Creating an aerospace and defense park and ensuring the future strength of Raytheon Missile Systems and Davis-Monthan Air Force Base are the centerpieces of an economic blueprint released this week to foster robust job growth in Pima County.
The Economic Development Action Plan is designed to spur job creation by capitalizing on the region’s existing strengths in defense and biosciences.
The Pima County Board of Supervisors on Nov. 13 will consider the plan, which also asks voters to invest $197 million in improvements designed to make this region more competitive.
“Communities across the country all want the same thing: high wage, stable jobs for their residents,” said Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry. “The challenge is how to get there, especially since it is not the role of government to directly create jobs, but to lay the foundation for a strong economic climate.
“This is an ambitious agenda that really re-imagines the southern corridor that connects existing and potential employment centers. It lists detailed actions we can take now to ensure we can get this community to work.”
Those actions include realigning the Hughes Access Road to better buffer existing Raytheon facilities from nearby high traffic volume; discounting use fees for Kino Sports Complex; drawing more visitors through soccer and cycling improvements; and increasing support for Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities to promote job attraction.
With agreement from the Pima County Bond Advisory Committee and the Board of Supervisors, voters would be asked to support:
$90 million in roads to tie the major employment centers together; $30 million in economic development infrastructure in regional centers such as Marana
and Oro Valley; $37 million to jump-start tourism and invest in our most visited facilities; $10 million to expand the University of Arizona’s Science and Technology Park; $30 million to address aircraft noise abatement and purchase buffer lands to keep
people from building in the departure air corridor, which would threaten the base.
“Pima County has taken steps over the years to provide a solid foundation for business,” Huckelberry continued. “Our tax levy hasn’t been this low since 2007-08. In that same time, our workforce has been reduced by 12 percent. From training workers to reducing sewer connection fees, we have worked to make sure we provide a positive climate for business. But we have a critical opportunity now to do more.”
The action plan was informed by community comments received after circulating a draft plan in January 2012.
To see the document in its entirety, please visit