Cochise College Center for Economic Research (founded in 1995) provides economic information and analysis to help leaders in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors make better-informed decisions. CER hosts economic focus luncheons each year in Sierra Vista, Douglas, Bisbee, and Benson and prepares economic review publications spotlighting each of those cities (released in conjunction with the events). CER is an Arizona State Data Center affiliate, receiving and disseminating U.S. Census Bureau data to local governments and nongovernmental data users at no charge or on a cost-recovery or reimbursable basis. CER is located in the Small Business Development Center at Cochise College's Downtown Center in Sierra Vista.
Our economic focus luncheons provide a CER overview of the national, state, and local economy with a focus on the local and regional area, along with a city manager update on recent and upcoming projects. The programs include lunch and a copy of the most recent economic review publication for the city. Certificates are offered for 2 hours of Continuing Professional Education in accounting, financial planning, or real estate.
Sierra Vista is the largest municipality in Cochise County, Arizona. The city is at an elevation of 4,633 feet located along State Routes 90 and 92 (approximately 30 miles south of Interstate 10). Sierra Vista is 75 miles southeast of Tucson, 190 miles southeast of Phoenix, and 35 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border. Nearby cities include popular tourist destinations Tombstone and Bisbee. Sierra Vista is home to Fort Huachuca—an active U.S. Army installation. The founding of Sierra Vista arose from the establishment of Fort Huachuca in the late 1800s as early ranchers, homesteaders, and business entrepreneurs settled and built around the army encampment. Sierra Vista was incorporated in 1956 and the city annexed Fort Huachuca in 1971. Today, Fort Huachuca is the region’s largest employer and main economic driver. The fort provides critical resources, infrastructure, and services to more than 50 unique tenant units and missions with national-level requirements, including three of the fastest-growing missions in the Army and Department of Defense: military intelligence, cybersecurity, and unmanned aircraft systems.
Douglas, Arizona is located along the U.S.-Mexico border and is the second largest city in Cochise County . At an elevation of 4,000 feet, Douglas is approximately 120 miles southeast of Tucson and 230 miles southeast of Phoenix, at the junction of State Route 80 and U.S. 191 (approximately 70 miles southeast of I-10). Douglas was founded in 1901 and incorporated in 1905. The city was originally established as a smelter site for copper mines in nearby Bisbee. Ranching and agriculture are also part of the area’s history and continue today. Douglas shares an international border with Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico, with a population of nearly 80,000 (as of 2010). Douglas Port of Entry is the second largest commercial port in Arizona measured by total value of imports and exports. The port is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to vehicle and pedestrian traffic supporting thousands of visitor crossings into Douglas each day.
Bisbee is the county seat of Cochise County, Arizona, and the third largest of the county’s seven municipalities with a population of 5,320 (as of 2017). At an elevation of 5,350 feet, Bisbee is located in the Mule Mountains approximately 95 miles southeast of Tucson and 205 miles southeast of Phoenix along State Route 80 (approximately 50 miles southeast of Interstate 10). Bisbee was founded in the 1880s as a mining camp and was once one of the world’s richest mineral sites producing copper, silver, gold, zinc, lead, and manganese. Mining operations ceased in the 1970s; since then, the city has been known for its mining history and as an artist and retirement community.
Benson, Arizona, home to Kartchner Caverns State Park, is the fourth largest of seven municipalities in Cochise County with a population of 4,994 (as of 2017). At an elevation of 3,585 feet, Benson is located approximately 45 miles southeast of Tucson and 160 miles southeast of Phoenix along Interstate 10, state routes 80 and 90, and the main line of the Union Pacific Railroad. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Benson was the railroad hub of Southern Arizona—an image that characterizes the city’s culture today. Ranching and agriculture are also part of the area’s history and continue today. Benson was selected by developers for the planned 28,000-home The Villages at Vigneto community, with construction slated to begin in 2019.
...if you have any questions on the Cochise County economy (or if we can help you find information or answers)
2600 East Wilcox Drive, Sierra Vista, AZ 85635
(We're located in the Small Business Development Center at Cochise College's Downtown Center)