On Thursday, Tucsonans woke up to the news that over 300 jobs would be leaving town. For the residents of the eighth poorest metropolitan area listening to Wake Up Tucson on KVOI 1030 AM, the news was devastating.
Wake Up Tucson host, Chris DeSimone, read from an email from Rockwell Collins to customers:
Rockwell Collins has made the difficult decision to permanently close it’s Tucson, Arizona operations due to a reduced demand for Super First Class aircraft seating produced by the facility. We will be moving the remaining portion of work to another Rockwell Collins location to fulfill requirements of our Super First Class product line. We have not made the decision on where the location will be, but expect to announce it in the near future.
This transfer of work will commence in June 2018 and will be complete by September 30, 2018. Additionally, transfer of key production management as well as key equipment will be part of this transition.
Our Supply Chain Management Organization and Program Teams in Winston Salem NC will ensure orders placed with your company or adjusted as required as to demand profiles and Ship To locations as the transition progresses.
We ask for your support and understanding in this difficult period and as we transition the operations.
As the rest of Arizona experiences job growth, southern Arizona is struggling according to economists.
In July 2017, the Arizona Daily Independent reported that University of Arizona economists with the Economic and Business Research Center found that the “job growth varied in Arizona metro areas: Flagstaff 0.8%, Lake Havasu City-Kingman 1.4%, Phoenix 2.5%, Prescott 2.2%, Sierra Vista 0.0%, Tucson 0.2%, and Yuma 3.1%.”
According to business relocation expert, Joe Vranich, there are good reasons for the disparity in job growth. Vranich of Spectrum Location Solutions, says corporations generally consider three factors when looking to expand or relocate; taxes, the regulatory environment, and lifestyle.
Tucson has developed an anti-business reputation over the years.
One politico said that while Tucson can attract mostly call center jobs, the local government leaders do very little to keep high paying employers here. From suing companies, to forcing them to compete with government subsidized corporations, southern Arizona’s employers are constantly put at a disadvantage.