Tucson has been ranked sixth in America for aerospace and defense manufacturing, according to the publication Business Facilities magazine.

The ranking is primarily based on a comparison of industry sector employment and wages, according to Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities. Also evaluated were major projects and facility expansion / relocation activity for a region in the past 12 months, and the number of major aerospace and defense contractors headquartered in the region.

Aerospace and defense is one of four targeted industries in TREO's business development efforts. In the last fiscal year, 16 percent of new jobs in the region were in the aerospace and defense/homeland security industry, TREO said in a release.

"Tucson, Arizona, clearly has established itself as a leading aerospace / defense hub. It is home to Raytheon Missile Systems, the world's largest missile manufacturer, which generates about $5 billion in annual revenue and supports more than 12,000 jobs. With a solid footing in the production of advanced defense systems, Tucson has positioned itself for steady growth in this critical high-tech sector for years to come," said Jack Rogers, editor of Business Facilities.

"Business Facilities' ranking of Tucson as a top metro area for aerospace and defense manufacturing proves that targeted efforts to recruit high-skilled jobs in this industry are paying off," said Joe Snell, TREO president and CEO. "The aerospace and defense industry is a critical component of Tucson's economy and a national ranking like this is great recognition for the region."

Tucson has also recently ranked as a hotspot for young professionals as well as a "Fast City." In June, Next Generation Consulting ranked Tucson No. 16 on its list of the best places to live and work for young professionals in cities with a population of more than 500,000. And in May, Fast Company magazine ranked Tucson as one of the top 12 "Fast Cities" in the world.

For more information on these rankings, visit www.treoaz.org.

Top 10 metro areas for aerospace and defense manufacturing:

1.      Wichita, Kan

2.      Huntsville, Ala.

3.      Seattle

4.      Fort Worth

5.      Tampa, St. Petersburg

6.      Tucson

7.      Orlando

8.      Phoenix

9.      Los Angeles

10.    San Diego

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