Travel Spot, by Travel Leaders, 2006.
  • 4th Most Popular Golf Courses, by Golf World Magazine, 2008.
  • Top 25 Arts Destinations in American (at #2), AmericanStyle Magazine, 2008.

Phoenix Suburbs

Gilbert AZ:
Gilbert, AZ, USA

get directions

Scottsdale AZ:
Scottsdale, AZ, USA

get directions

WestWorld AZ:
Westworld of Scottsdale, 16601 N Pima Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85260-1301, USA

get directions

Superstition Freeway:
Superstition Fwy, AZ, USA

get directions

Sun City AZ:
Sun City, AZ, USA

get directions


Arizona Desert Water Conservation

When you look at Gilbert, Arizona for travel plans or job seeking, you notice the word riparian in many articles and related data. Gilbert is focused on protecting water resources in Arizona, especially along the banks of natural waterways, somewhat rare in to Sonoran Desert region.

The Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch was developed to provide an advocacy for water conservation and a venue for public appreciation of natural scenery, native plants, wetlands, and wildlife. It features an observatory, several educational walks, and several gardens that need volunteer workers.. See the links to the right for additional information.


Growth 2010 - 2050

The developing Gateway Character Area abuts the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport and the ASU Polytechnic Campus. Both of these entities offer entrances at Gilbert, while the bulk of their facilities located in neighboring Mesa AZ. This area part of the closed Williams Air Force Base, which is now a home to educational institutions and other agencies and businesses that will provide jobs in the near future.

Gilbert economic and government authorities project housing for 1,000s of new residents in the Gateway, along with a mall and other retail businesses, an entertainment district, and a comprehensive village-style community.

As a means to finance continued growth and an entrance into international business, the notion of international sister cities for Gilbert has taken root. The concept of Sister Cities was first developed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower 1957. The Gilbert Sister Cities Program is founded in that concept since the 1990s.

Gilbert's sister cities began with Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland, founded in 1958. Leshan, Sichuan, China as its second sister city. It is over 3,000 years old. The third sister city is Guabuliga, Ghana. It is an agricultural town of 2000 people that Gilbert has named a Friendship City and is willing to aid in growth and economic development. these sister cities are diverse in every way and allow Gilbert multicultural variety and opportunity.

Gateway Character Area: New Business and Residential Development

Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport:
Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (CHD), Phoenix, AZ 85212, USA

get directions

Arizona State University Polytechnic Campus:
Arizona State University - Polytechnic campus, Mesa, AZ 85212, USA

get directions

Jobs Advertised Increased from 43,300 to 79,300 from 2010 - '14 and 85,600 in Early 2015

Over 85,600 job listings became available in and around Gilbert by February 2015. These were found posted across all job-posting related Internet sites and gathered by and job search and trending engines, updated continually.

A large proportion of available jobs are available specifically in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, and Gilbert, Arizona.

Largest Employers in Gilbert, by Employee Pool

  1. Banner Health Care - Gateway Hospital & Home Health Care
  2. Marriot Company
  3. Topgear Logistics - Truck Drivers and Mechanics
  4. NW Recruiters
  5. Wells Fargo
  6. Safeway - Grocery, etc.
  7. Baton Associates - Healthcare
  8. CVS Health
  9. Maxim Facility Nursing
  10. Crete Carrier - Trucking and Freight
  11. Mercy Gilbert Medical Center
  12. Smith Food & Drug Stores - Fry's Food Store (Grocery)
  13. Dillard’s - Retail and Logistics/Distribution
  14. Mayo Clinic
  15. WalMart & Sam's Club - Was in the middle of the list in 2014.

Top 10 Hot Gilbert Jobs

  1. Physicians
  2. Registered Nurses - RNs and NPs (nurse practitioners)
  3. Physical Therapists
  4. Business Development Managers
  5. Truck Drivers - In early 2015, there were 1,000,000 drivers needed coast to coast.
  6. Salespeople
  7. Project Managers
  8. Business Analysts
  9. Account Executives
  10. Administrative Assistants

Additional High Demand Job Listings

  • Store Managers and Assistants - Retail, coffee shops, and others.
  • Clerical and Accounting Support
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Shift Supervisors - Manufacturing, Dining/Fast Food Services
  • Account Managers

Major Hiring Employers Shared by Gilbert and Scottsdale

Targeted industries for planned growth in Gilbert and Scottsdale provide some of the largest companies in terms of job postings and hiring:

  • Life Science & Healthcare Services: Banner Estrella Medical Center, Mayo Clinic, Soliant Health, Scottsdale Healthcare, St. Joseph's Hospital, Medical Connections
  • Staffing Companies: Jobcentral, Kforce, and Ajilon
  • Aerospace, Aviation, & Defense: IBM, Aerotek, USAF
  • High Technology: IBM, Robert Half International, Intel, Insight
  • Banking/Finance and Business Services: Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Charles Schwab, American Express, Wells Fargo
  • Retail, Entertainment, Hospitality: Blockbuster, Marriott Hotels, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut

The number of new positions for truck drivers is increasing in Arizona as well as through the United States in order to handle the increases in manufacturing, agriculture, oil transportation, etc.

Sustainability and renewable energy comprise another targeted growth industry and water conservation is a large part of this effort.

Scottsdale Business and Employment

A large number of job listings cluster around Scottsdale from 2010 - 2014, about 45,000 jobs posted consistently, increasing to 80,400+ job postings in February 2015. Many of these jobs are shared with the Gilbert market, but several thousand are much closer to Scotsdale.

The most frequently listed job titles are the following set, similar to those in Gilbert. However, the area closer to Scottsdale also requires Software Engineers, Area Supervisors, and Dental Assistants.

The bulk of jobs are available in the same cities as jobs near Gilbert, but also includes the community of Glendale, Arizona.

Largest Employers in Scottsdale

  1. Scottsdale Healthcare
  2. Mayo Clinic
  3. General Dynamics
  4. Scottsdale Unified School District – Public schools
  5. City of Scottsdale - Government
  6. CVS/CareMark – Drugs and sundries
  7. Go Daddy Group – Internet domain services
  8. The Vanguard Group
  9. Troon Golf LLC
  10. Scottsdale Insurance Company

Top 10 Hot Scottsdale Jobs

  1. Project Managers
  2. Physicians
  3. Dentists
  4. Software Engineers, Web Developers
  5. Registered Nurses (RN to NP)
  6. Physical Therapists
  7. Salespeople
  8. Housekeepers
  9. Truck Drivers - CDL
  10. Business Analysts

Additional High Demand Jobs

  • Administrative Assistants
  • Dental Assistants
  • Shift Supervisors - Manufacturing, Dining/Fast Food Services

Comparison: Arizona Employment Projections 2006 - 2016

Most of the Top 25 expected increases in new jobs in Arizona projected from 2006 - 2016 by the US Government are College Level Teaching Positions.

  1. Environmental Science Teachers, College
  2. Graduate Teaching Assistants, College
  3. Health Specialties Teachers, College
  4. Veterinary Technologists and Technicians
  5. Entertainment Attendants and Related Workers
  6. Pharmacy Technicians
  7. Chemistry Teachers, College
  8. Economics Teachers, College
  9. Art, Drama, and Music Teachers, College
  10. Atmospheric, Earth, Marine, and Space Sciences Teachers, College
  11. Audio and Video Equipment Technicians
  12. Postsecondary Teachers
  13. Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts
  14. Physics Teachers, College
  15. Area, Ethnic, and Cultural Studies Teachers, College
  16. Biological Science Teachers, College
  17. Dental Hygienists
  18. Vocational Education Teachers, College
  19. Personal and Home Care Aides
  20. Health Educators
  21. Computer Science Teachers, College
  22. Social Science Research Assistants, College and private business
  23. Home Health Aides
  24. Dental Assistants
  25. English Language and Literature Teachers, College

Favorite Attractions: WestWorld of Scottsdale - City Facilities

Scottsdale bills itself as the most Western Town in the West and to promote this title, the city supports a large venue called WestWorld, just north of town. It is all about the Wild West of the American past and the preservation of US western culture and activities in the 2010s. Just a few of the features that WestWorld incorporates include:

  • The Giant Multipurpose Tent - As of 2010, this is the largest clear-span tent on the North American Continent with 120,000 sq. ft. of venue space and 89 feet of height. Events held here include regional classic car shows and auctions, the Festival of the West, gem shows, home and garden shows, trade shows, and additional events.
  • Brett's Barn – Over 8,000sq. ft. of western party barn floor with an outdoor deck and a stage for parties, weddings, meetings, dances and other events. Idyllic, the local view is that of the Sonoran Desert and the McDowell Mountains.
  • The Equidome – A large equine arena for horse shows and related events.Horse Stalls are also available for rent in WestWorld for short-term boarding, with bedding and feed available for purchase.
  • Wendell Arena – An arena for ranching and farming shows, rodeos, jumpers, dressage, and others.
  • WestWorld also includes other Arenas, a Polo Field, Riding Trails, a Golf Course, and RV Hookups with water and electricity. Additional features include historic structures in commemoration of Arizona’s past, especially its early settlers and earlier Native Americans. Improvements and additions to WestWorld are ongoing.

Taliesin West

GFDL / Creative Commons 3.0
GFDL / Creative Commons 3.0 | Source

Wright’s Taliesin West

The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Inc. is based in Scottsdale and Taliesin West, a Southwestern US sattelitte of Wright's Taliesin in Wisconsin. Wright broke ground on the western branch during The Great Depression to afford himself a winter home, a studio, and an architectural school for his followers.

Offering guided tours today, It sits on the Sonoran Desert among the foothills of the McDowell Mountains and reflects the desrt colors. The Wisconsin and Arizona facilities are both registered National Historic Landmarks.


The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Inc. is based in Scottsdale and Taliesin West,

Taliesin West Location

Taliesin West:
Taliesin West, 12621 North Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard, Scottsdale, AZ 85259, USA

get directions

Higher Education

Advanced Secondary Education
The Arizona Gakuen (Japanese Saturday School) - By coincidence or design, this school honors the Japanese-Americans interned in Arizona during WWII. It is a Saturday School much like Greek School in Greek-American communities and Korean Schools in cities with large Korean-American communities. The weekly Japanese School lessons provide immersion education for K-12 students in Japanese Language and Culture.

© 2010 Patty Inglish MS


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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      4 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      @LotusLandry - I am glad you visited this Hub! You have visited quite a few places in Arizona - which is your favorite?

    • LotusLandry profile image


      4 years ago from Southern California

      I haven't been to Scottsdale, but I've been to Sedona; Jerome; Prescott; and Tucson.

    • htodd profile image


      8 years ago from United States

      Thanks for the nice post

    • suejanet profile image


      8 years ago

      Good information. Thanks, I will pass it on to my daughter who is looking for info like this.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      It has interest me much. Keep on posting more.

    • profile image

      Pamela Peterson 

      8 years ago

      I live in Gilbert and a great place to live, especially for families. The desert can be beautiful, and for all of you who think the desert is barren need to come here in the spring when the desert is full of wild flowers. Breathtaking!

    • handbagdiva profile image


      8 years ago

      I've been to Scottsdale, but not to Gilbert. Thanks for this information, in this economy people must find this very useful. Nice work!

    • joehickox profile image


      8 years ago from texas

      very cool hub page.

    • Stan Fletcher profile image

      Stan Fletcher 

      8 years ago from Nashville, TN

      Loved this hub. It made me incredibly homesick though. I lived in PHX for four years and I can't tell you how much I loved it. The weather, the people, the activities, the beauty of the desert, and most of all - the SUN! I'm moving back in June after my son graduates from high school. Seattle is the opposite of Phoenix, and I can't stand it here. I've lived here most of my adult life, but PHX is paradise as far as I'm concerned. Great hub!

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 

      8 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      I lived on the side of Camelback mtn (Stone Canyon) in Paradise Valley. Great area. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      Again a have learned a lot from your hub about another place of American. Thank you.

    • LillyGrillzit profile image

      Lori J Latimer 

      8 years ago from Central Oregon

      Thank you for a lovely idea for retirement! The Desert. Yes.

    • TheMMAZone profile image


      8 years ago from Kansas

      I had never heard of The City of Gilbert before but it sounds very good. Very interesting hub.



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