Building business leaders for the future in Yakima

20120425-DSC_8805By Steve Myers, Superintendent, Educational Service District 105, Community Partnerships & Ricardo Valdez, Director, UW Yakima Valley Community Partnerships

On behalf of the University of Washington Yakima Valley Community Partnerships, we would like to thank Michael Verchot and the University of Washington Consulting and Business Development Center for the many years of service to our communities.

20120425-DSC_8833Throughout the past 20 years, the UW Consulting and Business Development Center has extended their expertise to assist the Yakima Valley with economic and community development and to model successful strategies for our area.  The UW CDBC has provided countless seminars to assist small businesses in both English and Spanish.  Their efforts have been to provide proactive leadership, increase revenues, promote small-business growth, and facilitate the creation of new jobs in these small underserved rural communities.  As one small business owner in Toppenish stated, “I needed more knowledge about business planning and tax policies. The UW faculty helped us learn from each other. I see the UW’s aim as bringing professional people together for business and community collaboration and helping the community achieve its dreams.”

20120425-DSC_8930Michael Verchot, Director of the Center, sees the partnership as stated in a case study as a reciprocal benefit to both parties. “Immigrants – particularly Latino business owners – are innovators. It is important to cultivate this trait across entrepreneurs in the state of Washington and to take this lesson back to the UW’s Business School for faculty and students to understand.”   In addition, through collaboration, UW and these communities connect Valley partners to the larger world, draw the University and Valley citizens closer together, and, interestingly, knit the communities themselves more closely together to improve the quality of life for everyone.