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  • Workforce Investment Board meeting highlights entrepreneurship, economic assets

    Dec 13, 2013 | Read More News
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    Pima County is on the right track for future economic expansion, County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry told more than 200 people attending the Dec. 13 Workforce Investment Board meeting.
    County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry
    The County has or is developing the right workforce assets and the key physical assets – climate, infrastructure and educational institutions – that make it an attractive place to live and do business, he said.

    He praised the Workforce Investment Board (WIB) and the Pima County One-Stop Career Center for building the skill levels “employers need from their employees” in an economy geared to growing exports.

    “If we keep doing what we’re doing, we will grow our export-based employment,” Huckelberry said.

    Joining representatives of local businesses and nonprofit organizations that partner with the WIB and One-Stop in the audience were Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, State Rep. Ethan Orr, Tucson Metro Chamber President Mike Varney, Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President Lea Márquez Peterson, and Marana Chamber of Commerce President Ed Stolmaker.

    Bruce Wright, Associate Vice President for University Research Parks, said the University of Arizona is capitalizing on the County’s key natural asset – the Sun – with the 222-acre Solar Zone @ the UA Tech Park, the largest solar testing demonstration site in the nation.
    Entrepreneurship panel
    “The 21st century will be defined by technology,” he said. “How do we support technological development in our community?”

    The area’s other key assets include its links to defense – Raytheon, Fort Huachuca, the Yuma Proving Ground and Goldwater Range – and to Mexico and the border’s booming economy, Wright said.

    Wright was part of a panel on entrepreneurship that included Justin Williams, founder and president of Startup Tucson, and Robin Breault, co-founder of LeadLocal.

    Williams and Breault talked about the need to nurture entrepreneurs and keep them here by creating opportunities for students of all ages and young professionals.

    “Jobs and investment follow talent,” Williams said.
    Workforce Investment Board meeting
    The 2012-2013 Workforce Investment Board annual report on workforce development in Pima County was distributed at the meeting.

    More than 750 local businesses hired One-Stop clients in the fiscal year 2012-13. The Workforce Investment Board and One-Stop work with employers to identify and develop employee skills in six key industry sectors: aerospace and defense, health science, logistics, emerging technologies, natural and renewable resources, and infrastructure.

    For more information, please visit the Workforce Investment Board and the One-Stop Career Center online.