Results and Return on Investment

YCDA commissioned an independent study of our accomplishments in 2013.  The study completed by the Cascade Planning Group analyzed the association’s impacts over the last five years (2009-2013) and over the association’s lifetime (27+ years).

Past Five Years

  • YCDA materially helped 12 firms locate or expand in Yakima County.
  • These firms have made investments in facilities and equipment totaling $82.2 million,
  • The businesses created 410 new jobs (with more anticipated).
  • These jobs pay an estimated $12.7 million annually in wages/salaries.

Since the Beginning

  • Since 1987, YCDA has materially assisted 43 firms to locate or expand in Yakima County.
  • These firms have made investments in facilities and equipment totaling $420 million
  • Companies receiving YCDA assistance have created over 2,850 new jobs.
  • 2,850 direct jobs represent 6.3% of the net job growth within Yakima County from 1987-2013.
  • Workers earn an estimated $91.9 million annually in wages and salaries.

Since its inception Yakima County Development Association has generated $64 of local economic activity for every dollar invested in the association.

Our results stem from team efforts and YCDA cannot take full credit for these business development success stories. Our hats are off to the companies who have invested in the Yakima Valley and added to local payrolls. We also appreciate all the help from our partners on these business projects. We win when we work together.

Our Success Stories

Paragon Films needed a facility on the West Coast to serve growing customer demand for their plastic stretch wrap. The company wanted to find an existing building to support their growth and looked at facilities in Oregon, Washington and Nevada before settling on a building in Union Gap. We got involved with the company’s expansion project when local realtors Mike Abrams and Russ Redfield brought Paragon’s management to our office to learn about how we could help support their new facility. At that time the company was interested in a facility in Terrace Heights. We immediately started helping Paragon with permitting and development issues only to learn that the building would not ultimately meet their needs.

Paragon left town at this point and our local support team worried that we would lose them to another community. Company representatives told us that they had identified a workable building in Nevada and that they were doing another look for other facilities that could meet their needs. Luckily for us our local realtors showed the company a building in Union Gap that met their needs. Paragon’s team tapped our office’s help again with permitting issues and we also helped them address their needs for rail service and additional electric power capacity.

The company started operations at the new facility in June 2013 and they have approximately 20 employees currently. Over the next few years Paragon Films will be adding more production lines and employees. The company ultimately projects to employ over 50 people at its Union Gap facility.

The impacts of Paragon Film’s operations ripple throughout the Yakima Valley. The direct and multiplier benefits of the company’s operation contributes over 356,000 to the economy of Yakima County

Construction Phase. Investments made by Paragon Films total approximately $20.0 million in building construction and new equipment. The realized local portion is estimated at about $1.5 million (in current economic values). This in turn stimulated $0.7 million in additional related business revenue, including revenues from local employee spending. The total increase in local construction related business revenue approximately $2.2 million.

Yakima received disappointing news in 2011 when Whirlpool announced it was shuttering its downtown call center facility. Over 200 workers were laid off and there was a need to turn this situation around. New Vision went into action contacting site selectors across the country about the available facility and labor force. Our office coordinated several tours for prospective companies interested in the facility and finally a German company called Arvato Bertelsmann came to town with a strong sense that Yakima was an outstanding location for one of their new call centers.

Arvato visited Yakima several times on fact finding trips before making a commitment to Yakima. Our office supported the company’s due diligence introducing them to key local resources and people that could help them get established in our community. As part of this process we helped the company assess the local labor market, organize job fairs and tap into public workforce placement and training programs.

The company started operations in early 2013 and plans to hire at least 150 employees initially. Long term Arvato wants to fill the call center space which could mean hundreds of additional jobs in downtown Yakima.

The impacts of Arvato Digital Service’s operations ripple throughout the Yakima Valley, contributing $13.6 million direct and multiplier benefits of the company’s operation to Yakima County’s economy.

Annual Business Income. Arvato produces an estimated $8.6 million of output in Yakima County. Arvato and their employees also purchase goods and services from other businesses in the county. This additional activity represents the indirect multiplier (or spin-off) effect. The dollar volume of the indirect business activity is estimated to be $5.0 million annually.

Annual Taxable Sales & Property Values. An estimated $0.9 million of employee payroll is spent on local taxable goods and services. Employees also spend a portion of their income on housing. This analysis assumes employees spend one-third of their income on housing, which is estimated at a net present property value of $16.5 million.

Annual Employment & Income. Arvato directly employs 150 workers. These workers are estimated to receive about $3.6 million in wages annually (not including benefits), for an average wage of about $23,900 per year.

This economic activity is estimated to support an additional 50 jobs throughout the economy countywide. The total employment impact is 200 jobs. Total annual wages, including economic multiplier effects, are estimated at $4.8 million.

The YCDA team first met Dick Clark, owner of Amtech, in 2001. He wanted to locate a satellite facility within the region to support his company’s work with Western RV and Genie Industries. Our office helped Clarke locate a building within the Wapato Industrial Park and the company started there with 15 employees.

Our office has enjoyed helping Amtech expand several times:

In 2003 our office helped Amtech relocate its operations from Yelm, Washington. The company added 55 jobs (ultimately employing 100).
In 2008 YCDA supported Amtech’s building expansion project resulting in more employment growth.
In 2012 our organization worked with the company and the Yakama Nation to renovate a building next door. Amtech has grown into this space and increased employment to 275.
alt textAmtech’s Economic Impact*

CURRENT EMPLOYMENT: 275
PAYROLL: $7,500,000
INVESTMENT IN PLANT/EQUIPMENT: OVER $5,000,000
PURCHASES FROM LOCAL BUSINESS: $700,000+ ANNUALLY
TAXES PAID: $300,000+ ANNUALLY

Annual Business Income: Amtech produces an estimated $242.7 million of output in Yakima County.
Annual Taxable Sales & Property Values: An estimated $1.4 million of employee payroll is spent on local taxable goods and services. Employees also spend a portion of their income on housing.
Annual Employment & Income: Amtech has 275 employees. These workers receive about $7.5 million in wages annually (not including benefits). Amtech’s economic activity and their employees spending supports an additional 825 jobs throughout the economy countywide. The total employment impact is 1100 jobs. Total annual wages, including economic multiplier effects, are estimated at $25.9 million.

*Source: Cascade Planning Group

It started with a mysterious phone called from Yeager Real Estate. It turned into the biggest business recruitment success story in our Valley’s history. YCDA saw the initial phone call turn into numerous site visits. Along the way our staff was quietly introduced to key executives with Walmart. The company was searching for 120+ acre sites that could accommodate a new distribution center Walmart needed to serve its stores throughout the Pacific Northwest. Even though the company was focused on Grandview, New Vision was able to rally all the communities in the lower Yakima Valley to actively support the project. According to company officials this teamwork was one of the primary reasons why Walmart was sold on the area.

Fun Facts About Walmart’s Facility:

The Walmart Distribution Center is 894,000 square feet, enough to fit 20 football fields;
It takes 9265 trailer loads (132 miles of trucks bumper to bumper) to fill the facility;
The facility ships 200,000-250,000 cases of food per day.
Walmart’s Return on Investment for the Yakima Valley – The following information details the direct and multiplier benefits of Walmart’s distribution center to Yakima County’s economy

Construction Phase. Investments made by Wal-Mart total approximately $42.0 million in building construction. Wal-Mart’s investment stimulated $18.9 million in additional related business revenue, including revenues from local employee spending. The total increase in local construction related business revenue about $60.9 million.

Construction and equipment procurement activity generated 440 jobs directly, and an additional 170 indirect and induced jobs due to economic multiplier effects. This employment generated a total of $29.0 million (in current economic values) in construction related wage income.

Annual Business Income. Wal-Mart produces an estimated $98.4 million of output in Yakima County. Wal-Mart and their employees also purchase goods and services from other businesses in the county. This additional activity represents the indirect multiplier (or spin-off) effect.[i] The dollar volume of the indirect business activity is estimated to be $37.4 million annually.

Annual Taxable Sales & Property Values. An estimated $5.9 million of employee payroll is spent on local taxable goods and services. Employees also spend a portion of their income on housing. This analysis assumes employees spend one-third of their income on housing, which is estimated at a net present property value of $108.8 million.

Annual Employment & Income. Wal-Mart directly employs 600 workers. These workers are estimated to receive about $23.7 million in wages annually (not including benefits), for an average wage of about $39,500 per year.

This economic activity is estimated to support an additional 340 jobs throughout the economy countywide. The total employment impact is 940 jobs. Total annual wages, including economic multiplier effects, are estimated at $32.5 million.

Tax Benefits. In addition to the private sector economic benefits, the expanded business activity also generates increased taxes for state and local government.

Wal-Mart directly invested $42.0 million in business capital. In addition, income spent on housing from employees equates to an estimated $108.8 million in property values. Taken together, these activities support approximately $1.8 million in property tax revenues to state and local government.

Retail spending by employees also generates sales taxes. As noted above, an estimated $5.9 million is spent annually at local retail stores. This retail spending is estimated to generate $94,400 per year for local governments and $383,500 annually to the state – for a combined total of $477,900 in annual state and local sales tax revenue. Wal-Mart owed no sales tax as they received the exemption on their entire $42 million investment