Business forum to focus on military's economic impact
As important as Yuma County's two military installations are to the nation's defense, Marine Corps Air Station Yuma and Yuma Proving Ground also play a significant role in the local economy.
Between them, they employ thousands of people both military personnel and civilian. And they contribute millions of dollars to the Yuma economy.
Contractors find work at the installations, especially now with the investment of millions of dollars in new infrastructure at MCAS as the air station readies for the arrival of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Meanwhile, local businesses fill a need for goods and services.
In addition, visitors to YPG and MCAS, both active-duty military and contractors, stay at local hotels, rent cars and eat in restaurants.
The impact on the local economy of Yuma's two military installations will be the topic for the next business forum, Know Yuma Inside & Out. The forum will be from 7 to 8 a.m. Thursday in the council chambers at Yuma City Hall, One City Hall.
All business people are invited to attend. The event is free and includes a continental breakfast.
The forum will feature the commanding officers of the two installations. Col. Reed Young will speak for YPG and Col. Robert Kuckuk will speak for MCAS.
The monthly forum is hosted by the Yuma Sun in partnership with the city of Yuma, Yuma County Chamber of Commerce, Yuma Visitors Bureau and Greater Yuma Economic Development Corp. to provide local business leaders with information to help them grow their businesses.
“We all know that the military has a huge influence in Yuma County,” said Yuma Sun Publisher Joni Brooks. “We're excited to have the colonels from MCAS-Yuma and YPG share facts and statistics on the economic impact they have in our communities. This will be a really interesting session.”
The series of business forums is growing in popularity, said Lisa Reilly, Yuma Sun advertising director, who added that she has learned a lot from them. “I've been getting a lot of feedback on the forums and the coverage and I've been hearing requests for various topics.”
The next forum, to be held Oct. 18, will focus on the area's winter visitors. There will be no forums in November and December because of the holidays. The series will resume in January with a forum on solar power activity in Yuma County.