Two Yuma businesses receive rural grants.

Apr. 13th, 2012
Joyce Lobeck

Once again Yuma is receiving the lion’s share of funding awarded by the Arizona Commerce Authority through its Rural Economic Development Grant Program. The $1.5 million awarded to eight recipients will be leveraged to create up to 180 new jobs, which represent approximately $6.6 million in new payroll and nearly $10.5 million in new capital investment to the state. Grants range in value from $60,000 to $460,000, and will be used to assist rural communities foster economic development projects that represent job growth and capital investment in base industries. Two Yuma projects will receive a total of $520,000, Julie Engel, president and chief executive officer of Greater Yuma Economic Development Corporation, announced Friday. InsulTech, which makes high-tech thermal and acoustic insulation for commercial applications, was awarded $460,000, mainly for equipment it will need for its expansion to Yuma. That was the largest grant of the eight projects that were funded through the rural allocation program. DatePac was awarded $60,000 to help pay for a $1 million expansion of its date packing facility. Because GYEDC could only submit one application, the City of Yuma sponsored the InsulTech application and Yuma County Chamber of Commerce sponsored the DatePac application. DatePac is a consortium of area Medjool date growers. Last year, the first year of the grant program, Yuma received 70 percent of the available funding, Engel said. Last year’s grant recipients were Johnson Controls to help pay for its expansion and Yuma International Airport for improvements to Rolle Airfield. This year’s grant program focus was specifically on job creation, Engel said. InsulTech expects to create between 50 and 100 jobs. DatePac’s expansion will result in two additional jobs but it also will extend the season. Applications for two other Yuma-area projects were denied because neither could demonstrate guaranteed job creation, Engel said. They included the second phase of improvements to Rolle Field and purchase of a back-up generator for an empty call center building. Still, Engel said, “I’m very pleased with the funding.” “Our rural communities have always had the potential to foster technological development and job creation – but they haven’t always had the means to do so,” said Gov. Jan Brewer. “I commend the Commerce Authority for recognizing the importance of rural economic development with these much-needed grants.” Added Yuma County Sen. Don Shooter: “I am proud to be part of the governor and Legislature’s efforts to support business opportunities in Yuma. By supporting these companies we encourage the business community to do what it does best — and that is to create jobs we need in Yuma and all of Arizona.”

Joyce  Lobeck
Sun Staff Writer
Yuma Sun
Apr. 13th, 2012