By Audrey Jensen, Reporter, Phoenix Business Journal
December 6, 2022
From left, Steven Vizzerra, COO of Verde, Chancellor of Maricopa County Colleges Steve Gonzalez, and Amber Reyna, Chief Revenue Officer, for Verde. Paul Sarzoza, CEO, of Phoenix-based Verde Clean, a Hispanic-owned and operated facilities services company. VERDE CLEAN SERVICES.
The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. chip complex in north Phoenix is bringing dozens of suppliers and related companies to Arizona and is expected to have a major economic impact on the state and U.S.
It's also providing new job and contract opportunities for companies that have operated in the Valley for a long time.
After a rigorous bidding process between six finalists, including a $6 billion company and international firms, Phoenix-based Verde Clean has landed a big contract for TSMC's new Arizona factory, or fab. The request for proposals started in the spring of 2021 and the contract was awarded to Verde in October 2022.
The company, which President Joe Biden is expected to highlight during his visit to TSMC's under-construction fab in Phoenix on Tuesday, said it focuses on eco-friendly products and specializes in semiconductor manufacturing and cleaning within critical spaces.
A huge construction crane juts into the sky above the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. factory under construction in north Phoenix. TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING CO.
"We knew we were the best person for the job, and because we brought all this expertise to the table in a very boutique way, being right here in the Valley and also being minority-owned and what value that would bring to TSMC — all these pieces started coming together to get the outcome of winning the award," Amber Reyna, chief revenue officer of Verde, told the Business Journal.
Verde said it presented TSMC with a different, customized approach such as interviewing and visiting a variety of partners that would be involved including landfills and recycling centers. Because they already have a diverse, local employment base and have expertise in cleaning semiconductor facilities, Reyna said this also contributed to them landing the contract.
Founded in 2019 by longtime leaders in the professional cleaning industry Paul Sarzoza, president and CEO, and Steve Vizzerra, COO, Verde Clean has developed significant relationships over time, including its previous work at [a Fortune 500] Corp.'s chip plant in Chandler.
"That's actually how we got the opportunity here, was through relationships with the facilities directors that were previously over at [that Fortune 500 Chip Manufacturer] and they're now over at TSMC," Sarzoza told the Phoenix Business Journal. "Prior to that, being in this industry long enough, you develop a network and relationships and it has really lent itself nicely and to the growth for Verde Clean when we initiated in 2019."
Paul Sarzoza, president and CEO of Verde Clean, DUANE FURLONG STUDIOS
For Verde Clean, big contract means more hiring
In addition, Verde said it's located about 15 minutes away from TSMC in Phoenix. TSMC's facilities also includes LEED certified buildings, meaning there are specific standards for what can go into the building such as the products brought in or chemicals used, which the company serves through advisory support, ongoing reporting and site education, according to its website.
For Verde Clean, a contract with one of the world's largest producers of chips means it will now need to significantly increase its staff, offer paid benefits to all of its employees at all levels; invest in manager, mentorship and training programs; and becoming Green Seal certified.
"From an economic standpoint, not only has it doubled our business, but it will also provide growth for years to come because we're growing on the construction side, we're growing with [TSMC] as they grow over the next five years, as they open up buildings, we'll grow with them," Reyna said. "It also makes us really hopeful for the future because with that growth we're also able to scale our business."
Right now, Verde Clean has about 150 team members, but with the TSMC opportunity, Sarzoza said their company will double in size to 300 workers in the next six months to a year. Beyond that, he said their number of employees could then double again in the next several years as TSMC grows.
Sarzoza said the company's name, Verde, which means green in Spanish, ties into the processes, chemicals and equipment it uses that are more environmentally friendly, as well as encouraging their vendors and partners to implement more "green" practices.
"If you take a look at our approach, our business partners that we have, to the training for employees, the processes that we implement, that is what we are, the Verde name, [from] green cleaning to supporting our customers is very much the foothold of the organization," he said.
The company's contract with TSMC will include a variety of services such as construction cleaning, working in critical spaces in the factories, floor programs and regular janitorial work, which Verde said will offer its employees opportunities for advancement and learning new skills.
"It will also allow us to bring different types of management and introduce them to the same type of dynamic that's at TSMC," Sarzoza said. "We get to grow with TSMC and that provides a wealth of opportunity, but it also legitimizes Verde to participate in future growth and other semiconductor plants within the country as well."