It was an auspicious year for Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities.
That's what TREO President and CEO Joe Snell told the Tucson City Council Wednesday afternoon.
Snell met with the council to extol the economic development group's accomplishments over the past fiscal year.
At the end of last year, the council asked that TREO outline specific performance objectives and provide periodic updates as part of its contract with the city.
Snell said TREO continued its core mission of attracting high-wage jobs and capital investment to the region.
So what did we get for TREO's efforts?
Snell claimed credit for 2,207 direct jobs created, $69 million of capital investment that found its way into the area and $377 million in total regional economic impact.
"So overall, I would say it was a good year," he said.
Snell said it was also a good deal for the city, which pays for only 20 percent of TREO's budget yet receives 83 percent of the jobs created and almost 70 percent of the economic impact.
But some council members thought Snell's numbers were a little vague.
Councilmen Richard Fimbres and Steve Kozachik asked Snell to clarify the numbers and provide specific examples of the jobs created.
Snell responded that the numbers don't reflect actual jobs, but are projections based on the numbers given to TREO by the companies it works with.
"What you're really getting is a report on what their intent is to hiring," he said. "Not a rear-looking what has been hired."
Mayor Jonathan Roths- child requested Snell bring in some specific companies and specific examples of jobs when TREO returns in a few weeks for a discussion over its new contract with the city.
Snell said that during the past year, TREO made a commercial, spent time selling Tucson to key decision-makers across the nation, played a part in establishing the Raytheon buffer, helped match employees with potential employers and worked on uniting the University of Arizona and Arizona State University so the two institutions can partner on important issues, like aerospace, which can benefit our area.
"We had to break some long-standing barriers between ASU and UA," Snell said. "We spent a lot of time creating a bridge where the universities can bring their talents to bear for all of our industries."
Snell said the biotech firm Accelr8's transferring its headquarters to Tucson was an example of what TREO strives for.
"This company really represents a building block, an acorn, to grow this biotechnology industry," Snell said. "Very much (it's) the lessons we learned in San Diego."
Contact reporter Darren DaRonco at 573-4243 or firstname.lastname@example.org