Worker Attraction Study: The role of Arizona's open spaces in attracting critical high-skill workers
The Sonoran Institute is investigating the connection between conserved public land and a thriving economy through our Worker Attraction Study. This groundbreaking research will demonstrate how year-round outdoor recreation in Arizona's spectacular scenery attracts the high-skill, high-wage workers that are critical to a modern economy.
Workers such as engineers and health care professionals have very portable skills, which allow these workers to live in areas that suit their desired lifestyle. The Sun Corridor is uniquely positioned to recruit these highly skilled workers. With the largest economic market in the Intermountain West providing work opportunities, a warm climate, and millions of acres of nearby public land for outdoor recreation, highly skilled workers have been drawn to the Sun Corridor for decades.
The ability of the state's natural features to attract desirable workers has been acknowledged anecdotally for years, but the Sonoran Institute's work is the first research to attach firm data to this concept. Other studies, including some by the Sonoran Institute (see below), have shown that protected public lands are an asset to a region's hospitality and tourism industries. While this is undoubtedly the case, we believe that there is a larger effect at work in the Sun Corridor as public land attracts both workers and firms in high-skill, high-wage industries such as electronics and aerospace. Additionally, while previous studies have focused on the effect of public lands on the economies of rural towns and counties, the Worker Attraction Study is measuring the effect of these lands on an economy of over $200 billion annually. Download the report.
For more information, please contact
, Program Director, Sun Corridor Legacy Program.