Market VP Southern Arizona, Cox Communications
What are some of the ways you have seen collaboration between the various economic development partners improve over the last several years?
Every economic development organization, business and municipality is focused on creating more opportunities for Southern Arizona families. The only way we will achieve this is to work together.
We have improved because everyone understands that none of us can succeed if we don’t all come together. To make our community stronger, healthier and more equitable, we have to all pull in the same direction. Economic development is a team sport.
What are some issues that you think need more or better collaboration and how would you begin to address those?
We are still trying to figure out how to best leverage the federal infrastructure funds that are headed to our community. There has never been a more critical time for business and government to hold hands to address our most pressing needs.
Two of the top focus areas in the Pivot Playbook recovery plan are infrastructure and talent acquisition. Within those two focus areas, what are the most pressing issues for your organization and what can your organization do to address those?
Cox is actively engaged in the broadband infrastructure priorities of the region. We have identified unserved and underserved communities throughout Pima, Cochise and Santa Cruz counties. We are working with all our municipal partners to figure out how to close the gap and get every household connected.
If you were involved in the recruitment of a company to the region, what are the top selling points of the region that you would want to communicate to a prospective employer?
Tucson and Southern Arizona have so many assets. We have a diverse economic base. We have a top research university, an award-winning community college, a workforce with access to training and development. We are committed to open space, to celebrating our cultural uniqueness and making our community a place where everyone is seen and heard.
Tucson has developed a number of industry clusters that are gaining momentum in the region such as aerospace and defense, mining, biosciences and medicine, and various aspects of technology. Do you consider those to be areas that need continued focus and why?
We have worked very hard to cultivate and develop these industries and we need to continue to build on our strengths and success with these employers. These clusters generate high-paying jobs and are businesses that are growing.