From the Publisher
Throughout the past century, Arizonans have relied on the 5 Cs of the state’s commerce: cattle, citrus, climate, copper and cotton.
But on Feb. 2, 1951, everything changed. Our sleepy desert town of 46,000 awoke to the news that aviation pioneer Howard Hughes had decided to build a multi-million dollar plant for Hughes Aircraft’s Missile Defense division. It was, without question, the economic development coup of the century for Tucson.
Legendary community leader Roy Drachman was the key figure in recruiting this jewel to the Old Pueblo. This is the same man that brought our city professional golf (as founding father of the Tucson Conquistadores), lured major league baseball’s spring training, helped convert a private tuberculosis center into Tucson Medical Center, built a clubhouse for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson, donated the money to purchase Agua Caliente Park and made the first million-dollar gift to the University of Arizona. The list goes on.
BizTucson’s theme of “Why the World is Watching Tucson” is a perfect fit for this edition.
Raytheon Missiles & Defense is Tucson’s global powerhouse with no equal. It is the region’s largest private sector employer, with a high-wage workforce of more than 12,500 employees and an annual economic impact of $2.6 billion.
We’re proud to present a 52-page Special Report, with a “deep dive” on Raytheon Missiles & Defense’s 70 Years in Tucson. Romi Carrell Wittman, Jay Gonzales and David Pittman have posted exceptional in-depth features that explore the science, technology, economic impact, innovation, community support, education and STEM collaborations, suppliers statewide and philanthropy exhibited, by what is our region’s most valuable private sector asset. Raytheon Missiles & Defense has been the catalyst to a mega-industry for our region.
Seven decades ago, the aerospace/defense sector of our economy was virtually non-existent. Today, Tucson and Southern Arizona have the fifth-highest concentration of aerospace and defense employees in the country. That’s high-wage, highly skilled manufacturing jobs. Our region is home to Sargent Controls, Honeywell Aerospace, Bombardier, Ascent Aviation, Universal Avionics, Meggitt, Leonardo Electronics, Paragon Space Development Corp., Lockheed-Martin, Northrup-Grumman and more. Rodney Campbell provides an in-depth overview of this key industry sector, along with the business of space exploration. Plus, the University of Arizona is a global leader in space research and exploration, and you’ll read about its recent NASA projects. UArizona is ranked #2 in space science by U.S. News & World Report. On the defense side, June Hussey provides us with an overview of all U.S. military installations in the region, plus profiles of our two major bases, Davis-Monthan and the 162nd Wing.
UArizona President Robert C. Robbins sets the tone well for our next Special Report, focused on the College of Science, entitled Changing the World.
Robbins stated, “The College of Science, in the past decade, has become the most important college. The coming together of the physical, biological, aerospace, digital and behavioral sciences is tremendous and provides the foundation from which all of the collaborative research that occurs at the university is conducted.” You’ll be introduced to the College’s visionary new Dean Carmala Garzione, who earned her master’s and Doctorate degrees at UArizona in the 90s. “I want students to view the College of Science as a place of unique breadth, strength, and interdisciplinarity in the sciences – a place to feed their curiosity,” she said. Mary Davis and Loni Nannini deliver an exceptional, in-depth special report.
Steven E. Rosenberg
Publisher & Owner