Nogales, Arizona is less than a quarter of the size of its Mexican neighbor Nogales, Sonora, but the city also boasts its own robust import and export industry. However, Santa Cruz County's unemployment rate, at 9 percent, is about three points higher than the rest of the state. At the Santa Cruz Center, the county's provisional community college district, Executive Director Stella Perez discussed how programs are geared toward educating the local workforce in hopes of improving the region's economy.
"The overall goal is that students who are born here, who grow up here, who choose to stay here can in fact find and build their educational career here in Santa Cruz County," Perez said. "That’s been the goal in vision of the governing board and it really is something that we hope that they see in their future."