A firm determined to convince businesses to move to the Yakima Valley recently relocated.
The Yakima County Development Association moved in late December from its downtown office to a building near the Yakima Air Terminal at 2520 W. Washington Ave., Suite 1.
Executive Director Jonathan Smith and five other employees at 10 N. Ninth St.
While the former location had advantages such as proximity to the Interstate 82 interchange, the new office is centrally located in Yakima and has direct four-lane access to the I-82 Valley Mall interchange, Smith said.
“We started looking for a new site in 2020 and decided to sit tight (due to the Covid pandemic),” he added. “We’re also going to house the SBDC[Washington Small Business Development Center]so we need more space.”
The YCDA office in the Chamber building — which may soon be sold to make way for a new downtown hotel — was 1,100 square feet, compared to 2,000 square feet in the agency’s new office.
While YCDA is putting up signs and spreading the word about the new location, it’s also trying to bring mobile workshops and training programs to Lower Valley communities like Grandview, Sunnyside and Toppenish, Smith said.
“We’re trying to keep you from coming here — we can come to you,” he said, explaining that the state grant is helping YCDA overcome digital and geographic barriers in the Yakima Valley.
Programs such as QuickBooks courses and the February conference to help businesses find qualified workers will help Yakima County fulfill its mission to increase income, quality of life and job stability for residents, expanding and creating new business and industry, Smith said.
The new offices will be located west of the Yakima Airport’s main entrance and at the stoplight at 24th and Washington streets. The road to the new building is next to the Coffee Palace and across Washington Avenue from the Kyoto Sushi and Steakhouse restaurant.
Smith said that while renovations and organization of the new office will continue this month, an open house is scheduled for 2023.
For more information on YCDA and its programs, visit selectyakimavalley.com.