The Yavapai College Regional Economic Development Center was awarded the Economic Development Distinguished by Excellence (EDDE) “Large Organization of the Year” by the Arizona Association for Economic Development (AAED).

The award was presented at the annual AAED Fall Forum in Flagstaff on Friday, October 29.

The EDDE Awards honor the best economic development practices for individuals, organizations and companies that have significantly contributed to the advancement of economic growth in the state. Recipients are selected from a pool of nominations made by members of AAED.

Yavapai College was one of nine award recipients on the night.

“We are honored to win this EDDE Award and be mentioned amongst some of the top economic development organizations in the state,” said Richard Hernandez, Executive Director for the Yavapai College Regional Economic Development Center.

“Kudos goes to our entire team for their hard work and dedication to helping Yavapai County grow.” The award for Economic Development Organization of the Year for a Large Community recognizes an organization of more than 100,000 people that has strengthened the efforts of AAED.

The REDC was honored for its numerous contributions to the community in 2021, including:

  • Spearheading a dynamic multi-media Small Business Makeover program with integrating outreach to Hispanic business owners.
  • Assisting during the pandemic with 437 clients served, and helping businesses receive more than $3 million in PPP loans, $1.1 million in EIDL loans, total capital investment of more than $10 million, 143 new jobs created, 158 jobs retained, and 47 new business starts.
  • Providing disaster funding updates from the SBA during the pandemic.
  • Partnering with Google to provide free training and resources to assist and identify new skills, new jobs or career advancement for their local workforce. Additionally, partnerships with Google and Arizona Community Colleges led to the launch of the Google IT Support Pro Certificate, an online training program to help students receive the skills needed for an introductory-level job in IT support.
  • Launching a new virtual workforce connection service in 2020 to connect job seekers with employers, posting 1,422 positions in 2020 – with more expected in 2021!

About the Arizona Association for Economic Development

AAED, founded in 1974, has a mission to serve as Arizona’s unified voice for responsible economic development through professional education, public policy, and collaboration. For more information on AAED, visit or call (602) 240-2233.

About the Yavapai College Regional Economic Development Center

The REDC is committed to enhancing the Quality of Life in Yavapai County by providing regional support for a prosperous economic environment through job creation, business and workforce development, technological innovation, and regional collaboration.

Yavapai College operates six campuses and centers throughout Yavapai County and offers over 100 degrees and certificates, student and community services, and cultural events and activities. To learn more about YC, visit