Tucson's competitive edge as a profitable place to do business is based on multiple factors, such as competitive wages, a moderate tax structure, a low cost of living, and availability of industrial sites, education and training programs. The largest public employers in Tucson include the University of Arizona; the State of Arizona, and the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Top private firms include Raytheon Missile Systems; Wal-Mart Stores, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, Carondelet Health Network, University Medical Center Corp., TMC Healthcare, Ventana Medical Systems, Asarco LLC, Corrections Corp. of America, Sol Casinos, and many more.
Other strong sectors in the local economy are natural resources and mining, wholesale trade, construction, financial services, aircraft and missile manufacturing, dude ranching, and electronics research. Significant areas include aerospace, computer software, telecommunications services, and a growing infrastructure of biotech firms.
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Empowerment, collaboration and accountability are three most valued qualities representing the Tucson Unified School District’s system. The empowered staff of each school enjoys the opportunity to plan their own curriculum as long as they meet district expectations and are accountable for the results. The District offers parents and children a choice.
Higher Education is big in Tucson, thanks to the University of Arizona. Founded in 1885 as the state’s land-grant university, The U of A is the leading research university in the American Southwest and has been ranked among the top 20 research universities nationwide. The largest student groups in terms of majors are Agriculture and Life Sciences, the Eller College of Management, Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Engineering. Besides the University of Arizona, there are at least 17 colleges and universities in the Tucson area, representing general education as well as many specialties. Some examples include Chaparral College, Pima Community College, ITT Technical Institute, Southwest University of Visual Arts (formerly known as The Art Center—Tucson), and the University of Phoenix—Southern Arizona Campus.