Data from the Southern Arizona Indicators project and other sources noted below informed the CFSA-sponsored Strategic Directions Summit in January 2013, where presenters and participants examined the demographics and trends that will impact our community over the next five to 10 years. We’ve highlighted here, some of what we learned.
Benefits of the Border
Southern Arizona’s perspective on the U.S./Mexico border is markedly different and more positive than the perspective of the northern part of the state. Creative organizations will capitalize on these favorable conditions to build cross border partnerships, thus driving economic development and opportunity for all.
Challenges of Poverty
Work Life. More than 20 percent of Tucson’s total population live in poverty. Sixty percent of people living in poverty have non-traditional work schedules. Forty percent of children in the state live in single parent families. Poverty, work schedules and single parenting point to the need for funders and service providers to take into account how childcare challenges contribute to the ability of parents to secure living wage jobs.
Low Wages. The Southern Arizona economy is comprised primarily of jobs that traditionally do not pay high wages, particularly tourism and the associated retail trade, and the forecast is for continued growth in these sectors. As a result, funders and service providers must be prepared for an increase in the numbers of individuals categorized as the working poor, and develop partnerships and programs to deliver the complement of services needed to help them emerge from poverty.
Summit Presenters + Presentations
Clint Mabie, President and CEO, Community Foundation for Southern Arizona
Mike Holmes, Executive Director, Imagine Greater Tucson
Andrea Whitsett, Project Manager, Arizona Indicators
Laura Penny, Executive Director, Women’s Foundation for Southern Arizona
Brent Milward, Director, School of Government and Public Policy, University of Arizona