Arizona’s three state public universities are economic development engines that bring research, innovation and jobs to our state. Each of the three state universities: Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona brings unique and nationally recognized programs that help fuel Arizona’s competitiveness and long-term prosperity. Below are just a few examples of the value these Arizona gems bring to the state, nation, and in many cases, the world.
For example, SkySong, which is Arizona State University’s Innovation Center is credited with attracting new companies, creating high-end jobs and generating $113.6 million in economic impact in the Phoenix metropolitan area. According to a recent study by the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, Skysong has created more than 1,000 jobs so far. Many of the jobs created are technology positions that help Arizona attract employers in the renewable-energy, technology and bioscience.
Northern Arizona University is one of only twelve colleges and universities in the country to participate in the UTeach program which has the potential to more than double the number of science and math teachers that currently come out of NAU’s education program. The NAUTeach program introduces undergraduate math and science majors to elementary and secondary school teaching by offering compact degree plans, early teaching experiences and financial assistance. These graduates will educate the next generation of science and technology experts in Arizona schools. In addition to the NAUTeach program which is training future educators, research just released indicates that NAU contributed nearly $1.5 billion to Arizona’s economy over the last fiscal year. The study shows that one in every eight jobs in Coconino County is attributable to NAU’s presence in the region, and that for every 100 people employed by NAU and other businesses and organizations as a result of NAU’s operations, another 51 positions are generated throughout the state.
The University of Arizona Science and Technology Park (UA Tech Park) is home to several high technology companies, including four Fortune 500 companies: IBM, Raytheon, Canon USA and Citigroup, as well as several emerging technology companies including NP Photonics, and DILAS Diode Laser. The Arizona Center for Innovation is also located at US Tech Park and is a business incubator designed to meet the needs of developing technology companies, particularly in the areas of aerospace, advanced composites and materials, information technology, environmental technology, life sciences and optics/photonics. The UA Tech Park contributes nearly $3 billion annually to Pima County’s economy and is one of the region’s largest employment centers.
Each of the programs and institutions is integral to our state’s economy. They help encourage industries such as aerospace, high-tech, bioscience and sustainable technology and are helping to prepare a workforce that will take these fields to new heights in the future. Research, development and innovation are critical to economic development and our continued investment in these activities is needed now, more than ever before. Learn more about how you can protect Arizona’s universities and community colleges by visiting, www.ArizonaEducationCommitment.org.