GUEST COLUMN: Michael Guymon – President & CEO, Tucson Metro Chamber

Tucson Metro Chamber honors Governor Ducey for his leadership over the past eight years and encourages future leaders to support business growth and job creation

As the voice of business, the Tucson Metro Chamber works with businesses and employers to advance policies aimed to increase our region’s economic vitality. Much of that work involves connecting directly with elected officials at all levels. 

Governor Doug Ducey recently asked the Chamber to host a reception celebrating his legacy in office and his 100th visit to southern Arizona on October 6 since taking office in 2014. Governor Ducey’s visit highlighted three important activities directly related to our economic future:

  • a reception with the Chamber’s key leaders followed by a conversation with the region’s Chambers and economic development groups
  • a ribbon cutting at TuSimple recognizing their recently announced expansion
  • a tour of the H.S. Lopez Family Foundation Center of Opportunity acknowledging their expansion with six additional buildings that offer medical and dental care, job training, government benefits, wellness center, permanent supportive housing and more to our most vulnerable citizens

These activities signify just a handful of economic successes in southern Arizona led by Governor Ducey. Downtown Tucson today is much more successful than the downtown of January 2015, when the Governor took office, evidenced by fewer vacant storefronts, a more bustling nightlife and millions of dollars in capital investments. These are direct results of thoughtful, proactive leadership by state and local officials who restructured the Rio Nuevo Board. In the last five years alone, Rio Nuevo has driven $2 billion of economic impact to the area.

In 2016, Governor Doug Ducey traveled to southern Arizona to officially welcome Caterpillar’s Surface Mining & Technology Division to the region. The expansions of Caterpillar, Raytheon, TuSimple, Hexagon Mining, Texas Instruments, Amazon, HomeGoods and more, all during the Governor’s time in office, have resulted in more jobs and economic benefit to southern Arizona.

Additionally, Governor Ducey has advanced specific programs within the University of Arizona, Pima Community College and Pima Joint Technology Education District (Pima JTED) that increase the availability of locally grown talent and skills our employers need to grow and succeed.

Governor Ducey’s legacy as it relates to furthering southern Arizona’s economy is strong and demonstrates that business success is directly tied to community success. 

  • Business growth provides more job opportunities and is the most effective way to reduce poverty in our community. 
  • Business growth, particularly in our high-wage/high-tech sectors, business growth elevates the ability for job seekers to find higher paying positions with more opportunities for career advancement.
  • Business growth increases consumer spending which helps support our restaurants and retailers and increases sales tax revenue communities need to better serve citizens through expanded police and fire protection, maintaining our streets, providing more park amenities and assisting needy families with transportation, early education and housing options.

The Tucson Metro Chamber is leading these discussions with other Chambers and our valuable business partners to support business growth. Our community, like others, faces significant challenges and supporting business growth and addressing the needs of business will continue to elevate our community to the next level.

We appreciate Governor Ducey’s leadership over the past eight years and encourage other leaders to continue the prioritization of economic development because as businesses succeed, opportunities increase, wealth grows, and community services expand.

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