Students Discover Path to High-Paying Careers During Technology Expo

Over the past few months, eastern Idaho high schools have held career and technology expos to showcase many of the high-tech careers offered throughout the state.

expo7

A student watches an instructor during a recent technology expo.

Seven expos were scheduled to take place by the end of spring, allowing students the chance to gain hands-on experience, talk to employers and discover a path to the careers highlighted at each expo.

“This event was beneficial to students and parents because it introduced them to high paying technology jobs they could get with very few years of training,” said Jane Ward, superintendent of the Aberdeen School District. “Many jobs offered to pay for training while they were employed. Jobs were also introduced to students that would allow them to stay in the communities they currently live in.”

The technology expos are a product of a collaboration called YourFit. It was formed by the Idaho National Laboratories, local schools, Idaho State University’s College of Technology, Idaho Department of Labor, local governments and economic development agencies to familiarize high school students and their parents with the technical education available and prepare them for careers in high tech, high wage and high demand careers.

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Around Idaho: Economic Activity in April 2016

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
Southeastern
Eastern Idaho

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

Shoshone County

  • The Federal Aviation Administration approved a long-term expansion plan for the Shoshone County Airport at a cost of approximately $10.3 million. The work will take place over the next decade and will expand taxiways and add helicopter facilities. Though the Shoshone airport has very limited commercial uses, it is an important facility for emergency aircrews, including search and rescue, medical transportation and especially firefighting operations. Source: Shoshone News-Press

Kootenai County

  • North Idaho College formally launched a public capital campaign to fund equipment purchases to furnish its new Career and Technical Education facility. Construction on the 110,000-square-foot facility in Rathdrum is already underway and on schedule for a fall opening. NIC said the new fundraising campaign will also provide scholarship opportunities for students. As of April 12, $2.7 million of the $5 million target had been raised. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • Avista Utilities reopened its South Channel Dam in Post Falls. The dam does not generate power, but is important for controlling lake and river levels. The project came in $1 million over budget and was completed a year late. It replaced a 108-year-old dam that stood at the same spot. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • Empire Unmanned of Coeur d’Alene, a subsidiary of Empire Airlines, acquired Advanced Aviation Solutions. The acquisition will augment Empire Unmanned’s effort to expand its service areas to include California, Wyoming, Colorado and Nebraska. Empire Unmanned provides UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) services that conduct aerial reconnaissance and surveying for clients in agriculture, mining and construction. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • The City of Rathdrum formed an exploratory committee as the first step toward establishing an urban renewal agency. City officials expressed concern that Rathdrum lags behind neighboring Hayden, Post Falls and Coeur d’Alene in job creation and other measures of development. Rathdrum is the largest city in Kootenai County without an urban renewal agency. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press

Openings

  • Beyond Bones Family Chiropractic in Coeur d’Alene
  • Sweet Peaks Ice Cream in Coeur d’Alene
  • Orban Family Dental in Coeur d’Alene
  • Idaho Central Credit Union in Post Falls and Hayden

Sam.Wolkenhauer@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
(208) 457-8789 ext 4451

NORTH CENTRAL IDAHO – Clearwater, Idaho, Latah, Lewis and Nez Perce counties

Region

  • Lewiston-Clarkston Valley was approved as an American Viticultural Area in April by the Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. Federal designation means the wine is grown in an area that has distinct geographical and climate characteristics. Designation makes it easier to market local wines. The valley is Idaho’s third designated wine area and Washington’s 14th. It includes 300,000 acres, of which 81 are in vineyards, and consists of parts of Nez Perce, Clearwater, Latah and Lewis counties in Idaho and Asotin, Garfield and Whitman counties in Washington. The wine area currently encompasses vintners including Clearwater Canyon Cellars and Lindsay Creek Vineyards of Lewiston, Basalt Cellars Winery of Clarkston and Colter’s Creek Winery of Juliaetta. Source: Lewiston Tribune

Idaho and Lewis Counties

  • Pacific Cabinets Inc. began construction this spring on a new 20,000-square-foot building near its manufacturing facility in Ferdinand. When it’s operational in August, the new building will allow the company to automate manufacturing of Corian countertops, plastic laminate tops, medical headwalls, nurse stations and other customized items for healthcare and laboratory projects. That will increase cabinet production by approximately 30 percent. The space freed in the existing plant will allow Pacific Cabinets to expand a line for its cabinets that go into university laboratories, hospitals and schools throughout the West. The company recently added seven employees to its staff of 50 and expects to hire at least five more before the end of the year. Source: Lewiston Tribune

Latah County

  • The Idaho State Board of Education approved a 3 percent increase of fees and tuition for resident students at the University of Idaho during the 2016-17 school year when it met at Moscow in April. It will raise the annual cost from $7,020 to $7,232. The higher education budget for fiscal year 2017 includes about $3 million more for the university than it received in fiscal year 2016, but there has been a lengthy period of decline in state funding for public education. In fiscal year 2001, 73 percent of the money for operating the university came from state funds, but that dropped down to 50 percent during FY2016. Students contributed 19 percent of the budget in FY2001, but that amount climbed to 44 percent by FY2016. University officials continue to be concerned about low compensation levels that make it difficult to recruit and retain faculty. In spite of last year’s pay increases, faculty salaries average 83 percent of that paid at peer institutions, and turnover at the university approached 15 percent. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News
  • Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories plans to create another 850 production and research jobs in Pullman during the next three to five years — a 40 percent increase from the current 2,170 workers to about 3,020. Related expansion will include the construction of new research and manufacturing facilities, costing at least $23 million. Construction for both buildings is expected to begin in June and end in June 2017. SEL’s growth is happening on several fronts as it invents new products – including a technology that shortens the time for electrical problems to be detected and corrected – and expanding sales into new industries – including the train industry where third rails bring electricity to the cars. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News
  • Kendrick, a city of 300, opened contractor bidding in April for construction of new wastewater lagoons and a shop-control building. Completion is slated for the end of the year. If the bids come in low enough, the city also plans to complete some collection pipe work. Kendrick voters approved a $1.5 million bond for the project in 2013. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News
  • The Moscow Affordable Housing Trust closed on the sale of its first home in April. It bought a foreclosed house last May and immediately began renovating it. Buyers in this program must meet federal requirements, which include having a household income between 50 percent and 80 percent of the area median income and acquiring as large a mortgage as they can afford. The housing trust’s banker, the Idaho Housing Finance Association, and the federal program the trust works with fills that gap with a zero interest, zero payment loan. Housing affordability is an issue in Latah County because it is the fifth most expensive housing market in the state. The trust hopes to handle at least five homes a year. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News

Nez Perce and Asotin Counties

  • P. Kay Metal, a supplier to Vista Outdoor, hopes to break ground near the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport this spring and be in operation by November. The Lewiston plant would be the company’s second-largest location behind its headquarters in Los Angeles, where it makes products used by the automotive industry and high-tech companies. The Lewiston facility would supply lead that Vista Outdoor, Howell Machine and other ammunition manufacturers use to make the projectiles for ammunition. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • Harbor Freight Tools plans to renovate the former North 40 Outfitters location on Lewiston’s 21st Street into a new store. Harbor Freight plans to make $220,000 in upgrades to the space that became available when North 40 Outfitters moved to the former Walmart last summer. The national chain of 650 stores sells hand tools, power tools, generators, shop equipment and automotive tools. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • Turning Pointe Business Park, the Port of Clarkston’s park on Evans Road, will have its first tenant as soon as a 5,000-square-foot building is completed there. LC Cannabis Sales will grow and process marijuana at the park west of Clarkston. No retail sales will be conducted at the park. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • Three physician-owned, for-profit health care businesses are combining as a new for-profit company, Catalyst Medical Group. Moscow Family Medicine, Lewiston Orthopedics and Lewiston’s Valley Medical Center will begin operating as one entity later this year. All current employees will be retained. The company will consist of 68 medical professionals – including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and certified nurse midwives – and will employ more than 260 staff members across six locations. Sharing providers and services is expected to help keep costs down. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • The city of Lewiston broke ground on a major infrastructure upgrade in April on the south side of downtown Lewiston. Projects include the complete removal of the old road surface and the installation of new storm drain lines, water lines and point repairs to sewer lines. Then, new asphalt will be laid over the infrastructure, and curbs, gutters, sidewalks and disabled access ramps will be installed. The project budget is $1.93 million this year, including the federal funding and money from the city and the Lewiston Urban Renewal Agency. Some of the businesses adjacent to the construction are also contributing about $65,000 for new sidewalks. The Port of Lewiston is kicking in $50,000 for the installation of conduit that will allow the placement of fiber-optic lines at a later date. The projects should be wrapped up by the end of October. Source: Lewiston Tribune

Opening

  • AT&T opened a Cricket cellphone store on Bridge Street in Clarkston.

Kathryn.Tacke@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
(208) 799-5000 ext. 3984

SOUTHWESTERN IDAHO – Ada, Adams, Boise, Canyon, Elmore, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, Valley & Washington counties

Ada County

  • Micron Technology Inc. has reported its first loss since 2013 in its latest quarter which ended in February. Micron’s second-quarter loss was $48 million, or 5 cents a share, compared with profit of $249 million or 24 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts had estimated a loss of 9 cents. Additionally, Micron estimates revenue in the third quarter, ending in May, will be between $2.8 billion to $3.1 billion. The result will be an adjusted loss of 5 to 12 cents per share. The average estimate of analysts is a profit of 3 cents on sales of $3.18 billion. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Boise State University has started construction of its new Honors College and First-Year Residence hall. When complete in fall 2017, the $40 million complex will be a living and learning facility, combining housing for students with dining facilities, classrooms and more. The 236,000-square-foot building will offer 656 student beds and help accommodate significant growth in applications and enrollment in Boise State’s Honors College over the past three years. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Construction has started on the Women and Children’s Alliance’s new shelter, which will provide 16 transitional housing units to women and children seeking safety from neglect or abuse. Gardner Company, Babcock Architects and Engineered Structures Inc. are all working on the project. Source: Boise Weekly
  • Wevorce, a law and mediation service for divorcing couples, moved its headquarters back to Boise last year after being in the Bay Area for several years. National media coverage has enabled it to do the thing it left for in the first place – raise lots of money. After the company was accepted to the Silicon Valley-based incubator Y Combinator, it left the Treasure Valley for several years for the company’s employees to attend trainings and to raise capital. After receiving significant national media attention, the company moved its headquarters and 12 employees back to Boise. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • Treasure Valley Litho, a Boise printing, mail house and inventory/fulfillment company, bought Joslyn Morris Printing in March from Ron Morris, Larry Morris and Terry Flume for an undisclosed price. The acquisition is the third company TVL has purchased in five years. TVL bought Allied Graphics in 2011 and Northwest Printing in 2014. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • The law firm Moffatt Thomas will move across downtown Boise from the U.S. Bank tower to One Capital Center into a portion of the space J.R. Simplot Co. will be leaving by the end of the year. The move is a space consolidation for the firm, which will leave 28,000 square feet on two floors in the U.S. Bank tower to 18,000 square feet covering the entire 13th floor on One Capital Center. The company has an option to expand to the 12th and 14th floors. The effects that the move will have on staffing levels is unclear. Source: Idaho Business Review

Canyon County

  • Forage Genetics, a world-renowned company that produces and processes alfalfa seed, is planning to build a new facility and consolidate its operations, which are currently in several locations across Nampa. The development includes a 100,000-square-foot production facility and an 8,000-square-foot office space. With an expected investment of around $12 million, the new buildings will be located at 1521 11th Ave. N. in Nampa. The Canyon County commissioners have approved a five-year, 75 percent property tax exemption for the new facility. Source: Idaho Press-Tribune
  • Construction has begun on the 82-room Best Western Plus hotel in downtown Nampa next to the Nampa Civic Center. The $5 million hotel marks the largest private investment in downtown Nampa’s history. Leaders hope that the hotel will be a boon for the civic center, which currently operates on a $365,000 tax subsidy from the city. Source: Idaho Press-Tribune

Washington County

  • Demeter Bio-Resources, a vertically-integrated agribusiness that encompasses activities from farming to crop processing to the creation of renewable energy from feedstock, has purchased 30 acres of land in the Weiser Industrial Park. The facility will process three crop types, two types of barley and a proprietary tuber called SunSpuds. It will also make a variety of ingredients for prepared food. No information is available on when the company plans to build the facility. Source: Weiser Signal American

Openings

  • Lone Cone, a boutique outdoor equipment and clothing retailer, in downtown Boise
  • West Elm, a national furniture and home goods store, in downtown Boise in June
  • AAA Sign Co. in Hyde Park, Boise
  • Miller Paint Co., an employee-owned paint store, in Boise near Costco
  • Urban Smoke, a barbecue trailer, on Franklin and Five Mile in Boise
  • Loba African Fashions, an African cloth, jewelry and accessory store, off of Vista Avenue in Boise
  • Izumi Japanese Steakhouse on Eagle Road in Meridian
  • Sakana Japanese Sushi Bar and Grill on State Street in Garden City
  • Wingstop, a global chicken wings chain, on 12th Avenue in Nampa
  • Roots and Wings Daycare Center in Marsing
  • The Spot, a pizza restaurant in Marsing

Closings

  • Owyhee Lanes and Restaurant, a bowling alley in Homedale
  • Les Bois Park, a horse-racing track in Garden City
  • The Benchmark, an outdoor equipment store in Boise

  Ethan.Mansfield@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
(208) 332-3570 ext. 3455

SOUTH CENTRAL IDAHO – Blaine, Camas, Cassia, Gooding, Jerome, Lincoln, Minidoka and Twin Falls counties

Agriculture

  • Water forecasts for this year’s growing season indicate there will be sufficient water resources due to the heavy snow pack and high precipitation. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Crop Progress and Condition Report indicates that precipitation is 15 percent higher than normal in Twin Falls, 20 percent higher than normal in Rupert and 40 percent higher than normal in Malta.
  • Potato planting is 20 percent completed compared with 17 percent for the five-year average and 22 percent for last year. Last year 60 percent of sugar beets were planted by the week ending April 17, however this year there is 55 percent planted compared with the five-year average of 57 percent. Field corn is ahead of schedule with 10 percent planted compared with last year’s 8 percent and the five-year average of 6 percent. Barley is behind by the greatest percentage with 54 percent planted compared with 70 percent last year by the week ending April 17 — only 9 percent has emerged while 22 percent had emerged last year, and the five-year average is 15 percent. Prices are expected to be considerably lower this year due to high supply of crops planted. This could change if there are catastrophic weather patterns impacting yields, either nationally or globally that could alter the forecast prices.

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture Crop Progress and Condition Report

Education Information

  • Many of the school districts throughout the region are anticipating continued growth in the next calendar year with Twin Falls, Jerome and Filer each anticipating around three percent growth. Twin Falls School District has three new schools opening over the next 18 months to alleviate some of the overcrowding issues. The Kimberly School District experienced four percent growth this past year and anticipates almost 2.5 percent the next calendar year. Kimberly School District is bringing a $14 million bond to the voters in May to alleviate crowding at the elementary school by building a second. Cassia County Joint School District anticipates five to eight percent growth this next calendar year on top of previous growth years. Growth has been fueled by long-awaited, new subdivisions and new jobs added to the economy. Source: Times News

Blaine County

  • The Cottages of Sun Valley will be completed later this summer in Hailey. Construction started last fall on the 34-bed assisted-living facility offering an Alzheimer’s wing that will employ between 30 and 40 workers. The construction costs were $2.8 million but the value is anticipated to be closer to $7 million when completed. The Cottages Assisted Living and Memory Care has 15 other facilities throughout the state. Source: Idaho Mt. Express
  • Natural Grocers Company has started construction of a 15,000-square-foot grocery store in Hailey. The $1.8 million store is projected to open later in the summer. The Colorado-based grocer has 100 other outlets throughout the country. Source: Idaho Mt. Express
  • King’s Variety Store is expanding in Hailey adding 8,000 square feet to its existing 11,300-square-foot store at a cost of more than $700,000. Source: Idaho Mt. Express
  • Albertsons in Hailey is undergoing an almost $1 million remodel. The store has remained open during the renovation that will add a Starbucks coffee shop to the interior, a growler station, a sushi and salad bar along with an expanded pharmacy, new windows and new paint. Source: Idaho Mt. Express
  • Sun Valley’s skier count numbers for 2015-2016, estimated at 419,000, bested the 10-year average of 384,000. Occupancy rates and the number of rooms sold for the winter season was also in growth mode for the 2015-2016 season. The organization that tallies this data, Visit Sun Valley, has projected slack season (April and May) will have a lower occupancy this year – 25 percent less for Sun Valley and Ketchum and 15 percent less for Hailey. Source: Idaho Mt. Express

ski-year-and-count Occupancy-table

  • SkyWest, operated by Delta Airlines, will expand its schedule from June to September with three daily flights between Friedman Memorial Airport in Hailey and Salt Lake City. There had been as many as 10 flights daily before larger, regional jets were employed to handle a larger passenger count. Source: Idaho Mt. Express

Gooding County

  • The $10 million expansion of North Canyon Medical Center in Gooding that started last November will be completed closer to the end of the year. However, a new MRI unit will be available for patients beginning June 1. The medical facility currently relies on a mobile unit that is available three days per week. Source: Times News

north canyone medical centersource: http://www.ncm-c.org/

Minidoka County

  • Transystems announced it will renovate a former potato processing facility in Rupert to manufacture trailers. The company’s primary scope of business is hauling commodities, specifically sugar beets, for Amalgamated Sugar. The Great Falls, Montana-based company will double its production from 10-15 belly dump trailers annually when it moves to the additional 30,000-square-foot space in June. The company currently has five locations in Idaho and will expand its space from an existing manufacturing venue in Twin Falls. Source: Idaho Business Review

Twin Falls County

  • Chobani founder Hamdi Ulukaya announced he will give workers shares worth up to 10 percent of the company when the Greek yogurt company goes public or is sold. Workers at both the Twin Falls and New Berlin, New York, locations were notified shares would be based on tenure with the company – a move to reward loyalty. Source: New York Times
  • Glanbia and Southwest Cheese brought home a record-breaking 18 awards at the 2016 World Championship Cheese Contests last week in Wisconsin. Glanbia won a gold medal in Monterey jack & walnuts, and silver medals in ghost pepper jack, reduced fat Monterey jack and reduced sodium cheddar. They earned bronze medals in fresh Asiago, pepper jack and mild cheddar. In total, they retained the most medals from any country entered in the world contest. Glanbia is one of the fastest growing dairy product manufacturers and the largest American-style cheddar cheese manufacturer in the U.S.  Glanbia, with its joint venture Southwest Cheese Company, processes around 23 million pounds of milk daily into cheese and whey products. Source: Times News
  • The city of Twin Falls held a non-traditional ‘wall breaking’ ceremony to kick off the $9.5 million remodel of a new city hall at the former Banner Furniture Building in downtown Twin Falls.  Gold-tone sledge hammers were wielded by city council members after hearing the State of the City address by Mayor Shawn Barigar and City Manager Travis Rothweiler. Source: Times News
  • The University of Idaho recently released findings on food insecurity in Twin Falls County. Results were similar to the state, which had a 16 percent food insecurity rate compared with 15 percent for the county.Food insecurity is defined as a household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food. The  U of I researchers interviewed about 300 individuals throughout Twin Falls County including families dealing with these issues and individuals who work at organizations assisting in efforts to bring more resources to families. Strategies were uncovered on how to stretch dollars and make the most of existing resources. However, it is not clear what public policy needs to be addressed — higher wages, marketing campaign to ramp up contributions to the various food pantries, or even nutritional education and prioritizing when purchasing food at the grocery store.  The study was requested by ConAgra, the Idaho Foodbank and the Janice Seagraves Foundation. Source: Times News

food-insecurityOpening

  • D.L. Evans Bank hosted a grand opening celebration at its newest branch in Paul, recently renovated from a Key Bank, and is the only bank in Paul.

Jan.Roeser@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
(208) 735-2500 ext. 3639

SOUTHEASTERN IDAHO – Bannock, Bear Lake, Bingham, Caribou, Franklin, Oneida & Power counties

Bannock County

  • Up to 36 miles of road in Pocatello, including Yellowstone Avenue, will be under construction in the coming months. The resurfacing work is expected to be at night with lane closures from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Source: KIDK Pocatello
  • Two large Grace Lutheran projects are starting to take shape on Pocatello’s northeast side. Construction has begun on the Grace Lutheran High School and foundational work is underway for the new event center that will be leased by the Pocatello-Chubbuck Auditorium District. Construction of the private high school is expected to be completed and ready for classes this fall. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • Since the third weekday Delta flight began taking off at Pocatello Regional Airport in early March, plenty of travelers have taken notice. According to figures compiled by airport administration, 5,413 passengers traveled into and out of the Pocatello airport in March 2016, an increase of 32 percent from 4,114 passengers in March 2015. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • ATCO Structures & Logistics Inc. laid off 76 workers – a majority of its workforce in mid-April at the Pocatello manufacturing plant.

Bingham County

  • Blackfoot City Council recently passed the annexation of several properties into city limits, which means that some businesses will see an almost 80 percent increase in taxes. Businesses impacted include Basic American Potato Co Inc. and the Blackfoot Animal Clinic. Source: KIDK Pocatello
  • Jensen Grove park in Blackfoot is getting some new updates to help with the aquifer recharge program using a grant from the Idaho Water Resource Board. Water levels in the Snake River Aquifer have been declining for years, and the water recharge effort attempts to bring levels up to what they need to be. Jensen Grove has been a part of the recharge program for some time, and this update is supposed to make tracking water more effective. The city of Blackfoot has teamed up with the Snake River Valley Irrigation Company to install concrete and metering devices to help record the amount of water that is coming in and what is going out into the aquifer. Source: KIDK Pocatello

Franklin County

  • Trails West Manufacturing in Preston has applied for an air quality permit from the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality. The permit would regulate emissions from the company’s new 60,000-square-foot trailer manufacturing facility. Source: Preston Citizen

Power County

  • Hopes for the new Magnida fertilizer plant near American Falls remain alive, and the company renewed its special use permit with Power County this month, according to Kristen Jensen, executive director of the Great Rift Business Development Organization. The project, which would use natural gas to produce nitrogen fertilizer, would be located west of American Falls near the Lamb-Weston potato processing plant. The cost to complete the project has been estimated at $2.5 billion. KBR Inc. was named the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the Magnida plant last August. Source: Idaho State Journal

 Christopher.StJeor@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
(208) 557-2500 ext. 3077

EASTERN IDAHO – Bonneville, Butte, Clark, Custer, Fremont, Jefferson, Lemhi, Madison & Teton counties

Bonneville County

  • Elon Musk’s car company has filed site plans with the city of Idaho Falls Building Department to build a Tesla supercharging station at Snake River Landing, just north of MacKenzie River Pizza. Source: Post Register
  • Construction recently started on a 78,000-square-foot expansion of Northwest Cosmetic Labs in Idaho Falls as it anticipates to grow more than double in the next five years. The company, which formulates and manufactures medical devices, skin care and cosmetic products for private labels, has experienced a nearly 500 percent growth rate over the past five years. The new construction will give the company a combined 178,000 square feet in four neighboring buildings. Source: Post Register
  • Idaho Falls based Melaleuca announced a record-setting year in 2015 with annual sales revenues exceeding $1.3 billion. According to the company, Melaleuca grew more in both revenues and customers than in any previous year. Source: Post Register
  • The state is recognizing Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center as a level II trauma center, an accreditation the hospital has been working toward for three years. Level II Trauma Center provides patients with 24-hour immediate coverage by general surgeons, as well as coverage by the specialties of orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology and critical care. Source: Post Register
  • Kneaders, a Utah-based bakery and cafe chain, plans to open in Sand Creek Commons by the end of July this year, according to papers filed last week at the Ammon Building Department office. The building permit filed March 30 shows plans for a 4,214-square-foot building Occupancy for the restaurant is 143. The estimated completion date is July 31. Source: Post Register

Butte County

  • The U.S. Department of Energy lists the Idaho National Laboratory as a possible site for storing about 1,300 dump truck loads of low level radioactive waste. The federal agency’s preferred alternative according to a final environmental impact statement made available in March is the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant geologic repository near Carlsbad, N.M. INL is listed as a possibility in three other alternatives that also include the Hanford nuclear reservation in Washington state, the Nevada National Security Site and the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. Possible methods of disposal at the 890-square-mile desert site include an intermediate-depth borehole disposal facility, a near-surface trench, or in a vault. Source: The Associated Press

Fremont County

  • Two new state water projects will help slowly refill the depleted East Snake Plain Aquifer in the coming decades, officials say. The first project completed was a $1 million canal in the Egin Bench area of Fremont County that will funnel water from the Henry’s Fork to a porous basin where it will sink into the ground. The second project was the $1.4 million construction of the new head gates for the Great Feeder Canal, the large canal system branching off from the South Fork of the Snake River east of Ririe. The state’s goal by 2020 is to recharge as much as 250,000-acre-feet of water annually back into the aquifer, which has been on the decline for decades, sparking frequent battles over water rights. Source: Post Register
  • Sugar City plans to install several handicap-accessible ramps along its Main Street, funded by a $58,500 grant from the Idaho Department of Transportation. The city awarded the project to Hill and Sons Excavating to construct the ramps. The project is expected to be completed by this summer. Source: Standard Journal

Jefferson County

  • Tadd Jenkins Chevrolet announced plans to expand its Rigby dealership. The expansion will include the demolition of the old State Farm Insurance offices on Farnsworth Way. Source: Standard Journal

Madison County

  • After housing students for more than 50 years, four women’s dormitories on the Brigham Young University-Idaho campus will be demolished to make room for a new parking lot. The construction of the new lot, which is expected to be complete during the fall 2016 term, will add 250 additional parking spots on campus. The dorms have been vacant since last summer. Source: Post Register

Christopher.StJeor@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
(208) 557-2500 ext. 3077

10 Tips to Use LinkedIn to Enhance Your Job Search

If you’re on the hunt for a professional-level job, social media is an important tool. While each social platform serves its own purpose, LinkedIn has become the ultimate online resume, and is, in many cases, a must have to get the job. According to a 2015 Jobvite survey, 92 percent of all recruiters are on LinkedIn. While this means employers are searching for you, it’s a two way street.

Here are 10 tips to leverage LinkedIn for your job search and career advancement success:

  • Use a Professional Photo. Your profile picture should not be a selfie and should be professional. Ideally, it should be a headshot and should not include other people or objects. Be sure the photo is sized correctly, recognizable, shows your face and is in focus.
  • Your Headline Should be Informative. Your LinkedIn headline should include your industry, skills and location. Remember, this headline shows up in Google search results, so make sure it’s strong and includes keywords that tell a recruiter why they should hire you.

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Moscow Youth Lands Her Dream Job With a Little Help from Labor Program and a Lot of Determination

Bailie Welton works with cattle at All West/Select Squires in Washington

Bailie Welton works with cattle at All West/Select Squires in Washington

Bailie Welton always knew she wanted to work with animals. Upon entering the University of Idaho’s Animal Veterinary Science program, she realized she had a significant hurdle to overcome because she lacked any prior experience with animal agriculture.

Bailie’s inexperience wasn’t her only challenge. At the age of 9, she was diagnosed with juvenile macular degeneration, leaving her legally blind.

“Every individual has their own challenges they must face in life,” Bailie said. “What sets people apart are those that find positive ways to overcome these challenges.”

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Learn How Three People Turned a Volunteer Experience into a Career

Students entering the job market have a 27 percent higher chance of being hired if they have volunteer experience.  Volunteering teaches valuable job skills, improves social networks, provides real world experience and demonstrates an individual’s ability to work in teams.  Below are a few  examples of Idahoans who turned volunteering into a career.

Elizabeth Corsentino was a Boise State University student who volunteered at Radio Boise because of her love for music. Through networking at her position, she met the Treefort festival director who hired her to be part of the original founding group for the annual music festival.

“Volunteering is the best way to develop skills and network in the field you’re passionate about,” Corsentino said.

Corsentino now organizes and manages the volunteers for Treefort and is the volunteer coordinator for Radio Boise.

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An Ex-Military Service Member Guide to Unemployment Insurance Benefits

 Ex-service members have the right to file for unemployment insurance benefits once released from military services. A valid unemployment insurance claim can be established based on the ex-service member’s military service if the individual completed his or her first full term of service and military separation was under honorable conditions.

Under certain situations, an ex-service member may establish a valid unemployment insurance claim even if they have not completed their first full term of service. Eligibility will depend upon the reason of separation from military service.

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More Idahoans Postponing Retirement

For more than two decades, older Americans have opted to stay in the labor force longer, while younger Americans have reduced their labor force participation. Women are likely to continue working in their 60s. Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the share of older working women has grown while the percentage of every other category of U.S. worker – by gender and age – has declined or remained flat. In 1992, one in 12 American women worked past age 65. Now, around one in seven do. The U.S. Department of Labor projects that number grow to almost one in five by 2024.

Idaho also has seen large increases in labor force participation for senior workers — 62 percent for men and 129 percent for women — while other workers’ participation declined or remained flat.

Chart-1Source: U.S. Census Bureau

In 1992, one in 18 Idaho women worked past age 65. Now, around one in seven do — the same ratio as the nation.

With baby boomers in their 50s and 60s swelling the ranks of older workers and their labor force participation on the rise, Idaho workers 55 and over grew by 161 percent, from 64,300 in December 1995 to 167,500 in December 2015, according to the Current Population Survey, the monthly survey conducted by the Census Bureau to track unemployment in the U.S. Over the same period, Idaho’s labor force 25 to 54 years of age doubled from 145,200 to 296,100.

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