Arizona Gov. Ducey tours Univ. of Arizona wind tunnel project, participates in workforce development roundtable

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey was in Tucson last week to tour the Arizona supersonic wind tunnel with UArizona President Bobby Robbins, Raytheon Missiles and Defense President Wes Kremer, and several members of the university’s Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering program. The governor also participated in a roundtable on workforce development.

Visiting southern Arizona for the 93rd time since taking office in January 2015, Ducey stressed the importance of the state’s robust university system and innovative job creators in forging a competitive economy.

“Educators and workforce leaders across the state do incredible work to help Arizonans find meaningful work and ensure our small businesses can succeed,” Ducey said .

UArizona’s supersonic wind tunnel project is set to benefit from a $3.5 million investment in the fiscal year 2022 state budget proposal, improving wind tunnel infrastructure and expanding the ability of students to interact with and work on the wind tunnel.

“I would think not only what we’re seeing is critical to the future of our economy, it’s critical to the future of our national defense,” Ducey said.

The supersonic wind tunnel is used to test “how hypersonic technologies respond under specific conditions, such as speeds and attacks.”

UArizona is working with Raytheon to advance the project.

Following his tour of UArizona’s campus, Gov. Ducey led a roundtable on workforce development alongside key stakeholders. In addition to Robbins and Kremer, attendees included:

  • Dr. David Hahn, Craig M. Berge Dean, UArizona’s College of Engineering;
  • Ted Maxwell, President of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council; 
  • Kathy Prather, Superintendent and CEO of Pima JTED; 
  • Lee Lambert, Chancellor of Pima Community College; 
  • Steve Holmes, Superintendent of Sunnyside Unified School District;
  • Kate Hoffman, Founder and CEO of Earn to Learn.

The group discussed how the state government, local governments, public-private partnerships, universities, and the private sector could collaborate to expand career opportunities in the state. Gov. Ducey made supporting small businesses a priority.

Joe Pitts

Joe Pitts is a born and bred Arizonan who formerly served as the program director at the Arizona Chamber Foundation. He graduated Arizona State University's Barrett, the Honors College in 2023 with a B.S. in Management and concurrent B.S. in Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership.

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