GYEDC Awarded Grant to Enhance Economic Development Efforts

Yuma is the beneficiary of a new grant program launched by the Arizona Commerce Authority to expand economic development infrastructure in rural regions of the state. Greater Yuma Economic Development Corp. was awarded a $50,000 grant through the new program, Vision Grant, to enhance its marketing efforts, announced Julie Engel, GYEDC president and CEO. GYEDC’s grant application includes the redesign of its website, the hiring of a professional videographer and the production of marketing videos, Engel said. The videos will be placed on the GYEDC YouTube Channel and implemented into marketing materials through QR codes acquired through the Yuma Sun that can be scanned by cell phones. The QR code will launch video of testimonials of local managers telling why they are successful in this region, virtual tours of available buildings and interviews with local public officials touting their business friendly processes. Depending on the piece and the target audience, the materials will be created to match the video with the information on the printed document. “We believe this will tell the story of Yuma even when we are not able to stand in front of the recipient and tout these things ourselves,” Engel said. “We wouldn’t be able to make this kind of improvement without the grant.” Arizona Commerce Authority promised to put a lot of focus on rural areas, Engel said. “They’re truly trying to help with resources and manpower. I’m appreciative seeing the efforts coming out of the ACA.” The state agency provided a total of $250,000 through the new grant program to help enhance economic development systems and establish projects focused on creating jobs and increasing wages — particularly in base industries. Other recipients of the grant program include: • Economic Collaborative of Northern Arizona (ECONA); • Real AZ Development Corridor (RADC); • Central Arizona Regional Economic Development Foundation (CAREDF); • Prescott Valley Economic Development Foundation (PVEDF). They were selected based on their proposed projects’ economic impact, quality of project plan, demonstrated local support and other criteria. Proposed projects must be started and completed within one year. “The ACA’s Vision Grants further our commitment to advancing the economy in rural Arizona,” said Sandra Watson, interim resident and CEO of Arizona Commerce Authority. “These communities present incredible opportunity for economic growth and stimulation, and we are proud to propel projects that will attract industry, create jobs and increase wages.” Awardees were selected by a panel of four members of the Governor’s Rural Business Development Advisory Council as well as Keith Watkins, the ACA’s senior vice president of rural development. “These grants are assisting rural Arizona communities with the creation of more strategic economic development and marketing plans, the funding of labor market assessments to better understand available workforce, and the facilitation of long-term strategy to further develop base sectors,” said Watkins. “The ACA is committed to helping fund these critical growth projects to ensure a stronger, more viable statewide economy.”

Joyce Lobeck
Staff Writer
The Sun
Sep. 5th, 2012