Heath Vescovi-Chiordi

Heath Vescovi-Chiordi, director of the Pima County Economic Development Department, has been named the Economic Developer of the Year by the Arizona Association for Economic Development. 

Vescovi-Chiordi has served as the county’s economic development director since 2022. He accepted the statewide honor at the AAED Spring Conference on April 25 in Lake Havasu.

Under Vescovi-Chiordi’s leadership, the Economic Development Department has made significant progress in attracting new businesses to the county and in the areas of business retention, expansion and workforce development. Among his accomplishments:

  • Attracting Pima County’s largest economic impact project ever, American Battery Factory, to the region. In October, the lithium iron phosphate manufacturer broke ground on a facility expected to create 1,000 new jobs and have an overall economic impact of $3.1 billion.
  • Partnering on the creation of a Business Retention and Expansion effort to increase the pipeline of workers for the aircraft maintenance industry in the region. Four of Pima County’s largest aerospace companies are already short hundreds of workers and are facing looming staffing issues with retirements of long-term employees, in addition to major planned expansions at three of these companies. In partnership with the Pima County School Superintendent’s Office and Pima Community College, the team created the Pima County Aviation Alliance to attract high school students to these in-demand, high-paying jobs. Two dozen high school students are already enrolled, with expansion to other school districts in the works.
  • Leveraging the County’s relationship with the Pima Industrial Development Authority and the Tucson Industrial Development Authority to develop a program through which aspiring homeowners may receive down payment assistance and a competitive mortgage loan rate. This assistance helps families get into the homes that they need and realize their dreams of homeownership, and increases the overall stability of our regional workforce.
  • Winning a $500,000 planning grant in December 2023 from the Economic Development Association to train more working-age individuals in the workforce in Santa Cruz and Pima Counties. The county’s now eligible for a $50 million Phase 2 grant.
  • Creating a strategic plan with the input of more than 100 internal and external stakeholders that offers 30 recommendations and key performance indicators to measure success.

“Heath is an incredible individual and economic development professional,” said Carmine DeBonis Jr., Deputy County Administrator. “He works tirelessly to enhance economic growth and to improve the prosperity of the residents of our region. Pima County is blessed to have Heath on our team, and we are thrilled that he has received this prestigious recognition.”

Vescovi-Chiordi is currently serving his second term on the board of directors of AAED and was recently elected to serve as the organization’s VP. He is also a board member of Greater Tucson Leadership and Arizona Town Hall, a recent member of the Arizona Judicial Performance Review Board, a former board member of United Way of Southern Arizona and Tucson Young Professionals, and a graduate of Greater Tucson Leadership’s Civic and Political Leadership Academy. 

He has been recognized for his work several times, including in 2021 with the Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Award by the Arizona City/County Management Association; as a 40 Under 40 Honoree in 2019 by the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Arizona Daily Star, and as AAED’s Member of the Year in 2019 and New Member of the Year in 2016. Most recently, Vescovi-Chiordi was chosen through a highly competitive selection process to be a Fellow in the 2023 Cohort of the Flinn Brown Fellowship in Arizona.

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