Yuma County Courthouse | Wikimedia Commons/Ken Lund
Yuma County has asked residents to weigh in on a five-year plan to improve the area’s infrastructure, workforce development, collaboration and economic development, according to Yuma County's website.
Work on this plan started last July. Stakeholder interviews were a big part of developing this plan. City staff reached out to a variety of organizations, education centers, local, city, and tribal governments. The public comment period wrapped up on Feb. 21.
“The stakeholder interviews were important in establishing how Yuma County can be both leader and partner in creating regional economic development opportunities,” Paul Melcher, director of Economic Development and Intergovernmental Affairs, told SW Arizona News. “The draft Five-Year Economic Development Plan includes numerous opportunities for the collaborative development of key infrastructure projects related to promoting manufacturing and local business development projects such as business incubators, revolving loan funds and job training programs.”
There are eight prioritized objectives, including public outreach and education, and a category defined as “major projects.” The major projects category includes projects that don’t fit neatly into other categories, but are still important to Yuma County’s economy.
According to Appendix A of the economic development plan, Melcher will be in charge of implementing the prioritized objectives, including those in the major projects category, which are expected to take three to five years to complete.
In economic development, the county has identified four areas to call priorities for company recruitment which include advanced manufacturing/computer numerical control machining, food processing and perishable prepared foods, aerospace/spaceport and logistics.
To improve infrastructure, steps include identifying local, state and federal funding for projects, as well as prioritizing the necessary improvements, according to Melcher. For workforce development, the team looked at local resources for workforce development, certification and degree opportunities that are available in the area to create a skilled, trained workforce that can create shovel-ready sites and spec buildings and to assist regional employers who need workers.
When it comes to collaboration, the county looks to develop a clearinghouse for information related to boards that the Board of Supervisors members are part of, partner entities to work with, and those that can help with legislative advocacy.
Learn more about Yuma County’s five-year economic development plan by visiting the county's website.