Economic development is a key focus for Navajo County

By Shawn White | East Valley Tribune

        Navajo County Economic Director Chris Pasterz gave a presentation to the Board of Supervisors during last week’s regular meeting. Pasterz explains the direction of the county by outlining the priorities put in place years ago by the Real AZ, which is northeastern Arizona’s economic development board. The county had a vacant economic director position until Pasterz took the role a few months ago, preventing much advancement on these areas. The priorities were: transitioning coal communities, enhancing regional infrastructure, and development and expanding broadband access, each underpinning the county’s forward-looking economic development strategy.

        The transition of coal communities represents a multifaceted challenge and opportunity for the region. Pasterz detailed the county’s proactive strategy here by engaging in national projects like the Building Resilient Economies in Coal Communities project, which positions Navajo County at the forefront of regional economic resilience efforts. Furthermore, the development of a comprehensive regional transition strategy, in partnership with Apache and Coconino counties, exemplifies a collaborative approach to economic redevelopment. This strategy encompasses a broad range of initiatives designed to attract new industries, stimulate job creation, and foster workforce development, ensuring the region’s adaptability and growth in a post-coal economy.


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March 2024