Tucson Electric Power supported the creation of more than 1,700 jobs in Southern Arizona in 2021 through our continued efforts to stimulate economic development in our community.
Rebounding from the first year of the pandemic, businesses moved forward with plans for major expansions or moves to the region. Thirteen businesses made announcements last year about bringing in new opportunities to the community. Since 2016, TEP has worked directly with businesses that anticipated nearly 17,000 jobs.
“This was a very active year for economic development,” said Camila Martins-Bekat, Senior Market Development Representative. “We started out with the most robust pipeline of projects we’ve had and we exceeded our goals for the year.”
The main industries represented were bioscience, transportation, logistics and aerospace and defense. Amazon announced the largest number of jobs, planning to add 1,100 jobs over the next five years.
Martins-Bekat said she found that some businesses are still waiting to see how the economy will land after the pandemic. But others were eager to accelerate their projects. “For those businesses, this is the new normal and they are taking advantage of the current environment to expand their operations,” Martins-Bekat said.
In her role with TEP, Martins-Bekat belongs to a regional team that includes city, county and business representatives assigned to promote the Tucson region to prospective businesses. When businesses express interest, Martins-Bekat and TEP colleagues help identify ways to accommodate their energy needs and future growth.
While much of the outreach continued virtually last year, some in-person meetings resumed. In November, TEP served as a sponsor of the Business Facilities’ 2021 LiveXchange event at the Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa, where site selectors and consultants met with representatives from different regions promoting their areas for jobs and businesses.
“The site selectors were able to see Tucson, some of them for the first time, which was a good promotion for our city,” Martins-Bekat said.
Some of the 2021 announcements for expansions or moves include:
- TuSimple – An autonomous trucking firm that plans to add an additional 75 jobs over the next five years.
- Becton Dickinson & Co. – A medical technology company that manufactures and sells medical devices, instrument systems and reagents that plans to add 40 jobs in the next five years.
- Leonardo Electronics – The aerospace and defense company is expanding by moving to a new building with plans to add 182 new jobs over the next five years.