Leonardo Electronics US Inc., a provider of next-gen technologies for defense, security, medical and industrial applications and a U.S. subsidiary of Leonardo, has announced plans to expand its regional presence in Oro Valley, Ariz., north of Tucson.
Leonardo has purchased 12 acres in Innovation Park and is planning the construction of a new state-of-the-art semiconductor laser manufacturing facility. The tech giant has been present in the Tucson region since 2009, through Lasertel, and the company has outgrown its current facility. The new Innovation Park location will comprise approximately 120,000 square feet of manufacturing and administrative offices. Construction is anticipated to begin at the end of the first quarter of 2022.
Leonardo’s laser operations are currently located at 7775 N. Casa Grande Highway and employ around 200 people. The full expansion over five years will add an additional 170 jobs to the Tucson facility, primarily in engineering, production, quality control, IT, HR, marketing, business development, purchasing and finance.
The total capital investment will be approximately $100 million, resulting in a total economic impact of $374 million over the next 10 years.
In addition to Sun Corridor Inc., partners in the project include the Arizona Commerce Authority, Pima County, the Town of Oro Valley, VentureWest, Trammel Crow, SmithGroup and Sundt Construction.
“This new larger facility will support our business growth across all key market segments,” said Matthew Keegan, Leonardo’s president and CEO. “We ultimately selected Innovation Park in Oro Valley due to its proximity to our existing employee base and exceptional talent in the region, which is one of the leading photonics technology hubs in the country.”
“In addition to business attraction, economic development is about helping local companies like Leonardo expand,” said Joe Snell, president and CEO of Sun Corridor Inc. “Success stories such as this have a tremendous ripple effect across the entire economy. Leonardo’s success is the entire region’s success.”
“We are thrilled to welcome Leonardo to Oro Valley and to the Innovation Park family of high-tech and bio science companies,” said Town of Oro Valley Mayor Joe Winfield. “Leonardo’s specialized manufacturing techniques and international reach complement the other high caliber companies in our community, bringing quality jobs to Oro Valley and enhancing the town’s reputation as a bioscience and high-tech hub. We look forward to seeing them grow and thrive for many years to come.”
“Leonardo has been an outstanding industry partner for over 20 years and we’re excited they are expanding their Tucson manufacturing operations,” said Sandra Watson, president and CEO of Arizona Commerce Authority. “We are grateful Leonardo continues to invest in Arizona, creating high-quality jobs for residents and contributing to Southern Arizona’s robust aerospace and defense sector.”
“Retaining expanding businesses is a key economic growth strategy for our region, as is fostering and supporting high-wage manufacturing jobs. Pima County has provided the manufacturing workforce that Leonardo needs for many years and will continue to do so long into the future,” said Sharon Bronson, chair of the Pima County Board of Supervisors.