Optics industry seeks to regain focus
By Dan Sullivan
ARIZONA DAILY STAR
There was a time when visitors to Tucson International Airport were greeted with a sign that read “Welcome to Tucson! Optics Valley” with a picture of a smiling Mayor Bob Walkup.
The sign’s absence now — it was removed during airport renovations in 2005 and never replaced — is perhaps symbolic.
Local leaders say the industry is in need of revitalization after the departure of two local optics firms and layoffs at others.
Some say the name “Optics Valley” doesn’t carry the same weight as it once did.
“You hear people call Tucson Optics Valley, but the name is not out as much as it used to be,” said Ken Steele, director of operations for Kamen Aerospace.