KMSB "Fox-11 Forum," Sunday, 5/8/11, 7:30 AM & KTTU "In Focus," Sunday, 5/15, 10:30 AM

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By Bryce Potter By Bryce Potter

Host Bob Lee interviews Joe Snell, CEO, TREO, (Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities, Inc)., the Tucson area’s lead economic development agency. 

Snell says despite the recession, Tucson manages to continue economic expansion.  He says in the past five years the region has seen the attraction or expansion of 40 companies, bringing just over 10,000 jobs with them.  He says capital investment was $582-million, with a resulting $2-billion economic impact on the area.

Snell says The area’s assets include its strategic location, between California and Mexico, an available workforce, it’s “science,” (the University of Arizona), and lifestyle.  He says the four targeted industries, as identified in the “Economic Blueprint” developed four years ago, remain aerospace & defense, bioscience, solar and transportation & logistics.  He says Roche’s expansion in Oro Valley and Sergeant Industries recent expansion in Tucson are recent successes.  He says the private sector here is leading the way.  He says most companies don’t pay too much attention of local “politics.”  

Snell says there is some concern about Arizona’s poor K-12 education system. But, he says, TREO points out the abundance of private and Charter Schools in the area that are of high quality.  And, he says, there are occasional questions about the “safety” of the border.  He says measures are underway to address those concerns.