As one of the fastest-growing megaregions in the U.S., the continuing in-migration of talent at all levels positively impacts the regional economy and translates into increased workforce availability. Nearly half of Southern Arizona’s population is in the prime working-age range of 18 to 54*. The median age in the megaregion is 33.5 and Arizona itself is the 11th youngest state in the U.S.
Regional employers find a diverse, educated workforce, well-qualified with skills for technical positions. 11% of the working-age population is a bilingual Spanish speaker, making Southern Arizona a center for bilingual opportunities.
Southern Arizona has a well-rounded economy with no voids among major industry categories. Compared to the State of Arizona, the Tucson region has relatively more manufacturing, health and education services, and government jobs and fewer construction, trade, financial and professional business services jobs. Compared to the U.S. as a whole, there are a greater percentage of professional and business services, education and health services, leisure and hospitality, and government jobs and fewer manufacturing (with the exception of aerospace manufacturing), trade, information and financial activities jobs.
The availability of fast-track, customized training also has had a significant impact on the region’s workforce. Training courses from the aerospace, information technology, plastics, optics and electronics industries to ISO certification preparation and soft-skills programs on leadership and team building can be found among numerous institutions.
Southern Arizona’s highly-skilled workforce is a product of targeted education programs at The University of Arizona, Arizona State University, University of Phoenix, Pima Community College, Central Arizona College and Cochise College, as well as many technical and specialized training programs throughout the region. There are also a number of highly organized cooperative efforts to recruit and retain workers for new and expanding businesses.
With over 146,000 veterans who call Southern Arizona home, the region contains highly-skilled and highly-motivated individuals that can fill a variety of positions. The region also houses one of the first OneStop Service Centers in the nation dedicated to help military veterans find jobs and get training, benefits and support services; and to help employers hire veterans
* Source: Census Bureau, 2015-2019
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Susan Dumon | Senior Vice President, Economic Competitiveness
Daniela Gallagher | Vice President, Economic Development