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Raytheon’s high-tech, high-wage jobs have positive effect on economy

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On May 10, Gov. Doug Ducey and I, along with several state and local leaders, formally dedicated the first of several new buildings in a major expansion of Raytheon facilities in Tucson. Our ribbon-cutting ceremony took place in front of new structures that will house many of the 2,000 new employees the company is hiring to support business growth. These high-tech, high-wage jobs will have a positive impact on the state’s economy.

The project will modernize and grow Raytheon’s missile-making operations. Our expansion supports the nation’s military, the security of America’s allies and the U.S., state and local economies.  We are a global company that partners worldwide to deliver the best possible solutions.

Taylor Lawrence

Taylor Lawrence

The 559,000-square-foot expansion will include an advanced testing facility, a multi-purpose building, a customer access center and several additional buildings, as well as infrastructure upgrades such as new laboratories and testing facilities, engineering and manufacturing enhancements, and high-powered computing capability. It is planned for completion in 2020.

Raytheon Missile Systems designs, engineers, tests and manufactures some of the most advanced aerospace and defense technologies of today and the future, including missile defense systems, hypersonic missiles and space vehicles. Our employees are working every day to solve some of the biggest challenges facing the U.S. Department of Defense and our nation’s allies.

We used our advanced immersive design center to design and create models of the new buildings before any concrete was poured. The 3-D modeling provided a more accurate blueprint for construction than conventional techniques.

Raytheon Missile Systems is southern Arizona’s largest private employer, with an annual statewide economic impact of more than $2.1 billion. We have more than 500 suppliers around the state and a workforce of nearly 12,000 people. Chances are you know someone in Arizona that has a direct or indirect connection to Raytheon.

Besides our strong economic and business impact, I’m extremely proud of our corporate citizenship. Raytheon employees volunteer thousands of hours annually, tutoring school children in Arizona classrooms. Subjects such as algebra and calculus can be difficult for many young people. Our engineers use them every day on the job, and can often explain the concepts in an easy-to-understand way.

Each year, we partner with the University of Arizona to host a MathMovesU Day. The event draws hundreds of high school students, who spend the day building telescopes and learning about cool careers using math and science. In the last decade, Raytheon has invested millions of dollars promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education in Arizona and around the nation.

We support our nation’s military on and off the battlefield. By teaming with Student Veterans of America, Raytheon helps veterans in our state with career counseling, showing them how their military service can translate to a career in corporate America. We also serve as a major sponsor of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals’ “Salute to Service” home football game on or around Veterans Day. And we partner with the nonprofit No Barriers organization to sponsor a wilderness expedition that helps wounded vets in Arizona and other parts of the country rebuild their lives.

Raytheon Missile Systems is proud to call Arizona home. We’ve helped to make the world a safer place for more than 60 years. Cutting the ribbon to expand our Arizona footprint is a win not only for southern Arizona, but also for the entire state and this great nation.

— Taylor W. Lawrence is president of Raytheon Missile Systems.

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The views expressed in guest commentaries are those of the author and are not the views of the Arizona Capitol Times.

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