From the Publisher BizTUCSON Winter 2017 Issue –
SPACE: The Tucson Frontier
Science writer Eric Swedlund captures the essence of our connection to the cosmic frontier: “Space, which has captured the human imagination since the first stargazers turned their eyes to the night sky, is a massive economic engine in Southern Arizona with a rich history of scientific discovery that not only continues as strong as ever in the 21st century, but has branched into a robust and growing slate of private businesses.”
A century ago, pioneering astronomer and University of Arizona professor Andrew Ellicott Douglass secured a $60,000 donation from Oracle philanthropist Lavinia Steward to build a world-class observatory. That was just the beginning. This issue chronicles a treasure trove of UA innovations in astronomy, optics, engineering, space travel, exploration and discovery over the past century. In addition, the timeline contains milestones of private enterprise. Over the years the UA has been one of the nation’s most consistent academic partners for NASA missions, playing a role in nearly every planetary exploration mission the U.S. space agency has undertaken since its formation in 1958. Private space enterprises include Raytheon Missile Systems, Paragon Space Development, World View Enterprises and Vector Space Systems.
The most significant aerospace milestone in our region’s business history came 65 years ago when Hughes Aircraft Co. built a missile plant here. Then two decades ago, Raytheon acquired Hughes. Our city became a player on the global stage. And this region’s technology workforce is exceptional. The UA College of Engineering continues to produce more engineers for Raytheon than any university in the world.
As 2016 came to a close, Raytheon marked another major milestone. The global powerhouse announced the expansion of its Tucson operation with 2,000 new jobs, creating billions of dollars in economic impact. Journalist David Pittman interviews Raytheon’s President Taylor W. Lawrence with the exciting details of how the expansion came to be through the collaborative energy of the State of Arizona, Pima County, City of Tucson and Sun Corridor Inc.
The business community is definitely feeling a rush of economic adrenaline in the past year. That’s the lead story by Pittman in our Tucson Metro Chamber Special Report. This past year has produced an impressive list of high-impact accomplishments for the business community and for developing a strong workforce. The report details initiatives to mentor future leaders, a taskforce that fights organized retail theft and Project Prosperity to work with the City of Tucson to create a more business-friendly environment. Q&As with Chamber President and CEO Michael Varney and Chairman of the Board Robert Ramirez provide additional insight.
MHC Healthcare is the focus of a special report, which charts this organization’s growth over the past six decades. MHC has expanded throughout the region and now serves the community’s health care needs in 15 locations in the metro area. It’s quite a success story with plans for continued growth, as our population continues to expand.
This issue also features the inspirational Man of the Year and Woman of the Year Award − Robert Ramirez and Cristie Street − as well as Founders Award Honoree Si Schorr, honoring them for their unwavering dedication to the community.
Steven E. Rosenberg
Publisher & Owner