Created to promote the four regions of Yuma County, Imperial County, San Luis Rio Colorado, Algodones and the valley areas of San Luis Rio Colorado (Sonora), and City of Mexicali (Baja California) as a collective Megaregion, 4FrontED is an economic development-focused organization that serves as a convener, facilitator, and coordinator for a region of over 1,500,000 people. The creation of 4FrontED is further evidence that local elected leadership understands the importance of leveraging assets and competing as a region to attract new investments from throughout North America and international markets. Some of the key assets of the region are:
- Colorado River – traversing the megaregion is the Colorado River. The river is the foundation of Yuma’s booming agribusiness sector that delivers a $3.2 billion economic impact each year. The river, combined with the Sea of Cortez, has given rise to a strong tourism industry in the binational region. Attesting to the region’s water supply, the Yuma region holds senior water rights on the Colorado River equal to 40 percent of the total available allocation.
- Consumer Access – The binational region offers single-day freighting service to more than 52 million consumers including Arizona and most of California, Nevada, and western New Mexico, and northern Mexico.
- San Luis Port of Entry I and II – The two facilities serve cross border travel including private-operated vehicles and pedestrians. The newer and larger Port II primarily accommodates commercial traffic including a facility serving temperature-sensitive shipments. Additional expansion of the complex is planned. Two industrial parks totaling over 350 acres are located near the Port of Entry.
- Rolle Field – Is a 640 acre general aviation airport operated by the Yuma County Airport Authority. Rolle Field is a former WWII aviation training field that is ideally suited for present day aviation/aerospace companies and firms engaged in Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) development and testing. The airfield is just minutes away from the Yuma International Airport and the Marine Corps Air Station. The potential of UAS and aerospace to the Yuma area suggests the important role Rolle Field could play in the future.
- Real estate – Yuma and the 4FrontED Region provide over 3,000 acres of industrially-zoned sites including those that offer rail access. I-8 and US 195 provide efficient highway access to the region’s industrial parks. The industrial zoning of the industrial parks is a mix of light and heavy manufacturing designations.
- Location – The 4FrontED Region is located in the southwestern U.S. Yuma is equidistant (175 miles) from Phoenix and San Diego. Los Angeles, Tucson, and Las Vegas are each less than 300 miles away. Yuma sets at the door step of California and Mexico.
- Proven Market – The 4FrontED Region is a proven market for business and its importance as a manufacturing hub is growing. The following table highlights leading employers that have grown and prospered in the 4FrontED Region. Bose utilizes a twin-plant operation with facilities in both San Luis Rio Colorado and Yuma.
In support of the binational effort, 4FrontED has created a new website (www.4FrontED.org) to tell the megaregion’s story, showcase its benefits to businesses seeking to expand their presence in the international marketplace, and facilitate binational economic activity.