TUCSON, Ariz. - A "mystery employer" planning to open a location bringing hundreds of jobs to downtown Tucson was revealed Wednesday to be Southern New Hampshire University.
A nonprofit school established in 1932 that has moved into largely online degree programs, SNHU employs hundreds of adjunct staff around the country to proctor its classes.
SNHU will hire approximately 100 staff members initially, with plans to hire up to 350 total new staff members in Tucson by 2021. The economic impact of the new Tucson SNHU Operations Center will be $218 million over the next 5 years. Eligible SNHU employees will have the option to relocate, but SNHU remains committed to the city of Manchester.
Some SNHU employees in Manchester, N.H., will be given offers to transfer to Tucson. Staff will include academic advisors, fianancial services staff, admissions and IT.
“Manchester is, and always will be, our home base,” said Paul LeBlanc, University President and CEO, in a statement. “We have a deep commitment to our Manchester roots and the Granite State, which will remain undiminished. This new center is not a shift away from New Hampshire. We are adding space in the millyard and building a new parking garage. The Tucson center supports continued growth and global expansion.”
“After a nationwide search, it was not only Arizona’s strategic location that was a key factor in this expansion but also the exceptional quality of life in Tucson,” said Sandra Watson, president & CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “We welcome Southern New Hampshire University to Arizona and look forward to its success," LeBlanc said.
Rio Nuevo chair Fletcher McCusker said in a statement that downtown Tucson continues to draw interst from businesses.
"We continue to see great employer interest in our evolving downtown and Rio Nuevo is eager to help," he said. "With downtown employment up, we are seeing increased housing starts, all signs of a sustainable urban core.”