Curt Woody, the Director of Economic Development for the Town of Marana for the last 8 years, provided our club an overview of many facets of the Town’s year 2020 economic development activities, including business attraction, retention, expansion, recruitment, and creation/incubation.
     The program’s desired outcome is to significantly increase the living standards and quality of life for the community with several key areas of focus: healthcare, tourism, public safety, recreation, education, workforce development, community beautification, and infrastructure evolution.
     The Town employs several tools to achieve their goals, including a Job Creation Incentive Program, the Downtown Marana Reinvestment Fund, the Arizona Commerce Authority for statewide incentive packages, the Town of Marana’s economic development website and which promotes available town land assets.
     They also have numerous collaborations including Sun Corridor, the Arizona Commerce Authority, site selection consultants, real estate brokers, developers, The Pima Community College Small Business Development Center, and a variety of architects, builders, and engineers.
     Curt highlighted numerous projects currently in the economic development pipeline, many of which could only be spoken about in general terms, as they are not yet identified in the public domain.
     The Town of Marana’s Economic Development Strategic Plan creates a supportive climate for business and identifies specific needed infrastructure investments. It strives to expand in four target sectors: IT, Business Services, Advanced Manufacturing, and Logistics & Distribution. In addition, it works with the Education sector (Pima County Community College and K-12) to create the workforce needed for the future by developing new curriculums and certifications for Career & Technical education. The plan has divided the Town into activity centers: Downtown, the Airport, Tangerine Rd @ 1-10, the Tangerine Rd corridor, Heritage, the Transportation Logistics Zone, and Dove Mountain.
     Due to time constraints, Curt was not able to cover the Residential part of his presentation.  However, club members & attendees asked many questions and were quite impressed with the significant level of the Town’s economic development activities under way, in spite of the pandemic.