Skip To Main Content

News and Announcements

The Future of Agriculture and Food Production in a Drying Climate 2023 by the University of Arizona:

As mentioned by President Robbins, Paul Brierley, Director of the Arizona Department of Agriculture and a board member of Elevate Southwest, has led the effort as the previous Executive Director of the Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture on this report. To read the report, please click on the link provided below:

Future_of_Agriculture_and_Food_Production_in_a_Drying_Climate_2023_Report.pdf (

The report suggests many opportunities within our Yuma area. Elevate Southwest is at the forefront of fostering an innovation hub in Yuma County, aligning seamlessly with these proposals, including partnership expansion and fortifying collaboration.


MOU Signing Ceremony Between Universities and College:

On October 24, 2023, Douglas Nicholls and Jerry Cabrera, Elevate Southwest Chairman and President/CEO, respectively, along with other regional leaders, participated as honorary witnesses in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Signing Ceremony between the Sonora State University (Universidad Estatal de Sonora), The University of Arizona – Yuma Campus, Northern Arizona University – Yuma Campus, Arizona State University – Yuma Campus, and Arizona Western College. 

This partnership between the universities, the college, Elevate Southwest, and 4FrontED highlights the importance of collaboration in education, workforce development, STEM programs, agricultural technology, and binational business programs, among other areas. Arizona Western College hosted the event, which took place at the Hilton Garden Inn in Yuma, AZ

MOU Signatories:

  • Dr. Armando Moreno Soto, President, Universidad Estatal de Sonora
  • Dr. Craig Wilson, University of Arizona, Vice Provost / Online, Distance and Continuing Education (ODCE), University of Arizona
  • Dr. Rasmus Lynnerup, Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Alliances, Arizona State University
  • Dr. Yvonne M. Luna, Vice Provost for Academic and Workforce Alliances, Northern Arizona University
  • Dr. Daniel P. Corr, President, Arizona Western College

MOU Honorary Witnesses:

  • Douglas Nicholls, Mayor of Yuma
  • Martin Porchas, Chair of the Board of Supervisors, Yuma County
  • Gerardo Anaya, Mayor of Somerton
  • Sherry Cordova, Chairwoman, Cocopah Indian Tribe
  • Luis Cabrera, Vice-Mayor of San Luis
  • Cecilia McCollough, Vice-Mayor of Wellton
  • Dulce Valle, Consul of Mexico in Yuma
  • Jerry Cabrera, President/CEO, Elevate Southwest.

Alejandro Figueroa, Economic Development and Intergovernmental Affairs Director of Yuma County, was the event´s moderator. The executed MOU (Eng/Spa) is available at the link included below:

Memorandum of Understanding 2023


"Everything to Gain" Campaign by Education Forward Arizona:

In 2023, Education Forward Arizona launched #EverythingToGain, a statewide campaign focused on increasing awareness of the importance of postsecondary education for Arizonans.

96% of Arizonans believe all students should have access to a high-quality education regardless of their zip code. To read the full report, please click on the link provided below:


The initiatives align perfectly with Elevate Southwest's mission to improve the quality of life and strengthen communities, making it an indispensable partner in Yuma County’s journey toward educational excellence and economic prosperity.


UofA - Yuma hosts Venture Valley game, increasing innovation and entrepreneur mindset in college and university students:

FORGE aims to cultivate entrepreneurial mindset everywhere the University of Arizona has a presence. On February 21st, FORGE partnered with The Singleton Foundation for Financial Literacy and EntrepreneurshipUniversity of Arizona Yuma, and the Southwest AG Summit at Arizona Western College to provide the opportunity for students to learn basic entrepreneurial skills and win cash through a Venture Valley Collegiate Cup Tournament.  Venture Valley is a fast-paced mobile and PC business strategy game where players take on the role of an entrepreneur, pitting their business savvy against others. 

Read more:

Yuma Abuzz with Entrepreneurial Energy as FORGE and Singleton Foundation's Venture Valley Tournament Draws Enthusiastic Crowd | FORGE (


Elevate Southwest Launches ¨The STEM Road¨ Podcast:

On March 7, 2024, Elevate Southwest launched ¨The STEM Road¨ podcast. Check out Episode 01 with special guests Douglas Nicholls, Yuma Mayor, Elevate Southwest Chairman, Core Engineering owner, and Isaac Rodriguez, Civil Engineering student at Arizona Western College.

Host: Jerry Cabrera, Elevate Southwest President/CEO.

The podcast is available at the link below:

The STEM Road by Elevate Southwest