Tag Archives: joe snell

Photo by Brent Mathis

Candid Camera: Joe Snell captures the big picture of Tucson

Usually when people are trying to get inspired, they look up. That may not be the case concerning Tucson and its surrounding areas in the near future.

Joe Snell, president and CEO of Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities, says Southern Arizona is celebrating its best year since 2007. With news of HomeGoods, Comcast and LCMS moving into or expanding in Tucson, job numbers and capital investment are soaring. A win for Tucson, is a win for Phoenix, he adds. Snell wants Arizona’s economic developers to think bigger, and that’s why the organization announced in June it changed its name to Sun Corridor, Inc., which has 56 board members who represent 85 percent of all employers south of Phoenix.

Let’s talk about some of these good announcements coming out of Tucson.
There’s no doubt the recession hit Arizona hard. Southern Arizona was hit especially hard. It has been a rough run of it for six or seven years. We’ve been more aggressive into our operations than we were pre-recession. In every measure, we’ve had the best year since going into the recession. We ended up announcing, between major expansions or relocations, 14 major projects. … We did add two more foreign trade zone magnet sites to Pinal County… We opened our footprint by offering them two FTZ sites. … We’re actively selling Pinal County. It’s a natural segue to Sun Corridor. The name change, more than anything, is just catching up to the reality of what’s happening on the ground.

What is the significance of Sun Corridor?
One of the mantras we have with that is we just need one market. Sun Corridor is loosely a term for all these cities (in Southern Arizona). … We are the biggest bi-national economic development group in the nation, which means we’re working both sides of the border. Mexico is an integral part of our future economy. We plan to have a strong presence there. We’re one market divided by a border. We want people to look at Southern Arizona and Northern Mexico as one market.

What is Sun Corridor’s statement about the difference it will make?
We want to shape and maximize economic opportunities for Arizona. I think Southern Arizona will be an economic convergence center for the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

Last year, when we talked, you mentioned creative fundraising initiatives. Where is Sun Corridor at with these?
The vast majority of our funding is private. Funding is not an issue for us. We’re doing very well. We’re providing a strong vision. We’re healthy with good reserves. (Paying for infrastructure) is still an issue for us. We’ve worked closely with the rest of the business community and local government to support a bond issue that could put $800M back into the system. I have a 56-member board that voted unanimously on this. If we don’t invest in our own roads and economic development initiatives, who will? … What I’m saying is that maybe 15 years ago, we would have looked at the federal government to underwrite us. Now, we’re taking control of our destiny.

What is one of Tucson’s most understated values?
I think Tucson is well-known but not well understood. There are a lot of values here that are not well-understood. The talent pool is deep and rich at all levels. We have great high-tech and craftsmen. Our strategic location is just super. It’s not just Tucson. It’s Southern Arizona. Big markets in California and growing in Mexico…they’re going to be an economic superpower quickly.

How has the Banner-University Health Network merger affected SoutherN Arizona?
I was extremely supportive of the Banner partnership. One problem we have in Arizona is we think in pockets. We think too small. We’re one market. When I was in New York, Phoenix is five times the size of Tucson but no one has heard of it. They see L.A., Chicago and everything else in between. I came out of Denver doing this. In Southern Arizona, we embrace regionality. Maybe UA brings something no one else does. Let’s work as one market. Banner Health’s work does point to one market. I love their slogan: No boundaries. We embrace that.


Comcast will add 1,125 jobs in Tucson

Comcast along with Gov. Doug Ducey today announced plans to open a new customer support center in the fall of 2015 in Tucson.

The state-of-the-art 100,000 square-foot facility will be staffed by 1,125 customer service representatives and managers. Comcast will begin filling positions this year. With the addition of the call center, Comcast will have more than 1,250 employees in Tucson. Comcast plans to have at least 15 percent of the new positions at the Customer Support Center to be filled by military reservists, veterans and their spouses or domestic partners.  Nationally, Comcast is committed to hiring 10,000 reservists, veterans and their spouses or domestic partners between 2015 – 2017 across all levels of the organization.

“Comcast’s decision to expand its presence in Tucson is excellent news for our state, and the latest validation that we’re open and ready for business,” said Governor Ducey. “This new, state-of-the-art facility will bring significant economic impact, create more than 1,000 quality jobs for southern Arizonans and further advance our position as one of the most pro-veteran workforces in the nation. This is a huge win for our state, and we’re thrilled to help this great company grow and thrive in Arizona.”

Customer service representatives in the center will assist customers with billing and repair questions – and sales and customer service.  Specialized teams will handle more complex customer needs.  The center will also be home to our new Spanish speaking employees specializing in social media.

Opening the Customer Support Center significantly expands Comcast’s presence in Tucson.  Comcast already serves 67,000 customers in Tucson including hundreds of businesses.  In 2014, Comcast paid more than $732,000 in property taxes, provided $3.3 million in franchise fees to local communities and invested more than $200,000 in Comcast Foundation grants, and contributions, public service announcements, campaigns, scholarships and community volunteer efforts.

 “The Tucson Customer Service Center is being designed from the ground up with training resources and equipment to help the customer service representatives provide exceptional service to our customers,” said Michael Eastman, Senior Director, Customer Account Executive, for Comcast . “When our customers reach this call center, they will be connected with agents who are best equipped to provide an outstanding experience.”

“Tucson has several key competitive advantages for this industry, such as an abundance of high-quality, customer-service labor, a bilingual and multilingual workforce, technical expertise, and a convenient location in the Mountain Time Zone,” said City of Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild. “These advantages align very well with Comcast’s goals to deliver superior customer service nationally.”

“Innovation drives global economic growth. So we are pleased that a global media and technology company like Comcast has chosen Arizona as a hub for one of its three state-of-the-art customer support centers,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority. “Arizona is a serious contender when it comes to innovative global companies seeking to expand operations in our dynamic and vibrant business environment. It’s a win for Tucson. And it’s a win for our entire state.”

 “This was a competitive national search, with Tucson combining a multitude of qualities to clearly emerge as the ideal site for this project,” said Joe Snell, president & CEO, Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities, Inc. (TREO), now known as Sun Corridor Inc.  “The expanded presence of Comcast, one of the world’s leading media and technology companies, will further strengthen Southern Arizona’s reputation as a location for high-quality businesses.  Our strategic location and talent pool continue to make us attractive to many companies considering expansion plans.”

When the building renovation is complete, the 100,000 square-foot, customer service center will include several resources for employees including product training labs, training rooms, video conference facilities, a cafeteria and fitness center.  Employees will also receive Xfinity products and services from Comcast at no-cost and reduced cost so that they can continue to learn about company products.

Comcast has begun advertising and posting new positions. Those interested in employment opportunities with Comcast can learn more at upcoming area career fairs and are encouraged to review job profiles and opportunities at www.jobs.comcast.com  where they can also apply for positions.

The Customer Support Center in Tucson is one element of a new, multi-year plan Comcast announced recently to reinvent the customer experience and to create a culture focused on exceeding customers’ expectations, at all levels of the company. The plan centers on looking at every decision through a customer lens and making measureable changes and improvements across the company. 

The core elements of the strategic plan include: creating more than 5,500 customer service jobs over the next few years and setting a goal to always be on time for customer appointments by Q3 of 2015.  It also includes major investments in technology and training to give employees the tools they need to deliver excellent service. The company will also simplify billing and create better policies to provide greater consistency and transparency to customers.  Additionally, the plan includes the renovation of hundreds of stores across the country and the development of new technologies that will enable customers to interact with us how and when they want.


TREO widens focus, changes its name to Sun Corridor Inc.

Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities, Inc. (TREO) today announces that the organization will expand its footprint across Southern Arizona, changing its name to Sun Corridor Inc.

TREO has been providing economic development support for the entire Southern Arizona megaregion for several years, assisting in key expansions of several employers, advocating for military installations, including Ft. Huachuca; and establishing new Foreign Trade Zone sites in Pinal County. 

“The drivers discussed in TREO’s Blueprint are the keys to strengthening our competitiveness, and by addressing talent, infrastructure, healthcare and collaboration regionally through the Sun Corridor we differentiate Southern Arizona in the marketplace for high wage jobs,” said Guy Gunther, chairman, TREO Board of Directors and Vice President Operations, Arizona, CenturyLink.

“TREO leadership recognized through this work that we have a significant opportunity to coalesce one market under a unified brand,” said Denny Minano, TREO Executive Committee member and Managing Director, CMM.  “We began to seriously consider a tangible structure that defines Sun Corridor business opportunities and provides a path to combine expertise in the attraction and expansion of business, thereby increasing our global competitiveness.”

“With Mexico’s growing economic strength, it paves the way to market the entire Southern Arizona/Sonoran region as a bi-national, world-class center in integrated research, manufacturing and supply chain strength,” said Fletcher McCusker, TREO Executive Committee member and CEO, Sinfonia HealthCare Corporation. “Few economic development groups have the unique strategic position of this ‘perfect storm’ of opportunities.” 

“President Kennedy said, ‘Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.’  I’m confident that our future within the Sun Corridor has enormous potential and by making this bold move into this new regional partnership we will emerge as a stronger competitor in the global economy and position ourselves to be an attractive choice for expanding local business and recruiting new ones,” said Anthony Smith, Chair of the Pinal County Board of Supervisors and new TREO Board member. 

“It’s time for a name change to better reflect the current work we are doing and to position us as a force in the new global economy,” said Joe Snell, president & CEO, TREO. “The Sun Corridor has been recognized as one of the fastest-growing megaregions in the U.S. and with TREO’s strong foundation of economic development success, the new name Sun Corridor Inc. puts a critical business focus on a significant area of the state and the country.”

“These changes are strategic and build on the foundation of success set by TREO’s core leadership in the Tucson MSA and Pima County over the last ten years,” said Sharon Bronson, chair, Pima County Board of Supervisors. “We fully support this expansion, as it represents a new era for economic development.” 

With this new approach, Southern Arizona will benefit from:

– Promoting the megaregion as a gateway for near-shore products and movement

  of goods

– A stronger bi-national position with Arizona’s largest trading partner, leveraging

  Mexico’s economic growth

– Greater synergy to compete in a new global economy post-recession

– Enhanced influence at state and federal levels, representing a greater geographic

  economic super region

– Leveraging a larger talent pool, increasing competitiveness

– Combined resources and expertise to address complex economic trends

Effective August 1st, Sun Corridor Inc. will be located at 1985 East River Road, Suite 101, Tucson, AZ 85718.  

Reviving the Construction Industry

Santé will build state-of-the-art facility in Tucson

Santé announced its plans to build a state-of-the-art transitional rehabilitation facility in Tucson. The groundbreaking will take place in June 2015, and the center is scheduled to open in April 2016.
The Santé of Tucson transitional rehabilitation center will be a two-story, 68,000-square-foot building with 87 patient units and 89 beds, with the potential to accommodate an additional 14 beds. The new facility will also include a short-term memory care (dementia) wing, which will be privately secured and include its own private dining and physical rehabilitation gym.
More than 150 jobs will be created by the opening of the center, said Santé CEO Mark Hansen. “We’re very excited to have the opportunity to serve Tucson. This is a new market for us and we look forward to becoming a part of the community in southern Arizona.”
The facility will be in close proximity to Tucson Medical Center, St. Joseph’s Hospital and surrounding medical districts. Additional hospitals to be served will be the University of Arizona Medical Center and Northwest Medical Center.
“The presence of Santé of Tucson will deepen our healthcare assets,” said Joe Snell, president and CEO of Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities. “Successful economic development requires close teamwork and cooperation from all corners of our region and state. The City of Tucson, Pima County and Arizona Commerce Authority contributed greatly to this win.”
The transitional rehabilitation center will be located on Wilmot Road near Grant, just south of Costco, and will be the first Tucson location for Santé.
economic development - 8 honored

APAC Customer Services’ expansion to create 1,100 jobs

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.

Revising Tucson’s Economic Blueprint

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.

Joe Snell

Joe Snell

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 Expands into Tucson

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


Tucson Market Update: Q&A with Joe Snell

Q&A with Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities President & CEO Joe Snell

Screen Shot 2013-07-19 at 12.31.25 PMQ: TREO recently launched a new economic development strategy focused on strengths of diagnostics in Southern Arizona. How important are biomedical sciences to economic development?

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.

treo board

TREO Board Of Directors Votes In New Officers

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.”

For more information on TREO Board of Directors, visit TREO’s website at treoaz.org.