Vice President – Resource Industries Sales, , Services and Technology – Caterpillar Inc.
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?
The need for talent is absolutely critical to Caterpillar’s Tucson office. From our downtown site where we design and develop our prototypes, to our testing and training sites in Green Valley where we validate our machines and technology, Caterpillar needs talent ready to drive innovative solutions to the marketplace. In addition to building a strong early talent pipeline, our region needs a robust pipeline of experienced mining professionals, test engineers, welders and mechanics.
We’re working to build those pipelines. For example, Caterpillar has started to work with the Tucson Metro Chamber to support a mining sector workforce initiative. Our company is also excited by the Tucson Hispanic Chamber’s efforts to build stronger Sonora, Mexico, industry connections. These and other efforts will help develop strong, cross‐sector workforce programs to promote the region’s sectors to talent.
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?
Arizona has always been known for copper, and it continues to be the number one state for mining precious metals − for example, lithium, which is critical for the shift to electric vehicles. There is a need for expanding the mining industry focus as our nation’s supply chain was disrupted. It has increased the profile of Arizona’s natural resources as a source of competitive advantage for our nation’s economy.
Are there industries that the region should be more aggressive in pursuing and how would those fit within the makeup of the Tucson business structure?
With so many companies opening in Arizona along our I‐10 corridor, there is an opportunity to attract more business focused on autonomy, alternative energies, battery production, and more that can meet the growing needs of electric vehicle manufacturers. The universities and community colleges have great researchers and experts to train the workforce of the future. Tucson can do more to invest in research, early venture development, and corporate attraction to make I‐10 the road to innovation.