SouthEastern Arizona Governments Organization (SEAGO) has been designated an Economic Development District (EDD) by the U.S. Economic Development Administration since 1991. EDDs help lead the locally-based, regionally driven economic development planning process that leverages the involvement of the public, private and non-profit sectors to establish a strategic blueprint for regional collaboration. The EDD serves SEAGO’s entire region, which includes four counties, fourteen incorporated governments and one Native American Community.
SEAGO develops and manages the CEDS to assist in establishing regional priorities for U.S. Economic Development Administration projects and investments. Its purpose is to promote economic development and opportunity, foster effective transportation systems, enhance and protect the environment, and balance resources through sound management and development. The CEDS provides a coordinating mechanism for individuals, organizations, local governments, and private industry to engage in a meaningful conversation and debate about the economic direction of the region.
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Fort Huachuca (an active U.S. Army installation located in Cochise County) is the largest employer in Southeast Arizona. The fort provides critical resources, infrastructure, and services to more than 50 unique tenant units and missions with national-level requirements, including three of the fastest-growing missions in the Army and Department of Defense: military intelligence, cybersecurity, and unmanned aircraft systems.
As of October 2017, approximately 2,400 active duty military personnel were permanently assigned to the fort. There are also approximately 2,500 trainees temporarily assigned on any given day (with more than 8,000 trained at the fort each year). Fort Huachuca directly employs approximately 2,600 civilian workers with an additional 400 employed by other agencies operating on the installation. The fort also contracts with numerous area firms employing several thousand workers.
In 2017, the Maguire Company released its Economic Impact of Arizona’s Principal Military Operations report, which estimated the annual direct, indirect, and induced impact of Fort Huachuca on Cochise County at $2.9 billion. The employment impact was estimated at 21,327 jobs countywide with $999.2 million in associated earnings.
According to Freeport, "Morenci is one of North America’s largest producers of copper and one of the largest open-pit mines in the world with great potential for growth and continued prosperity." Safford is an open-pit copper mining complex Freeport describes as a "zero-discharge facility and one of the most environmentally advanced copper mines ever built." According to Freeport, "Growth and expansion opportunities are underway to extend the life of mine for Safford operations." In recent years Bisbee-Douglas activities have included reclamation, soil remediation, sulfate mitigation, and support of community programs.
According to Freeport's annual economic impact statement, "at the end of 2016, Morenci employed more than 3,070 people....Morenci and Safford operations combined generated a $405.4 million direct and indirect impact on Greenlee and Graham Counties and a $978.5 Million impact on Arizona." The impact of activities on Cochise County was estimated at $44.2 million.
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