Yuma, Flagstaff Join Arizona’s ‘Sun Corridor’ Economic Growth Program

Posted By Mike Padgett


Sept. 17, 2009

PHOENIX, Ariz. –The Greater Yuma Economic Development Corp. and the city of Flagstaff have joined Phoenix and Tucson in bringing jobs to Arizona’s Sun Corridor, a move that aligns the state’s key metro markets under a common goal.

The addition of the two groups strengthens the effort to recruit high-wage industries from California such as aerospace, solar and renewable energy and bioscience.

The economic development program, “Arizona Sun Corridor: Open for Business,” began earlier this year through a partnership between the Greater Phoenix Economic Council and Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities Inc. The program’s goal is to attract high-wage industries to the Sun Corridor, a megapolitan projected as one of the 10 U.S. markets expected to see most of the nation’s growth in the next 35 years.

“We joined the Sun Corridor program because of the synergistic effort between Arizona communities, both metro and rural,” said Stacey Button, Economic Vitality director for the city of Flagstaff. “Being a part of this alliance gives us leverage and creates awareness for companies that may not know about the uniqueness of the Flagstaff region.”

Flagstaff hopes to relocate companies that complement the city’s existing low-impact high-wage industries, such as W.L. Gore, Southwest Windpower, and TGEN North, which is the northern Arizona campus of Translational Genomics Research Institute, based in central Phoenix.

Julie Engel, president and CEO of Greater Yuma EDC, said working through a consortium makes sense in today’s economic climate. The partnership allows the groups to operate more efficiently by pooling resources.

“We (the state and our regions) have a great story to tell and this offers us a venue to share that story,” said Engel, who recently traveled with GPEC to Los Angeles as part of the job-recruitment effort. “Attempting this strategy alone could never happen with our limited resources.”

The trip into Los Angeles included Queen Creek Mayor Art Sanders, the seventh Valley mayor to represent Greater Phoenix as part of the initiative. The delegation met with two renewable energy companies and one healthcare firm representing 160 jobs.

“Two of the companies we met with were extremely interested in the Arizona market due to the state’s renewable energy standard, the new tax incentive and the variety of assets the state has to support renewable infrastructure,” Sanders said.

So far, GPEC and TREO have led several sales missions into California. TREO has conducted six and anticipates two more this month. GPEC has conducted five, with a mission planned at the end of the month with Avondale Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers.

For more information, contact:

• Laura Shaw, TREO senior vice president, marketing and communications, 520-243-1940, laura.shaw@treoaz.org

• Kristina Justin, GPEC communications director, 480-286-8933, kjustin@gpec.org

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Sep 17th, 2009

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