Pima County Approves Economic Development Plan

The Pima County Board of Supervisors, at its April 18 meeting, voted 3-2 to approve an updated economic development strategic plan that will engage both the business community and region at large in supporting long-term economic prosperity. 

Supervisors Adelita Grijalva, Matt Heinz, and Rex Scott voted for approval while Supervisors Sharon Bronson and Steve Christy voted against.

Approval of the Economic Development Strategy 2023-26 will enable the county’s economic development department to apply for specific grants through the federal Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Administration. Focus areas will be on small business assistance, brownfield revitalization, infrastructure planning and development, workforce planning and development, and more. The plan also allows for a strategic and regional approach to accomplishing economic development goals as identified throughout the collaborative process of the creation of the plan.

“This means a better prepared workforce for our existing and future businesses, as well as additional opportunities for business attraction and job creation,” said Heath Vescovi-Chiordi, director of economic development. “The results of implementing this plan will include enabling a more prominent voice for our business community, increased economic mobility for our community members, diverse economic vitality among our core industry focus areas, enhanced attention on stewardship of natural resources, and an equitable approach to economic development.”

In 2022, Pima County launched a new approach to economic development strategic planning with a focus on stakeholder inclusion, data analysis, and identifying and leveraging the region’s economic strengths. The newly approved plan focuses on four strategic priorities: retention and expansion, business attraction, infrastructure and workforce development. These priorities are accompanied by four Pima County-centric economic development pillars, as well as six priority industry sectors for additional focused attention. Overall, the plan has 30 recommendations contained within it, which are the result of a deeply collaborative and engaging process with the region’s economic development community.

The economic development department worked with a national consultant who helped conduct and compile market research and stakeholder engagement results to create an economic development strategy that is rooted in leveraging existing assets, developing future assets, and working with regional collaborators to accomplish goals focused on economic vitality, resilience, impact and innovation.

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