Yuma, Arizona - Yuma Multiversity Campus Corporation (YMVC) announced support from Southwest Gas (SWG) for a phase 2 feasibility study that will launch in the next few weeks. Phase two of YMVC will include a strategic assessment and market analysis, to assess the present and future need for skilled workforce by regional employers.

Data collected in from the assessment will be used to collaboratively develop an actionable 5-year strategic plan. Regional primary employers, education leaders, elected officials, and non-profits focused on education and workforce development will be invited to participate in the project which is expected to take about nine months to complete.

“Southwest Gas is committed to providing businesses in Arizona with clean, affordable and reliable natural gas to help the help the communities we serve in Arizona thrive economically. In order to continue to attract investment from national and regional employers, it will be critical for Arizona to have a strong education-to-workforce pipeline. For that reason, we are pleased to partner with the YMVC to support their important workforce assessment and development efforts,” said Southwest Gas Public Affairs Administrator, Walter Richter. “Through their work, YMVC will ensure that the right stakeholders are at the table to produce positive educational and economic outcomes for the Greater Yuma Region.”

The Yuma Multiversity Campus Corporation Board of Directors have been overseeing the execution of Phase 1 of the project led by YMVC President/CEO Jim Schuessler. Since February 2020, Schuessler has invested well over one-thousand hours directly engaging primary employers, education and non-profits focused on education and workforce development. 

“Yuma County has much going for it,” stated Schuessler. “Our population growth and low median age provides us with a great advantage for future economic development but local investment in advanced higher education infrastructure has not kept pace.” Schuessler noted that regional employers employ skilled workers requiring advanced degrees and would prefer to hire from people in the area provided that they have the skills necessary. “It’s been a constant theme from human resource directors that there is a desire to hire locally if we can develop the talent here in Yuma County.”

YMVC’s mission is to be a collaborative organization, bridging higher education, industry and prospective talent to provide the means to achieve skilled careers of today and the future. By increasing local access to higher education and improved outcomes, Greater Yuma can expect increased wage potential, lower unemployment and underemployment, increased sustainability and a thriving population. 

Increasing higher education outcomes is also a crucial step to attract new primary employers to the area. “Greater Phoenix’s success attracting new employers provides an opportunity for the Yuma region to attract additional employers and feed their supply chains,” Schuessler noted. “From San Luis to Yuma, we offer great opportunity to existing and potential new employers because of our growth, our youth, and potential sites for industrial development. Working with AWC, ASU, NAU, and UA, we seek to catalyze added resources to achieve greater education outcomes so that the Yuma region may fully participate in the New Economy Initiative.” 

“Southwest Gas’s investment in phase 2 supports the efficient advancement toward achieving programming and infrastructure that will match the needs of our growing region,” Schuessler added. “Success will enhance the vibrancy of Yuma County’s communities and help provide more regional career pathways for our citizens rather than forcing them to leave in order to achieve their degree.”

More information about YMVC is available at https://www.YumaMultiversity.com