/ Modified jan 26, 2018 10 a.m.

Amber Smith to Become First Female CEO of Tucson Metro Chamber

She says her first goal is to strengthen workforce development.

Mike Varney and Amber Smith Amber Smith, right, takes over from Mike Varney, left, as president and CEO of the Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce. (PHOTO: Brandon Mejia, AZPM)

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Amber Smith will spend her first day as president and CEO of the Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce on Feb. 1, succeeding Mike Varney, who served in the position for almost seven years.

Smith, who hails from Texas, will be the first woman to fill that role. The first thing on her agenda, she said, is bolstering workforce development throughout Tucson.

"Were going to really strengthen that relationship between Pima Community College, who is working on their centers of excellence, and find out from them what it is they need from the business community," Smith said. "They're already satisfying those needs and have a plan, so I think it's important for us to get engaged and at the right place."

Smith previously led the Metropolitan Pima Alliance, where she advocated for planned growth and economic development in the region.

Follow Brandon Mejia on Twitter or contact him via email at BMejia@azpm.org.

MORE: Economy, News, Tucson
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