TREO CHAIRMAN’S CIRCLE
What is your perspective on the importance of talent and workforce development as a key economic driver?
Let’s face it – big companies moving to town are the superstars that grab the headlines, while workforce development efforts remain in the background. Sexy or not, workforce development is the foundation of the local economy. Our prosperity is tied to whether our residents can find work and whether companies can hire our residents. Building productivity in a time of increased global competition and accelerating innovation is a complex undertaking that demands focus and investment. We must keep up with the skills required to capitalize on emerging technologies.
Why does Pima County invest in and support economic development initiatives?
As a major funder, Pima County supports TREO’s economic development efforts because the organization represents a “one stop” service that clients demand. It has long been recognized that fragmented, “go it alone” approaches will lose out every time to a regional, cohesive approach that emphasizes the strength of a community – regardless of jurisdictional boundaries. The reality is that local jurisdictions have far more in common than they have apart. A unified voice is key when competing with other communities that may have greater resources and name recognition.
Regarding the TREO Blueprint Update, why is the committee you serve on in this strategic planning initiative important to you?
Sharon Bronson Vice Chair Pima County Board of Supervisors
When the Blueprint was first developed, we were in a very different economic environment, so I am highly engaged in revisiting some of the key features, such as developing local talent. We are no longer competing with each other locally or even across the state. We’re competing globally. That changing dynamic will force us to start thinking as partners while finding our own niche. That’s why I am pleased that we’ve been successful in several grants that leverage our border connections – both in strengthening our logistics positioning and in developing a strategic plan for manufacturing.
What is the outlook for Pima County in 2014?
Uncertainty is not helpful in a recovering economy, but I am optimistic about 2014 at a local level. Energy is building around our southern corridor, providing new opportunities for growth around our strengths – including military & defense, international trade and new technologies. Our partnerships are strong with The University of Arizona and Pima Community College, which are committed to growing the talent pipeline that companies require. We can’t be ambivalent about seizing opportunities that ultimately will help fuel the high-paying, science-based jobs we seek. Biz
Winter Winter2014 2014 > > > BizTucson 83
The Tucson Region's Business Magazine