TEP’s local economic development efforts contributed to the addition of thousands of new jobs in the Tucson metropolitan area in 2018.
In partnership with other economic development leaders, TEP worked with 10 businesses that planned to create more than 4,800 new jobs, either through expansions or by moving to the region. In the past five years, TEP has supported businesses that promised 16,000 new jobs.
“It was a great year for business growth in the Tucson area,” said Camila Martins-Bekat, TEP’s External Affairs Representative in Economic Development. “We are proud to work with our regional partners to attract new businesses and stimulate growth.”
TEP helps new or expanding businesses assess and address their energy needs, sometimes by suggesting available land or vacant buildings with sufficient electric facilities to serve their needs. We also offer competitive rates, including an Economic Development Rate for large businesses that relocate or expand and meet certain requirements.
The largest business TEP worked with last year was Amazon, which plans to open a fulfillment center this year with more than 1,500 full-time employees. TEP is helping to develop electric infrastructure for the 855,000-square-foot center on the southeast side, said Rich Harrington, a TEP Project Manager on the Resource Management Team.
Other growing businesses include:
GEICO: The auto-insurance company plans to add 700 jobs in Tucson over time, in addition to its 1,500 current employees, with a new regional office building on Tucson’s southside.
GEICO will be the first corporate employer at The Bridges master site, where an employment center, multifamily residences and a park are planned. The three-story building is under construction near the Tucson Marketplace retail center, home to a Dave & Busters, Century Theaters and other businesses.
A TEP substation is planned nearby to serve expansion of the Bridges and the growing area, Martins-Bekat said.
Imperfect Produce: The San Francisco-based produce delivery company chose Tucson for its first customer care center, which opened last year. The company plans to add about 300 jobs over five years.
The company distributes boxes with “ugly produce,” or fruits and vegetables that normally would be rejected by grocery stores. Imperfect Produce was looking for a city that would support its goal of preventing food waste, as well as a strong culture of philanthropy and service.
Deliveries in Tucson are expected to start later this year.
“It’s a fantastic city and we can’t wait to bring fresh, delicious, ugly produce to the area,” said Emily Carter, Public Relations Manager.
Mister Car Wash: The national car wash company decided to expand its headquarters in Tucson, where it has been based since 2014, by adding another 47 corporate jobs in the downtown area. Mister Car Wash’s headquarters now has a second location on North Sixth Avenue north of the underpass.
“When we needed more space, we knew that staying local was important,” said Megan Everett, Director of Marketing. “Having a space that is unique and inclusive has helped us recruit top talent. Many of our regional and store leadership members travel to Tucson for meetings and training. We are proud to show off Tucson as our home.”
Other businesses that committed jobs are:
- Citi, a global bank and financial services company: 639
- TuSimple, an autonomous commercial vehicle technology company: 500
- C3 CustomerContactChannels, a call center: 500
- Axiscades, engineering services: 318
- Arconic Fastening Systems: 70
- Texas Instruments: 34