Yakima County Development Association - Local Educational Attainment Shines Nationally

Jonathan Smith

The President’s Pen is a weekly blog written by Jonathan Smith, New Vision’s President and CEO about local economic development projects and initiatives. It also covers economic trends, workforce issues, business climate policies, and manufacturing news. 

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Local Educational Attainment Shines Nationally

Local Educational Attainment Shines Nationally

June 23, 2014

I saw an interesting factoid recently that put our region at the second spot nationally for growth in associate in arts (AA) degrees.  According to Josh Bays with the Site Selection Group, Yakima's is among the top five markets in the country for eductional attainment.  Our region's 4.84 percent growth in AA degrees between 2011-2014 is second to only Canton Ohio as the United States fastest growth area for extending community college degrees.

It is nice to get kudos for our educational advancement but there is still a lot of room for improvement.  According to YVCC President Linda Kaminski our larger than average bump is partly because we have comparatively low educational attainment.  Enrollment growth at community colleges in Western Washington still outpaces Yakima although Bays' findings strongly suggest we are moving in the right direction. 

Our office worked with the Site Selection Group (SSG) when Arvato Digital Services chose Yakima for a new backoffice center.  The SSG represented Arvato during lease negotiations and has toured other potential businesses through our Valley on corporate real estate searches.  The Site Selection Group frequently assesses international and domestic labor markets as part of its location advisory services.  The firm has also posted findings on:

The Top 25 Bilingual Metro Areas (Yakima should be in it)

The 20 Fastest Growing Metro Areas; and

Electric Rates for Industry Climb Across the Country

Here is a blog we did last year call center trends featuring the Site Selection Group


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"New Vision helped us secure a state workforce training tax credit that has helped us advance our lean manufacturing initiative. These resources allowed us to expand our original project and work with Perry Technical Institute on a customized training program for our maintenance mechanics." - Don Carrell, Shields Bag and Printing