Yakima Valley Trends seeks to improve local, private and public decision-making by providing relevant data in an easily navigable website. The data serve as neutral information for all parties involved in a local decision. More specifically, the goals are:
- To collect and share a broad spectrum of information for individual community members, policy makers, non-governmental organizations, businesses, business organizations, researchers, and the press.
- To track progress over time of various efforts toward a healthy, vibrant community.
- To measure the community's progress spatially via benchmarks outside of the County.
- To enable analysis of these trends.
A set of principles informed the process for the selection of chosen indicators presented and include the following criteria:
- Important to large numbers of the community
- Based on valid measurements, as defined by good science and social science, with credible sources
- Understandable to the general public
- Defined to allow comparisons to Washington State, the U.S. or those in similar sized communities
- Available repeatedly over time to allow trend analysis
- Easily accessible
Website development and maintenance comes from Eastern Washington University's (EWU) Institute (Institute) for Public Policy and Economic Analysis. The Institute is a multi-college unit conducting applied analysis at EWU. Institute, staff and students, gathered the data, wrote the explanations, conducted statistical tests & designed this site. The Institute has created several similar indicator websites, including those for Grant County, Chelan and Douglas Counties, three counties in Northeast Washington, Benton and Franklin Counties, Skagit County, and Kootenai County ID.
The Institute's Director is Dr. Patrick Jones. Scott Richter is the Community Indicators manager while Brian Kennedy is the Institute's data analyst. Many students have helped develop and maintain both data and verbal content. Student research interns who were instrumental in creating this project were: Bryan Lockwald, Holly Miller and Emily Wavra. Meredith Hale was the student design intern for this project. Kandyce Moore is the Institute's computer programmer.
Funding for the development of the site has come from the Yakima Valley Community Foundation.
As you explore this site, we encourage your feedback to help continue to improve this community resource.