Idaho Civil Rights Investigator Honored for Accomplishments in Preventing Bullying, Suicide

Carmen Stanger, center, was recently honored with Idaho’s Hometown Hero Medal.

Carmen Stanger, center, was recently honored with Idaho’s Hometown Hero Medal.

Carmen Stanger, an investigator with the Idaho Commission on Human Rights, was honored with a 2015 Idaho’s Hometown Hero Medal in October for her inspired work in preventing bullying and suicide.

“I got involved in bully prevention when my 15-year-old daughter, Maddie, passed away from suicide on Feb. 18, 2014, due to depression related to the effects of the bullying she suffered in school,” Stanger said. “My work is two-fold. It focuses on bully prevention and suicide prevention throughout the entire state of Idaho.”

Stanger was recognized for her work and particularly for being instrumental in helping pass the anti-bullying bill HB246, signed into law on April 6, 2015.

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Tapping the Power of Idaho’s Wage and Occupation Data

Occupational wages are one of the most useful and sought after data elements provided by the Idaho Department of Labor. Whether someone is exploring careers, preparing for wage negotiations or researching the competitiveness of a company’s wage against the market, wage information is readily available on more than 750 Idaho occupations and 800 nationally.

Several websites offer varying types of wage data, but the source that is the most encompassing – including data for the U.S., the 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Washington, D.C. – is the Occupational Employment Statistics program on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website at Each state and territory publishes this data on their own labor market information websites. For example, is the primary online source for Idaho-specific data.

Comparing median wage data for each area of the state is a good place to start. A median wage is the point where 50 percent of workers make more and 50 percent make less. Using welders as an example, the median wage in the Boise metropolitan area is $14.72 per hour, about 11 percent lower than the state’s median of $16.44, as shown in Table 1. By city, Idaho Falls offers the highest median wage at $19.61 per hour – 19 percent above the state’s median wage and 33 percent above Boise’s.

table 1_OES

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Apprenticeships Benefit Idaho Job Seekers, Businesses and Communities


Apprenticeships and training for Idaho’s power and energy industry are on the rise.

Troy Butler, a field service leader with Idaho Power, directly attributes his career success to the five-year apprenticeship program he completed with Idaho Power.

“If I didn’t have the apprenticeship, I wouldn’t have become a lineman, and if I didn’t become a lineman there is no way I would have been able to become a foreman to run my own crew,” he said. “Gaining that leadership experience running my own crew gave me the tools to take over and move up to this middle management job.”

Businesses throughout Idaho, the United States and around the world are utilizing the “earn and learn” approach of apprenticeship programs. Apprenticeships combine work-based learning with related classroom instruction and are supervised by industry specialists.

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Around Idaho: October Economic Activity

Information provided in this article has been gathered from various sources throughout the state, including professional sources, news releases, weekly and daily newspapers, television and other media.

Northern Idaho
North Central Idaho
Southwestern Idaho
South Central Idaho
Eastern Idaho

NORTHERN IDAHO – Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai & Shoshone counties

Kootenai County

  • Mountain Crest Development LLC plans to cut trees and begin laying road on its Canfield Mountain properties. While it is not clear at this time what plans are for the 96 acre parcels, Mountain Crest has previously sought to build a new housing development on the mountain. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • The criminal justice infrastructure in Kootenai County may be expanding in two individual initiatives. The Kootenai County jail is overcrowded, and the Board of County Commissioners has begun a study to determine if jail expansion would be warranted. In a separate effort, the Post Falls Police Department has proposed creating a new substation on the west side of the city. The substation would ostensibly increase the efficiency of distributing police presence around Post Falls. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press

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Small Businesses Play Big Role in Idaho’s Economy

Small businesses are an essential component of the “American Dream” and are often viewed as the backbone of the national economy. Defined as establishments with fewer than 20 employees, Idaho’s small businesses make up the majority of the state’s private employers and support a significant number of jobs statewide. While the success of smaller employers is often cyclical with the business cycle, small businesses have played a significant role in the current economic expansion and will continue to play a critical role in driving the state’s economy forward.

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Idaho’s Income More Equally Distributed than Most States

Income inequality has become an increasingly important issue for many Americans. It is no secret that both wealth and income in the United States are much more lopsided toward the highest earners than in other major developed economies. While methods of measuring income inequality vary, it is clear that the highest earners in the United States hold a disproportionate amount of the nation’s wealth and income.

The implications of income inequality – and potential political responses to it – represent their own enormous issue that are beyond the scope this article, but the underlying statistics and trends about income inequality can still offer insight into why and how it occurs. Important economic context for Idaho can also be gained by comparing Idaho’s inequality to other states.

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Millennials Bring Different Expectations to Work

Millennials began to enter the workforce in 2006, just a year before the last recession began to bite into the economy. Nine years later, during the first quarter of this year, millennials have surpassed the baby boomers – people born approximately between 1946 and 1964 – as the largest generation in the workforce.

Millennials – individuals born approximately between 1982 and 2004 – bring with them a different outlook and view of the workplace than previous generations. Due to their size, and the uniqueness they bring, it helps for employers to understand some key differences in this group. In general, they 1.) place a greater emphasis on work-life balance; 2.)  focus on the community in which they live to the degree that it takes precedence over job considerations and 3.) desire to work for companies motivated by more than just baseline profit.

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