2 Arizona cities saluted for defense jobs
By John Yantis – Aug. 19, 2010 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic
Phoenix and Tucson are among the best cities in the Southwest for defense and aerospace jobs, according to a website that matches U.S. job seekers who have an active federal security clearance with companies that are hiring.
Although there is bad unemployment news coming out of the region because of the economic downturn, industries that require the security clearances are doing fairly well in Arizona, according to the site ClearanceJobs .com.
“The state’s defense activity continues to draw new businesses and job opportunities
According to ClearanceJobs.com, metro Phoenix continues to be a hub for aerospace-, bioscience- and technology-driven businesses. It is now one of the top 10 metro areas for aerospace and defense manufacturing, it says.
More than 300 aerospace-related companies are based in metro Phoenix, according to the site, citing Honeywell, Orbital Sciences, General Dynamics
High-tech businesses including Intel, Oracle, JDA Software and Suntron routinely look for security-cleared job seekers, particularly those with skills in electronics, nanotechnology and integrated-software solutions, the site says.
Another sector that keeps its eyes open for security-cleared professionals is the bioscience industry, which has grown more than 20 percent in less than a decade, the site says.
“On ClearanceJobs.com, we see continual need for security-cleared candidates in a very broad range of disciplines for the Greater Phoenix area, including Tempe and Scottsdale,” an article on the website says. “Everything from information technology and engineering to finance and program management are typical open positions.”
Not surprisingly, the area’s draw is sunshine. But climate, open spaces and open skies meet the needs of the state’s two major military installations: Fort Huachuca, home to the U.S. Army Intelligence Center, and Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.
Defense-related businesses continue to be lured to Phoenix for its reasonable cost of living, the site says. It also cites Phoenix as one of the youngest cities in America, with an average age of 33, which is also attractive to businesses.
The site says Tucson also has hundreds of aerospace- and aviation-related contractors. It notes Raytheon, Bombardier Aerospace, Global Aircraft Solutions and Paragon Space Development Corp., which it says is a top engineering company in the nation.
“Many of the area’s defense-contractor giants are continuing an industrywide trend of partnering with smaller, specialized contractors, a trend that directly affects the area’s job market,” the site says. “For example, in June 2009, BAE Systems acquired Tucson’s Advanced Ceramics Research. This partnership furthers new possibilities in the production of unmanned aerial vehicles.”
Dallas and Colorado Springs, Colo., were also highlighted among the best in the region for defense and aerospace jobs.