Chair, Pima County Board of Supervisors
What are some of the ways you have seen collaboration between the various economic development partners improve over the last several years?
Increased communication among our regional partners has yielded better collaboration. Part of this has been due to the creation of standing formal meetings among the partners, as well as the constant informal discussions that happen organically. These methods of communication also happen at multiple levels within the partner organizations, which has allowed everyone involved to be on the same page as much as possible. These discussions have also evolved recently to more immediately include all participants necessary from these partner organizations when working on a project.
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?
On the issue of infrastructure, Pima County has many land assets we would like to see developed to reach a more diverse economy. Strategic infrastructure development to attract new and growing industries will be key for us. There are many current opportunities related to infrastructure funding from the federal government. Leveraging those opportunities on a rolling basis will be pivotal. As an illustrative point on the importance of infrastructure in economic development, our Aerospace Research Campus is a fully infrastructure-ready campus with all major utilities lining the property which is more than 300 acres. Among our current land assets, this area has received the most attention due to the combination of several factors, including available acreage and adjacent plug-and-play infrastructure readiness.
If you were involved in the recruitment of a company to the region, what are the top selling points of the region that you would want to communicate to a prospective employer?
When we are actively in talks with a company, we tout several things, including:
- Talent pool and pipeline – including the University of Arizona, Pima Community College, Pima County Community Workforce Development and other educational and workforce partners
- Infrastructure availability and capacity
- Community and sense of place
- Collaborative work processes across jurisdictions, providers and private business
- Ease of doing business in Pima County and surrounding municipalities
- Low cost of doing business in Pima County
- Existing companies that are comparable to, or can support/feed the prospect
- Possible incentives