Board of Supervisors Allocate Resources for Tech Corridor Study
By Joe Pyritz, Public Information Officer, Pinal County
When one thinks of the term “tech corridor” the first thought to come to their mind is Silicon Valley.
But Pinal County Economic Development Program Manager Tim Kanavel says that Silicon Valley is not the only tech corridor in the United States.
“There are several tech corridors across the nation,” Kanavel said. “There is a very successful one in Northern Virginia called the Dulles Technology Corridor and another one in Florida. It’s not a concept exclusively for California.”
In Wednesday’s Board of Supervisors regular meeting, resources were allocated to Planning and Development to study the advantages that a tech corridor would have for Pinal County and the region.
The proposed tech corridor would be anchored by Pinal Air Park in southern Pinal County. The corridor would extend north up Interstate 10 to the Pinal County line and west along Interstate 8. Several high tech companies are already located in this proposed Tech Corridor including new and much celebrated Lucid Motors and Nikola Motors.
“Voting to allocate the resources to such study is a no-brainer,” stated Supervisors Chairman Mike Goodman. “When you look at all the assets we have already in place, such as the land, the transportation infrastructure, the companies already located there and most importantly the over two and a half million people living within 50 miles of this corridor, this is something we have to be all-in on. Frankly, I am.”
Kanavel said, in his mind, the placement of this proposed corridor in Pinal County is better than other similar corridors in the nation.
“We are situated between two of the best universities in the country, the land is affordable and the workforce along with future workforce are in place,” Kanavel stressed. “We have to take advantage of this now. We’ve already have been in touch with Pima County about this idea and the University of Arizona as well. Who knows? This tech corridor may extend all the way south to the U of A Technology Park.”
Supervisor Anthony Smith, whose district takes in a great deal of the study area says this technology corridor is a perfect next step for the county.
“We already have two companies on the leading edge of the automotive sector, the Pinal Air Park is home to Vector, who is testing rocket engines for small satellites–the tech in ‘tech corridor’ is already there,” said Supervisor Smith. “This is not only a huge plus for Pinal County, this would be a large feather in the cap for this entire region. Everyone from Pima County to our Native American Communities could reap the successful results of such an endeavor.”
In the end, Kanavel said a proposed Pinal County High Technology Corridor would create a lot of high tech employment that would halt any “brain-drain” that many rural counties and cities are facing.
“We need to be ahead of the curve here,” Kanavel said. “The Supervisors have supported our efforts to keep bringing high paying jobs here. This High Tech Corridor will be instrumental in keeping our local people working locally and bringing the best and the brightest to Pinal County where we can develop the future.”