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 – Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai & Shoshone counties
- North Idaho College opened its new Aerospace Center of Excellence on June 30. The center will offer training in aerospace component fabrication and testing for workers wishing to join northern Idaho’s growing aerospace manufacturing industry.
- A dangerous fire season has overworked firefighting services. The Panhandle National Forest Service has already exceeded its average annual fire retardant use and is currently averaging six forest fires per day. Several fires have encroached on recreational areas and lakefronts, impeding are tourism.
- Tourism in Hayden was hampered by a health advisory concerning a toxic algae bloom on Hayden Lake. People were advised by the Panhandle Health District not to swim in the lake until the problem is resolved.
- The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an injunction that would shut down poker rooms in the Coeur d’Alene Casino. The Coeur d’Alene tribe is fighting the injunction, arguing that poker is not an illegal form of gambling because it is a contest of skill.
- The Coeur d’Alene City Council voted to vacate a lot for the construction of a new hotel tower for the Coeur d’Alene Resort. The hotel tower will provide an additional 200 rooms, which are designed to help attract larger business conferences.
The need for automotive service technicians and mechanics in Idaho is expected to grow 14.9 percent from 3,079 workers in 2012 to 3,537 in 2022, according the 2012-2022 Long-Term Occupational Projections issued by the Idaho Department of Labor.
Nationwide, this occupation will grow by 13.6 percent, according to estimates provided by Economic Modeling Systems International, an independent economic forecasting firm.
South central Idaho was named a manufacturing community by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker under the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership Program. The emphasis is on food production, food processing and science.
The criteria encompassed six aspects of manufacturing and required strategies and outcomes to be developed in these areas:
- workforce and training;
- advanced research;
- infrastructure and site development;
- supply chain support;
- export promotion;
- and capital access.
The program stresses mutually beneficial partnerships and participation between the community’s industry, governmental leaders both local and state, and its economic development professionals.
Industry leaders in the food production and food processing arenas will have the opportunity for assistance in navigating the governmental intricacies of exporting product — individuals who are knowledgeable on U.S. policy as well as the country that could receive commodities or products from south central Idaho.
Specific strategies will be released over the coming year to make the huge food production and processing cluster more sustainable, more efficient and more profitable, particularly in the counties of Twin Falls, Jerome, Cassia and Minidoka.
Eleven other areas nationally received the designation in this second round.
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Social media has become an essential tool for businesses. Using social media can enhance employee recruitment, foster community engagement and even make for a more productive workplace. As an employer or manager, it’s important to know the rules and laws specific to social media use in recruiting and hiring as well as employee rights concerning social media use in the workplace. Here are some things to know before using social media to recruit employees:
Trends & Generational Use of Social Media. Understand how different age groups – the millennials, traditionalists, for example – understand and use social media. Followers are highly influenced by celebrities. Traditionalists are mainly baby boomers. They like sameness. Innovators are everyone’s target audience; they are attracted to differences and the “why” of a brand. The problem with many businesses is they go into social media with the mindset of traditionalists trying to be innovators and it’s obvious and uninteresting. Businesses need to use social media to attract the innovators by expressing the meaning or the “why” of their brand.
Where and how far workers are willing to travel to their jobs depends on many factors. In border cities between states with different minimum wage levels, commuting patterns tell much of the story.
For private enterprise, the minimum wage can be a tool to ensure a sufficient local labor pool if it’s higher than the state next door. Living in a border city provides opportunities for residents to access better paying jobs in a state with a higher minimum wage, while taking advantage of lower living costs in the neighboring state.
Commuting patterns can be analyzed using Census Bureau data. Idaho’s western border sees significant movement between labor markets with Washington and Oregon. Although Montana, Nevada, Wyoming and Utah are contiguous to Idaho, there are no major industry sites on those borders.
In the case of the minimum wage, Idaho and Utah are the only states among the seven with minimum wages at the federal level – $7.25 an hour. The others are among the 29 states with higher minimum wages.
Idaho’s economic recovery through February 2015 generated 13,000 more jobs than were lost – 27 percent more, while payrolls increased 20 percent – $698 million in goods production and $1.7 billion in services.
Idaho’s recovery from the recession took hold most strongly in the Boise metropolitan area while it took two more years for the four other metro areas to see marked job growth in 2013.
Even rural communities posted job growth early on, but once the momentum shifted to the urban parts of the state in 2013, rural job growth slowed after a summer uptick in 2014.
Using average wages for 2010, Idaho’s job loss in the recession totaled $1.5 billion from goods production and $424 million from services.