Right after I announced my candidacy for Mayor, I was walking through Barrio Viejo and ran into a young couple I knew with a moving truck parked in front of their bungalow. They told me they loved Tucson but were moving to Austin because they couldn’t find good jobs here. Since then I’ve heard similar stories all too often.
At the same time, when I speak with local businesses, I often hear that they are struggling to attract and retain talent.
Clearly there’s a disconnect.
Collaboration is the key to giving our business community the tools they need to thrive in the 21st century. As Chairwoman of the Downtown Tucson Partnership, I was able to align diverse stakeholders toward a common goal of supporting the revitalization of downtown. It’s time we do the same for the City.
My plan for Tucson’s economy includes:
Develop a robust Economic Development Hub that provides a clear and transparent guide for Tucson’s small, medium-sized businesses and startups, including workforce data, funding sources, an easily navigable database for employers and job searchers, access to legal documents, permitting information and more. Our city’s 3-person economic development team is under-resourced and too heavily focused on incentives instead of resources and support.
Create coordinated industry-specific “ecosystems” through collaboration with business groups, colleges and universities to bolster sectors like Health and Wellness, Aerospace, Construction and Logistics, Diagnostics and Bioscience and Creative Industries. Tucson should be recognized globally for the unique strengths we possess. Growing these sectors will foster innovation and healthy competition and enable employees to have careers in Tucson, not just jobs.
More proactively attract new companies to Tucson. Through my 30 years of working with global and local businesses, I’ve gained insight into what it takes for businesses to thrive, and why they should relocate to Tucson. As Mayor I will use my global contacts to be proactive in attracting business to Tucson, not just responding to new business inquiries. Our city government should be building stronger alliances with regional stakeholders like Sun Corridor to present Tucson as the ideal place for companies and their employees to live, work and play.
We can boost our economy and create more, better paying jobs right here in Tucson. We should start with supporting the incredible assets we already have in our community. I believe the businesses that will take Tucson to the next level are already here. Let’s give them the support they need to thrive while also being proactive in attracting businesses who will further enhance our economy.
Learn more about my full plan here.
And please share my plan for Tucson’s economy: