The University of Arizona, and Raytheon have helped cement Southern Arizonas reputation for technology. Now to build the economy and reinforce national security, the U.S. Commerce Department is looking to stimulate tech growth around the country. KGUN9 On Your Side has more on where Southern Arizona hopes to fit in.

The Federal Government is looking for 20 spots across the country to set up new tech development centers and Southern Arizona is hoping to be one of those spots.

Pima Community College already has a deep commitment to tech education, with training on skills like computer assisted manufacturing.

For students, theres a lot of appeal in the idea of a tech center that would enhance our areas technical base, and attract more employers.

The computer and software skills they use to control this machinery can adapt to many technical fields.

Student Daniel Hodges says, Programming code can be useful for just about anything that would be computer controlled. It can be as simple as cutting a piece of metal, it could be controlling some sort of device they havent even thought of yet.

Assistant U.S. Commerce Secretary Alejandra Castillo talked with local leaders about the tech center plans. She says if the Southern Arizona area gets a center, the exact technology could be almost anything in the world of tech.

It could be anything from environmental technology, it could be anything from agro tech, it could be mining, it could be ways to improve. Those industries that are critical to our supply chain, as well as critical to the future of industries could be quantum computing, quantum computing cybersecurity, there’s aerospace defense manufacturing.

This meeting collected a cross section of government, business and education. The Assistant Secretary says when its time to choose the tech center locations, regions that can show that will have an edge.

Tucson Mayor Regina Romero says this region already knows what it needs for the future.

This is putting together in action what we know, what we’ve learned, and being able to create jobs and high wage long term, sustainable jobs of the future is what we want to see here in Tucson and in Southern Arizona.