Yakima County Development Association - Enterprise Corner

Jean Brown

Jean Brown

Jean publishes a blog called the Enterprise Corner.  It features articles on entrepreneurship, local industry trends, manufacturing news and periodic ‘toolbox’ articles showcasing assistance, incentives and other resources for local businesses.

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Enterprise Corner

Spring Harvest Fiber Mill Wins Enterprise Challenge

Spring Harvest Fiber Mill Wins Enterprise Challenge - January 22, 2014

New Vision, the Yakima County Development Association, announced that three emerging businesses were selected as winners of the Enterprise Challenge business plan contest. These entrepreneurs were selected by seven judges that met with business plan contestants yesterday. Spring Harvest Fiber Mill won New Vision's Enterprise Challenge and will receive $10,000. The company produces yarns and fiber products made from Alpacas. Bob and Danise Cathel are alpaca farmers and avid fiber artists. ... Read More »


Enterprise Challenge:  Everyone's a Winner

Enterprise Challenge: Everyone's a Winner - January 14, 2014

What do you get when you combine 20+ entrepreneurs, business seminars, and a competition for thousands of dollars? It's the Enterprise Challenge, a local business plan contest reaching its conclusion next week. We sponsor this four-month high energy contest to promote entrepreneurship in our Valley. Contestants come in all shapes and sizes and we design the Challenge so everyone participating benefits. Tyrone Rodriguez with Selah's Smiles won the contest last year and was awarded the top ... Read More »


Lean Manufacturing Helps Industry Rebound - January 07, 2014

Our office is seeing quite a few local companies doing well these days thanks in part to lean manufacturing. Local production companies have rebounded substantially from a few years ago due to favorable national economic trends. According to Kevin Hall with the McClatchy Washington Bureau, the overall manufacturing sector is still at best, only about three-quarters of the way back. Manufacturing represented about 21 percent of the U.S. economy in 1980. Today, it's closer to 12 percent, and ... Read More »


Manufacturing Jobs:  Impacts Bigger Than Ever Before

Manufacturing Jobs: Impacts Bigger Than Ever Before - December 09, 2013

New evidence strongly suggests that manufacturing is way more important to our local economy than ever before. In the article, The Multiplier Effect: There Are More Manufacturing Related Jobs Than You Think ," authors Keith D. Nosbusch and John A. Bernaden point out that manufacturing's true impact is understated. As manufactured products and processes become more complex, they support significant skilled jobs in logistics and transportation, customer service, technical support, regulatory and... Read More »


New Vision Collaborates on STEM Industry Videos

New Vision Collaborates on STEM Industry Videos - September 16, 2013

New Vision is the midst of collaborating on a STEM project (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) with ESD 105 to develop videos that showcase the types of skills Valley businesses need from employees now and in the future. The goal of the video project is to build bridges and create awareness and understanding between students and employers. Businesses are looking to our students as their future workforce and the "Virtual Industry Tours" concept is a great way get kids to see real jobs ... Read More »


New Resources for Entrepreneurs and Established Businesses

New Resources for Entrepreneurs and Established Businesses - September 03, 2013

Over the past year we have done a lot of work on our websites. As part of these improvement efforts our office has developed a lot of great information and resources for businesses of all shapes and sizes. For established businesses we have developed content on: Help With Expansion ; Financing ; Exporting ; Hiring and Training Employees ; and Real Estate and Permitting . For new businesses and entrepreneurs there are sections on: Help for Startups ; Startup Funding ; Business Plans ; ... Read More »


Yakima Maker's Space Perks Innovation and Entrepreneurship - August 13, 2013

Yakima has a cool new group called Maker Space which is promoting innovation, collaboration, and entrepreneurship. Maker spaces are popping up all over the United States and abroad. They have grown out of the spontaneous collaboration found among computer coders and evolved to focus on knowledge sharing. Maker spaces typically provide space for members to work on their individual projects, or to collaborate on group projects with other members. They may also operate physical tool lending ... Read More »


Business Blogging Bolsters Customer Interest

Business Blogging Bolsters Customer Interest - May 06, 2013

Blogs provide business owners with an unprecedented way of reaching and engaging large audiences in a way that traditional marketing pushes can't match. Blogs can help put a human face to your business while showcasing your knowledge and passion for your chosen field. For example, a landscape owner can showcase plant maintenance and fertilizing tips, a restaurant owner can share recipe secrets. Just about anyone can share tips of the trade that connect them with their customer base. There are ... Read More »


What's Kaizen and Why Do I Need It? - April 19, 2013

The Kaizen philosophy is a Japanese term meaning "improvement", or "change for the better" and can be applied in business to practices that focus on continuous improvement as it relates to processes in manufacturing, engineering, processing and business management. Kaizen, a systematic approach and problem-solving tool adopted from the Toyota Production System (TPS) that is aimed at quickly implementing low-cost improvements that result in measurable impact. While Kaizen traditionally and ... Read More »


Meal & Rest Break Laws - What Employers Need to Know - April 05, 2013

Recently Gary Lofland, with Halverson Northwest spoke to our Industry Roundtable group on the topic of meal and rest break laws due to recent court cases close to home and across the U.S. He explained that all employee's need rest and meal breaks during work hours and the law stipulates standards for these breaks, including whether your employees should be paid for them or not. Here's what you need to know: The Federal Fair Labor Standards Act of the U.S. Department of Labor and State of ... Read More »



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"One of our advantages is that our labor force has lower turnover which reduces our overall costs. " - Terry Bliesner, Vice President, Valley Processing