By Roland Murphy for Arizona Builder’s Exchange
Raytheon announced last week it plans to expand its Southern Arizona operations and add nearly 2,000 jobs at the Missile Systems business headquarters over a five-year period. The company plans to hire workers at all skill levels with an emphasis on engineering and other higher-wage, technical positions.
Overall, the expansion in jobs, facilities and operational output is expected to result in billions of dollars of economic impact for Arizona over 10 years.
“These rewarding, high technology jobs will support Raytheon’s growth and bring even more top talent to this region,” said Dr. Taylor W. Lawrence, Raytheon Missile Systems president. “The strong support we receive from state and local organizations is essential to our expansion plans, and will help provide Raytheon with the workforce and infrastructure to meet the growing demand we are seeing from our customers.”
Partners in the expansion initiative include Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, Arizona Commerce Authority, Pima County, City of Tucson, Sun Corridor Inc., Tucson Electric Power and the Tucson Airport Authority.
“With an existing workforce of 10,000 people and a network of over 500 suppliers in Arizona, Raytheon is the largest private employer in Southern Arizona and has an incredibly positive economic impact throughout our state,” Ducey said. “Increasing Raytheon’s infrastructure and job growth in Arizona is a major win for all of us, and the result of strong partnerships statewide.”
Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild expressed the city’s pleasure at the announcement and said, “Raytheon’s decision to annex into the city gave them the tools and opportunity to stay and grow in Tucson. Management saw that being part of Tucson made good business sense.”
Pima County Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bronson cited the county’s investments in transportation and infrastructure near Raytheon’s facilities in support of potential expansions as a key factor in landing the opportunity.
“Raytheon’s decision comes on the heels of other relocations and expansions in the last few years by Caterpillar, HomeGoods and Comcast, among others. Southern Arizona is now at the top of national job growth rankings, making us a region on the move,” said Joe Snell, president & CEO, Sun Corridor Inc.
With more than 10,000 people already employed in its operations around Tucson, Raytheon is already the area’s largest employer. The company reported overall sales of $23B in 2015.