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BizPROGRESS

Economy By Mary Minor Davis

silos or markets,” Snell added. “Talent has options,” he continued. “Skilled people have options. They’ve got the front range of Colorado, the Austin-Dallas corridor, Route 128 in Boston, the LA-San Diego corridor and the global markets to choose from. It’s just good business to be part of the Sun Corridor. We have all the right assets.” Paul Bonavia, chairman and CEO of UNS Energy, Tucson Electric Power & UniSource Energy Services – which sponsored the first Blueprint and is also sponsoring the update – agrees. “If we don’t see ourselves as part of a larger megapolitan area, we won’t succeed.”

If we don’t see ourselves as part of a larger megapolitan area, we won’t succeed.

– Paul Bonavia, Chairman & CEO UNS Energy, Tucson Electric Power & UniSource Energy Services

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He said TEP’s support of this effort is just “good business.” “We’re the most local business in the world,” he said. “We’re only as strong as our community. For a company like TEP, being interested in creating wealth in our community is the most natural thing for us.” Within the Talent Committee, three areas will be explored – development of 21st century skills, where the talent gap lies from the employers’ perspective, and what the community can do to attract and keep young professionals. Identifying the types of jobs that go unfilled will be included in the work, to help define the steps needed to become more competitive. Healthcare, regional economic development, business environment and infrastructure are other critical issues to be addressed by the TREO committees. Success in these areas greatly determines succees in attracting talent, Snell said. He said while the first Blueprint was “wildly successful” in laying out the region’s first economic development vision, the update must clarify what success looks like in terms of the types of jobs needed. Snell and Bonavia hope that by expanding the collaboration – including industry participation and viewpoints – the process will send the message that

the prosperity of the community is dependent on contribution and ownership among all segments of society. “TREO is not a vending machine that you just put a couple of quarters in and jobs come out,” Snell said. “I hope that by engaging the community more deeply in this update, (everyone) will understand that we don’t outsource economic development in our region. We own it – this is a collective responsibility.” Committees are expected to submit recommendations to TREO by January, and the Blueprint Update is expected to be released in April 2014.

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Blueprint Update Sponsor: Tucson Electric Power Committee Leads: Healthcare Fletcher McCusker, CEO Sinfonia HealthCare Corporation Infrastructure Dennis Minano, vice chair, Sonoran Institute Talent Daisy Jenkins, president Daisy Jenkins & Associates Business Environment David Hutchens, president & COO, UNS Energy, Tucson Electric Power & UniSource Energy Services; and Omar Mireles, executive VP, HSL Properties Regional Economic Development Satish Hiremath, mayor, Town of Oro Valley

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The Tucson Region's Business Magazine

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The Tucson Region's Business Magazine