Four counties: Cochise, Pima, Santa Cruz, Yuma
Target Industries: Aerospace-Defense, Engineering Technology, Information Technology, Homeland Security fields, Biotechnology, Entrepreneurship
Southern Arizona is home to leading aerospace and defense companies, information technology firms and key military installations. These industries are contributing to rapid growth and high wage job opportunities. Education and skill sets required for these jobs are applicable to the bio-economy and other growing sectors. However, the availability of prepared workers is not keeping pace with development.
Innovation Frontier Arizona's (IFA) WIRED initiative will address regional talent demands through career ladder development and system alignment for engineering technology, information technology and entrepreneurship. The region's partnership will develop core education and training curriculum that meets needs defined by industry. The education strategy includes contextual learning in science, technology, engineering and math (S.T.E.M.), and the application of digital literacy skills to sectors that support the flow of goods across the border. The IFA will support entrepreneurship strategies to spur high-tech and other small business activity.