ADVANTAGES

ACCESS

Tucson has unique resources that make our city an ideal place to operate a business:

  • Tucson International Airport, located 10 miles from the city center, offers nonstop service to 19 major cities.
  • Over 150 transportation and logistics providers with the ability to serve over 55 million customers within a 1,000-mile radius.
  • Interstates 10 and 19 connect Tucson with Phoenix, Los Angeles, El Paso, and Sonora, Mexico.
  • The SunLinkModern Streetcar connects Downtown Tucson with the University of Arizona.

PROXIMITY TO MEXICO

Located just 66 miles from the international border and the Mariposa Port of Entry, Tucson holds a special geographic position for businesses engaged in international trade:

  • In 2018, total trade between Arizona and Mexico exceeded $16 billion.
  • Mexican tourists spend more than $20 billion per year in Arizona stores, hotels, restaurants, and other businesses.
  • The Arizona-Mexico Commission (AMC) brings together business leaders, academics, policymakers, and others interested in strengthening Arizona’s ties to Mexico.
  • Tech Parks Arizona Global Advantage business development program provides a broad array of business development services through its “soft landing program.”

LIFESTYLE

Tucson’s plentiful sunshine, natural beauty, and diverse culture lend to an active lifestyle rich in great food, gorgeous hikes, challenging biking trails, and unforgettable experiences:

  • Tucson is the first North American city to be designated a UNESCO City of Gastronomy.
  • The Loop, a 131-mile network of paved shared-use paths, provides car-free recreational opportunities around and through the city.
  • El Tour de Tucson, a 100-mile fun ride, attracts over 9,000 cyclists annually.
  • Over 40 golf courses, including Omni Tucson National Resort, home of an annual PGA Tour Champions event.
  • Hundreds of miles of hiking trails, from the Sonoran Desert, to the Sky Islands peaks 9,000 feet above sea level, provide breathtaking views, unforgettable sunsets, and access to nature for all ages and abilities.

EDUCATION

Tucson is home to the University of Arizona, a premier public research institution recognized for leadership and innovation in advanced energy, defense and security, bioscience, mining technology, arid lands agriculture, and water resources. Tucson is also home to Pima Community College, and a diverse constellation of public, private, and parochial K-12 education institutions:

  • The University of Arizona enrolls more than 45,000 students across all academic disciplines and was awarded more than $687 million in funding last year. which was ranked as one of the top 25 largest research universities among all public institutions by the National Science Foundation.
  • The University of Arizona Center for Innovation is a startup incubator network with outposts across the Southern Arizona region and a mission to grow scalable startup ventures that fuel Arizona’s economy.
  • The Pima Community College Center of Excellence in Applied Technology is one of six being developed by the college in partnership with industry to ensure seamless integration of education and training to meet workforce needs now and well into the future.

KEY INDUSTRIES

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BIOSCIENCE

Tucson is a national leader in bioscience fields like precision medicine, cancer research, and diagnostics through innovative partnerships between the University of Arizona and the surrounding business community. The region hosts cutting edge research facilities at Tech Parks Arizona, and the University’s recently completed Bioscience Research Laboratory.

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31%
Research, testing and medical labs increased employment by 31% from 2002-2016 in the Tucson area.
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22%
Tucson’s medical devices and equipment subsector grew by 22% from 2002-2016.

Notable Companies:

  • Accelerate Diagnostics
  • SunCardia Systems
  • HTG Molecular Diagnostics
  • NuvOx Pharma
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AEROSPACE

With three military bases in the area, Tucson has long led the way for pioneering developments in the aerospace and defense industries. Tucson attracts aerospace employers through the outstanding programs offered by the University of Arizona’s College of Engineering, Pima Community College’s Aviation Technology Center, and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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8.35
Tucson is 8.35 times more concentrated in the aerospace industry than the average US metro area.
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200+
There are over 200 local companies in Tucson’s aerospace & defense cluster.

Notable Companies:

  • Raytheon Missile Systems
  • Bombardier
  • Paragon Space Development Co.
  • L3Harris
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HEALTHCARE

The healthcare industry is one of Tucson’s largest employment sectors, and features a diverse group of world-class providers, as well as strong workforce pipeline from the University of Arizona, home to research centers like the Sarver Heart Center and the Arizona Cancer Center.

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35,000
Over 35,000 people are employed by the healthcare industry in Tucson.
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7
The Tucson Metro area contains 7 primary care hospitals.

Notable Companies:

  • Banner University Medical Center
  • Carondelet Health Network
  • Tucson Medical Center
  • SinfoníaRx
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OPTICS AND MINING TECHNOLOGY

Gaining notoriety as Optics Valley, Tucson is home to a high concentration of optics companies, as well as research activity tied to the University of Arizona and several astronomical observatories located in the mountains of Southern Arizona. Long known for hard mining operations and copper extraction, Tucson has now established itself as an industry leader in mining technology. 

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#3
Arizona is ranked #3 nationally in solar employment according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
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36,000
Mining employs nearly 36,000 people in Arizona.

Notable Companies:

  • Edmund Optics
  • Caterpillar Surface Mining and Technology
  • Hexagon Mining
  • Bruker Nano

COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES

LIFESTYLE

Named as the first City of Gastronomy by UNESCO
Named one of the country’s Top 50 Bike Cities -Bicycling Magazine
-Bicycling Magazine
Named 14th Best City For Singles
-Wallet Hub
Ranked Top 25 “Next Markets” for emerging tech companies
-CBRE
2nd most “Dog Friendly City” in the US
-SmartAsset
Top 15 Cities Americans Are Relocating To
-Hire a Helper
Ranked #4 for millennials
-Money Magazine
Top 5 Cities For Entrepreneurs
-Entrepreneur Magazine
Food
Fun
FOLKLIFE

Explore the full list of Tucson’s food and drink establishments here.

The Best 23 Miles of Mexican Food
Tucson is the perfect spot for foodies who like it hot. Whether it’s carne asada tacos, tortas, or chicken mole, we do Mexican food right.
UNESCO City of Gastronomy
As the first American city to be named a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, Tucson has no shortage of outstanding restaurants, including El Charro, the original home of the chimichanga.
Brewpubs
Experience an amazing array of local pubs serving unique brews using local ingredients, including Barrio Brewing, the third-largest independent brewer in the US.
Hiking & Biking
See why Tucson has been named one of the best biking cities in the US with 131-mile Loop bike trail, along with hundreds of breathtaking hiking trails.
Golf
Unleash your inner Tiger with over 40 courses, including Omni Tucson’s Catalina Course, home of the PGA Tour Champions event.
Attractions
Discover our diverse vegetation and animal life at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, blast off at the Pima Air & Space Museum or catch a glimpse of our past at the Mission San Xavier Del Bac.
All Souls Procession
For one day a year, Tucson’s streets are filled with masked dancers, giant skull floats and fantasmagoric images in one of the country’s largest Day of the Dead celebrations.
The Tucson Festival of Books
The 4th largest book festival in the country features over 350 authors participating in a free weekend of presentations and workshops to support and fund literacy in Southern Arizona.
Tucson Meet Yourself
Not sure where to eat? Sample a little of everything Tucson has to offer at this annual festival, featuring hundreds of food vendors, cultural happenings and entertainment.

TUCSON METROPOLITAN WORKFORCE & DEMOGRAPHICS STATISTICS

The Making Action Possible (M.A.P.) for Southern Arizona project, by the University of Arizona, provides extensive data about our economy and workforce.