Joe Snell

President & CEO 
Sun Corridor Inc.

Name something that sets the region apart and that is a priority for site selectors.

What sets us apart are innovative and award-winning institutions of higher learning.  The combined outputs of the University of Arizona, Arizona State University and Pima Community College have separated us from other regions. Without them, I don’t know how we’d be in the game. I think the University of Arizona and Pima Community College are the difference-makers, and so is ASU with what they’re doing down here. We’re spending a lot of time with our talent attraction campaign, Thrive in Tucson. We’re going to continue to work with the institutions of higher learning because it’s all about talent. We’re going to build on that.

With so many factors that site selectors look at when they’re examining various communities, how does Sun Corridor Inc. zero in on where it’s going to focus its efforts?

We follow a very specific strategic plan with specific targets where we know we can win. That’s part of it, having a good understanding of what the market is and what drivers we have and what type of talent will come in because of those drivers. Our team is constantly in contact with site selectors to determine the drivers. We’re taking our talent campaign, Thrive in Tucson, and making it industry-specific and I think that has a lot of potential. For example, if we have a shortage of nurses, we are going to focus on healthcare and nursing. I’m excited about that because that approach has the potential to be a real game-changer.

Two of the long-standing factors that make a region competitive or not are collaboration among local business leaders and the affordability of a community. Rate the region on those factors.

I think we really operate well regionally and that’s important. We’re on the same page, and we hear it over and over. We strengthened that last year from an effort we launched in creating a set of guidelines that we could all work with. We had all the jurisdictions sign off and work cooperatively. It might not sound like a lot, but to get everybody to sign off on that was important.

Affordability is a very important asset for us. We’re still one of the most affordable markets in the country both in commercial real estate and residential real estate. As much as we like to think it’s increased, it’s still cheaper than most everywhere else for people that companies hire who can come in and buy a home at a reasonable price.


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