Yuma, Arizona - The City of Yuma joins the International Economic Development Council in recognizing the importance of the local economy during National Economic Development Week, May 9-15.
National Economic Development Week was created by the International Economic Development Council, the largest professional membership organization for economic developers, to recognize the unique role economic development has in creating vibrant communities with strong economies.
In Yuma, improving the business climate is a joint effort. This year, the Yuma City Council adopted several strategic outcomes and priority initiatives that focus on economic development, including support for a local multiversity campus, additional broadband access, continued riverfront development, a spaceport and enhanced coordination with the private sector. Partners such as the Greater Yuma Economic Development Corporation helped recruit businesses looking to start or expand in the community; and City staff assisted them through the development process.
“Economic Development Week highlights the importance of Yuma’s economic health and recognizes the vital role businesses play in our community,” said City of Yuma Economic Development Administrator Jeff Burt.
Yuma’s economic development partners have worked hard to create positive momentum despite the obstacles of COVID-19. This past year, the City broke nearly every development record. The construction valuation and permit growth in 2020 was the highest in Yuma’s history. Total construction valuation in 2020 was $167.6 million, a 16 percent increase from 2019 ($143.8 million). And to date, residential permits are up 55 percent compared to the same time last year. The March 2021 unemployment rate for the City of Yuma was just 8.7 percent, nearly the lowest unemployment figure in 10 years.
Several Yuma-area industries and manufacturers have expanded in the past three years including Northwestern Industries, Insultech, Holaday Seed Co., Almark Foods, Swire Coca-Cola, and MPW Services.
“As more company projects move from the COVID sidelines and actively seek to expand or relocate, the City of Yuma will aggressively pursue investment opportunities with our economic development partners,” Burt said.
At present, the City is competing among many communities and states for several projects representing nearly $100 million in capital investment and more than 750 jobs. Decisions for most of those projects are expected in the next six months. The City will continue to seek private sector investments that deliver full-time jobs for area residents and contribute new financial resources in support of important City infrastructure and services.
“Working together, we can make 2021 another year of economic progress for the City of Yuma,” Burt said.