For TREO, generating wealth for Southern Arizona is Job One - The Explorer: Business

For TREO, generating wealth for Southern Arizona is Job One

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Posted: Tuesday, June 16, 2009 11:00 pm | Updated: 1:36 pm, Mon Apr 18, 2011.

Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities, Inc. (TREO) was established as a private organization in 2005 to synergize and coordinate all economic development activities and programs in Southern Arizona under one umbrella.

TREO is responsible for business attraction, retention /expansion and new business creation for the entire region, in order to generate more wealth and create a vibrant, business-friendly community. TREO markets and sells the "product" of the Tucson region to the global marketplace.

How does this impact the Northwest area of the region, such as Oro Valley or Marana? The private sector does not operate just within jurisdictional lines. Yes, a business license or real estate location is tied to these boundaries, but a private company strategically operates within market areas it feels can contribute to the viability of a product or service line, generate a customer base, or attract and retain employees.

One million people, five communities … equals one region. Tucson residents travel to Ventana Medical Systems to work every day. Sanofi-aventis buys products and services not only in Oro Valley but across the region. Bioscience companies travel to the UA to collaborate with researchers. Marana residents work in Oro Valley. Patients come from many parts of the region to Northwest Medical Center. These real examples show that regional collaboration serves the desires of residents. We're all intimately connected by our workplaces, our friends and families and how we choose to live our lives.

This is exactly how a business looks at a growing market and how we must define ourselves if we are to operate competitively. TREO's focus on marketing the region to primary job employers in higher wage industries is the key to generating more wealth for everyone.

Primary jobs are those which produce goods and services in excess of what can be consumed by the local market. Those goods are exported to other markets in exchange for money. For example, an Oro Valley company produces more aerospace parts than can be bought by its customers in the region. The parts are then "exported" to another market and money is returned to Southern Arizona. This is what creates the flow of new wealth into a community.

What are the indirect impacts of new jobs? The demand for goods and services generated by the primary employer is increased and "indirect" or "spin-off" jobs are created. Generally, they are jobs such as retail, lawyers, doctors, non-profit employment, etc. For example, in response to higher employment or new orders, Sanofi-aventis increases business to suppliers or services locally, such as printers, hotels and restaurants. Those businesses hire more employees to provide the services. When a project lands in one jurisdiction, all jurisdictions benefit financially from indirect jobs.

TREO's economic development activities aim to facilitate the creation of new primary jobs that pay more than the prevailing wage and create greater capital investment. Our strategy is to achieve this in a number of higher-wage targeted industries — like biosciences — that have a growing presence in Oro Valley.

Our region should be proud that Ventana Medical Systems, now a member of the Roche Group and the world's leader in tissue-based diagnostics, is based right here. Its diverse team of pathologists, scientists and engineers is innovating the way patients receive diagnoses. Sanofi-aventis, a leading global pharmaceutical company employs high-caliber scientists and researchers in the fields of vaccines, oncology, the central nervous system and more. Planned developments such as Innovation Park help give these companies a home. Companies such as these result in new, higher-wage job opportunities for residents, new services, and new tax revenue – a win-win for everyone.

TREO will continue to strengthen our employment base for all areas of our region by facilitating the creation of jobs, but also by providing leadership in developing all parts of our community in order to attract and retain the best and brightest talent and businesses.

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