Workforce Focus: Site Selection & Quality Of Life

Community involvement and access to a rich variety of activities and amenities have climbed the list of factors for site decisions.

Tucson, Arizona: Variety For Quality Of Life

Earlier this year, Tucson, Arizona received a standout accolade—being named as one of the World’s Greatest Places by Time magazine. Tucson’s culinary scene, architecture, galleries, and hotels were highlighted, and the city was deemed “the soul of the Sonoran Desert.” This recognition demonstrates Tucson’s unique culture and charm which inspires both residents and businesses alike.

Tucson’s ranking as a Greatest Place has much to do with its culinary traditions. UNESCO named Tucson America’s first city of Gastronomy in 2015, noting its rich agricultural heritage and culinary distinctiveness. Food and Wine named Tucson one of America’s Next Great Food Cities last year. And the city boasts a James Beard award-winning baker at Barrio Bread.

Food takes center stage at the annual Tucson Meet Yourself festival, which recently celebrated 50 years. The event attracts over 150,000 people and hundreds of chefs and cooks, sharing ethnic food and traditions. A more specialized culinary celebration is the Agave Heritage Festival in April. Events include agave pit roasting, agave spirit tastings, and culinary happenings.

Tucson Arizona
The Tucson Gem and Mineral Show is the largest in the world. (Photo: Visit Tucson)


Beyond the culinary arena, Tucson’s festivals appeal to a wide variety of interests. In January, the Tucson Jazz Festival will celebrate its 10-year anniversary, with 10 days of jazz greats performing in large and small concert venues throughout downtown.

Moving into February, the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show attracts visitors from around the globe. Founded in 1955, the show is said to be the largest, oldest, and most prestigious gem and mineral show in the world. With more than 40 gem show locations across the city, the event brings together hobbyists, collectors, dealers, and educational exhibitors. The show is one of Tucson’s largest annual economic impacts to the region, generating $131.4 million.

Springtime in March brings a shower of literary happenings at the Tucson Festival of Books. Celebrating books, writers, illustrators and readers, the festival features panels, readings, discussions, and special events featuring local and national writers. Attendees stroll the open-air University of Arizona Mall among the many exhibitors.

The popular Fourth Avenue Spring Street Fair celebrates 55 years in March, welcoming over 350,000 people to the heart of the city. With a focus on artists from around the world, the fair also offers decadent food and local entertainment. The Street Fair is bi-annual, with the second outing taking place in December.

Before winter hits, November brings the All Souls Procession and El Tour de Tucson. The All Souls Procession began in 1990, with a local artist memorializing her father in a ceremonial performance piece. It has evolved to an event attracting upwards of 200,000 participants on the streets of Tucson walking a two-mile procession. It ends with a ceremonial burning of “The Urn” which is filled with offerings and wishes for those who have passed.

El Tour de Tucson, which recently celebrated its 40th year, is a popular bicycling event, attracting over 7,500 cyclists. Riders choose from 102-, 63-, and 32-mile courses through the streets of Tucson. The event raises money for nonprofits and charitable agencies.

From food to gemstones to books, Tucson offers events and festivals that enhance its quality of life. These unique happenings celebrate the energy and essence of “the soul of the Sonoran desert.”

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