APAC Customer Services, Inc., a leader in global customer care outsourcing solutions, in partnership with the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) and Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities, Inc. (TREO), announced Monday an expansion in Phoenix and Tucson that is expected to bring more than 1,100 jobs to Arizona’s Sun Corridor over the next three years.
Jack Jones, Chief Operating Office of Expert Global Solutions, Inc., APAC’s parent company, stated, “Having lived in the state of Arizona for a number of years, I am a big fan of the ‘Sun Corridor.’ Access to qualified and experienced customer service personnel, top educational institutions and great weather make the state an ideal place for us to grow.”
City of Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild echoed Jones’ sentiments and recognized APAC’s long history and significant presence, “APAC has been a major employer in Southern Arizona for many years, currently employing nearly 2,000 of our citizens. We know every business has a choice of where to operate and the City of Tucson continues to make this a business-friendly climate for its existing employers to expand.”
“This is a positive step for Phoenix, Tucson and the entire Sun Corridor,” Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said. “For our economy to grow, we must continue to work together as a region and as a state.”
During the first year, the partnership is expected to generate over 300 new jobs in Tucson – split between APAC’s two sites in the city – and an additional 135 jobs to its site in north Phoenix. Throughout the next two years, the state is expected to benefit from 669 additional jobs (382 in Tucson and 287 in Phoenix), bringing the overall three-year job creation total to over 1,100 jobs for Arizona.
“APAC is the global leader in its industry serving top brands around the world, and we thank the company for its continued commitment to Arizona as it undertakes its next phase of growth,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority. “APAC’s investment and expansion in Phoenix and Tucson will create hundreds of professional services jobs for Arizonans across our state.”
Commenting on the growth, Joe Snell, President and CEO, TREO, stated, “State leaders, local officials and economic development partners joined together to deliver an important win for the economic recovery: nearly 700 new jobs here in Southern Arizona.”
“We’re pleased that APAC’s existing presence in the Sun Corridor mega-region continues to grow,” said Sharon Bronson, Chair, Pima County Board of Supervisors. “Tucson’s high-quality, bilingual workforce is a key competitive advantage in today’s global economy.”
APAC delivers tailored solutions to leading companies in many industries, including communications, education, financial services, government, healthcare, insurance, retail, technology, transportation and logistics, travel and hospitality and utilities. Headquartered in Illinois, APAC currently operates at the following locations in Arizona:
· Tucson East: 1650 S. Research Loop, Tucson, AZ 85710
· Tucson West: 2929 E. Corona Road, Tucson, AZ 85756
· Phoenix: 20401 N. 29th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85027
In terms of the jobs that are coming to the state, Jones commented, “We’re excited about the opportunities we’re bringing to local communities. For us, it’s not simply about jobs. It’s about providing a chance for people to build a rewarding career and make a difference within our company.”
The new jobs created by this expansion are full-time positions that will work to support major clients. The positions will include both call center, leadership and support roles.
Joe Snell, president and CEO of Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities (TREO), provided insight on the latest growth initiatives in Tucson and what the city needs to do to continue its upward trajectory.
What are Tucson’s strongest assets coming into the recovery?
❚ The University of Arizona is a Top 20 research university with amazing strengths in engineering, science, optics, entrepreneurship and provides a robust talent pipeline companies are looking for.
Tucson has an established, diverse aerospace and defense industry, with more than 200 companies, and an emerging bioscience sector with strong contribution to the state’s Bioscience Roadmap.
❚ Its strategic location. Southern Arizona is truly a gateway to Mexico. In addition to the unique rail assets we already have, we will leverage Mexico’s Port of Guaymas expansion to our benefit. Also Tucson’s position at the southern end of the Sun Corridor location in our mega region, expected to have the most growth in the next 35 years, positions us for business investment for years to come.
❚ On the heels of Arizona’s high national entrepreneurship rankings, Tucson is beginning to receive national recognition for its own entrepreneurial culture. For example, Entrepreneur magazine recognized Tucson last August as one of the best cities for entrepreneurs. With these state and local rankings giving Tucson needed exposure, the McGuire Entrepreneurship Program at The University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management, the new Tech Launch Arizona initiative, Start Up Tucson, a strong Desert Angels group, and various public and private organizations, Tucson supports start-up businesses and entrepreneurs with resources for launching new ventures.
❚ Progress in downtown revitalization.
TREO just released its 2014 updates to its Economic Blueprint. Describe the “urban renaissance” on which Tucson is focused.
❚ As the national and local economies slowed around 2008, Tucson’s long-term downtown development momentum picked up steam. Over the last three-plus years, huge and exciting changes have come to downtown Tucson by way of over $320M in public and private investment. Some notable projects include UniSource Energy’s new corporate headquarters, other headquarters such as Providence Service Corp., Mr. Car Wash, Sonoran Institute and Madden Media; the Tucson Modern Streetcar and a new UA downtown branch, among many other retail and restaurants new to downtown. Some of those changes are more visible than others, but together they add up to a more exciting, more vibrant, more inviting downtown for everyone, but especially the young, creative class that is just discovering Tucson.
Infrastructure, specifically related to transportation, is another big initiative in TREO’s Economic Blueprint. What are some of the short-term goals TREO hopes to see happen?
❚ Infrastructure investment is really a path for economic growth, and expansion of existing highway, rail and airport capacity is the key to global competitiveness. We are fortunate in southern Arizona. Our location in the Sun Corridor puts the Tucson region at the crossroads for trade corridors in all directions. Many communities would covet this position, so we must be laser-focused and smart about how we go about ensuring that we invest in the right transportation infrastructure. We are focusing on three key areas. First, achieving seamless connectivity to Mexico and other southwestern markets. We, as a region, have the ability to influence the inclusion of the southern segment of I-11 and the border-to-border vision of the Intermountain West Corridor in federal and state planning. We have made a great start but have much more to do. Second, we are focused on supporting Tucson International Airport, rail asset capacity growth and local mobility initiatives. Expanding passenger and freight service at Tucson International Airport will mean increased commerce for the entire region. We also have to make the proposed Aerospace Corridor and associated research park, rail reclassification facilities and the 10/I19 Bypass realities. Third, how do we pay for all this? Creative funding and private sector solutions are required to ensure our region continues to have the resources to be competitive in the marketplace. We will be actively participating in the development of new funding mechanisms.
What are some of the challenges TREO has overcome or anticipates?
❚ Over the last nine years, we have made progress in our focus on business development and economic diversification through targeted industries. We are laser-focused on four industries that can shape our future: aerospace and defense, alternative energy and natural resources, transportation and logistics, and bioscience/healthcare. Most of our successful projects over the last several years fall into these categories. In addition, we have dramatically increased private sector support of TREO and the understanding of the importance of economic development with all of our regional partners, public and private. Obstacles and opportunities include the unification/cooperation among many groups, accountability, common definitions of economic development and increased funding is critical for success.
Quik Tek Assembly, a minority-owned provider of contract manufacturing services, announced that it has expanded operations to the Tucson region. Quik Assembly Solutions, a division of Quik Tek Assembly, has leased an 8,000 square-foot building at 3450 S. Broadmont, Suite 120, and plans a $700,000 capital investment. The new facility will be open by April 2014.
Quik Tek Assembly, also a Raytheon supplier, provides a wide range of contract manufacturing services including circuit and cable design; PCB layout and manufacture; PCB, cable and mechanical assembly; product testing and the manufacture of complete product ready to ship.
The company plans to hire 50 new positions over the next 5 years. The jobs at the facility will be a mix of engineering, manufacturing, administrative and technician positions. Candidates interested in job opportunities can click here.
Through TREO, the company worked with community partners including the City of Tucson, Pima County One-Stop Career Center, Arizona Commerce Authority and Startup Tucson.
Adan Ortiz, president of Quik Tek Assembly, said: “Southern Arizona is a growing market, and we needed to be close to both existing and new potential customers. Additionally, we look forward to contributing to workforce development by encouraging STEM interest and providing student internships in partnership with The University of Arizona and Pima Community College.”
“Hi-tech manufacturers and suppliers to existing employers are logical fits for the Tucson region,” said Joe Snell, TREO president and CEO. “In addition, Quik Tek is committed to
Q&A with Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities President & CEO Joe Snell
A: Our bioscience assets, particularly in the field of diagnostics, are world class. It’s no secret that the size of the bioscience industry and its projected growth represent a massive opportunity, so positioning our region to benefit from the industry is very important. We identified bioscience as a targeted industry as part of our original Economic Blueprint, and we’ve stayed focused on building the cluster and refining our focus. We’ve worked very hard to help our large companies like Ventana Medical Systems, now a member of the Roche Group, and smaller companies like the newly-relocated Accelerate Diagnostics secure the talent and facilities they need to continue to prosper here. The presence of a top research university is a very strong asset. The economic impact is just beginning.
Q: The commercial real estate industry in the Valley is making a nice recovery from the recession. How have Tucson and Southern Arizona fared?
A: We’re seeing similar results. The general trends are certainly up and we’ve had two consecutive quarters of strong commercial leasing activity. Companies we’re working with are expressing a strong preference to lease rather than build and lease pricing is generally still attractive, but our supply of prime space is tightening.
Q: How is TREO doing in its mission of creating new businesses, expanding of existing businesses and attracting companies that offer high wage jobs?
A: Last year was very strong — more than 2,200 new jobs — and we’ve had one of our best years this year so far with more than 2,400 jobs announced. Our project pipeline has been very active across a very wide spectrum of industries and we’re excited about a number of working projects that are nearing fruition.
Q: The landscape of Downtown Tucson seems to have changed the past 5 years. What are some of the projects you’re excited about?
A: The building boom downtown has been great to watch, and there is tremendous entrepreneurial energy focused downtown right now. The urban feel and increased density, coupled with the mobility provided by the upcoming modern streetcar completion, has attracted a number of new restaurants, new retailers, small business incubation and co-working spaces. I’m excited to see the broad spectrum of the environment — new small and large business, public and private investment — accelerating development.
Q: What challenge or challenges does TREO face now? What will those challenges be in 5 years? In 10 years?
A: Tucson’s economy is very strong in the aerospace & defense sector. With sequestration effects looming, there will be challenges in adapting that industry to new marketplace realities. However, we are the best positioned to meet that challenge for a few reasons. First, our A&D sector has deep experience in commercial aviation, a market expected to grow substantially in future years. We also have a tremendous opportunity to capture the UAV business in coalition with our other state partners.
As president and CEO of TREO, Joe Snell brings 24 years of experience leading regional economic development organizations to an agency focused on the coordination of all economic development activities in Southern Arizona. He has led successful economic development organizations in communities of various sizes. His knowledge on building strategic, competitive and balanced economic development efforts has resulted in national recognition for his leadership role in creating strong economies in high growth communities. In his previous position he was president of the Metro Denver Network. Snell holds a bachelors degree from the University of Nebraska.
The TREO Board of Directors today announces the election of its officers for the Fiscal Year 2012-13. Terms are July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013.
The officers are:
Steve Eggen, CFO, Raytheon Missile Systems – Presiding Chairman of the Board
Lisa Lovallo, VP and Systems Manager, Cox Communications Southern Arizona – Secretary/Treasurer
The TREO Board is comprised of 46 community leaders from the private sector, public sector and academia, including presidents of both universities and the community college in Southern Arizona, mayors of public jurisdictions in the Tucson region, Pima County and major corporations and businesses operating in Southern Arizona. The TREO Board and major stakeholders represent 85,000 employees in Southern Arizona. For a full listing of the TREO Board of Directors, visit http://www.treoaz.org/Living-and-Working-Tucson-Leaders-Board-of-Directors.aspx.
In addition, the TREO Board of Directors unanimously voted to extend the President & CEO contract for a three year term. “We have full confidence in Joe Snell. Snell has led this organization since 2005 and has guided the efforts of TREO, resulting in high value to the community. Our region has challenges ahead of us and he continues to be the right leader at the right time,” said Steve Eggen, incoming Chairman of the Board.
“The organization is focusing on and achieving the goals set out for it by the TREO Board of Directors,” he continued. “We have exciting plans in motion for this fiscal year.”