Apprenticeship Training Opens Door to Auto Restoration Career

One day a few years ago, Chrissy Combs walked into Boise Mobile Equipment with her father, who was a welder there. She remembers him saying, “Anyone willing to train her?” Dean Bridwell accepted the challenge and that set Chrissy on a career trajectory leading to where she is now, in the middle of a three-year apprenticeship with McDowells Specialty Repair, an auto, furniture and upholstery service in Boise.

Though she didn’t know it at the time Chrissy would be trained as an auto-body repair tech at BME where she and Dean became good friends. She stayed for nearly eight years until she had to move on due to the economic downturn of 2008.

She landed a position with a bath installation company in the Treasure Valley. Doing this work Chrissy learned to match the paint colors of chipped and cracked bathtubs and tile. When she applied for the apprenticeship at McDowells, this is where owner Bert McDowell saw potential.

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Around Idaho: Economic Activity in March 2021

Information provided in these news updates is from 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

Region

  • The Panhandle Health District has opened COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all persons 16 and older. To date, the health district has administered roughly 90,000 doses, or 85% of its 106,000 distributed doses. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • Amid falling COVID-19 case counts and dropping test positivity rates, Panhandle Health District has rescinded the masking mandate for the five northern counties. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press

Kootenai County

  • The Idaho Transportation Department has begun a multiyear improvement project on State Route 41 between Post Falls and Rathdrum. The work will include widening the highway with additional lanes and a median, as well as safety improvements including bridges over railroad crossings and new traffic signals. The $131 million multiphase project is slated for completion in 2023. Source: Journal of Business
  • Construction has begun on the Atlas Mill site in Coeur d’Alene. The first phase of work on the mixed residential and commercial redevelopment will include 30 single family homes, 24 townhomes and 150 multifamily units. Two more construction phases will subsequently add additional residential, retail and office space. Source: Journal of Business
  • J.C. Penny announced it will close its store in the Silver Lake Mall in Coeur d’Alene. This pending closure will shutter the last J.C. Penny in northern Idaho, following the closure of stores in Lewiston, Moscow and Ponderay. Source: Spokesman Review

Openings

Coeur d’Alene

  • Pilates by the Lake
  • EdgeTek
  • Five Pine Wealth Management
  • Pantry Specialty Market

Hayden

  • American Kickboxing Academy
  • Auction Depot
  • Thompson’s Custom Orthopedics & Prosthetics

Post Falls

    • Artesian Bottleless Water
    • NW Group Auto Sales

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

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Eight Idahoans Finish Carpentry Apprenticeship Program

For Immediate Release: April 18, 2021
Information Contact: Caroline Merritt, executive director, NARI of Idaho, (208) 322-8191, caroline@idahotruenorth.com

Eight Idahoans who enrolled in a two-year, residential carpentry apprenticeship program received their certificates this month and are fully employed.

Receiving their USDOL Registered Apprentice federal certifications for “Residential Carpenter” are, from right to left, Gajge Porter, Andrew Croce, Rafael Caballero, Eli Bowser, Roderick Johnson, Kohl Kesner (in back), Jon Sallee, Peggy Behrens (NARI President), Lyndell Kline (Advisory Board Member), Christina Allen and Teri Ottens (Program Administrator).

Federal funds provided to the National Association of Remodeling Industry by the Idaho Department of Labor were used to set up the program and were matched by association operating costs. Fees paid by the sponsoring employers helped pay for the training and education.

The eight apprentices graduated from the program after they completed more than 250 hours of classroom training and worked full-time at continuously-elevated hourly wages based upon course completion.

Upon graduation, the apprentices received their federal designation / certification as a “Residential Carpenter,” and qualified for their OSHA 10-hour Construction Safety certification and as a NARI Certified Carpenter, a certification program through their national association.

The graduating apprentices and the sponsoring employers honored were:

  • Christina Allen – Boyd Construction
  • Eli Bowser – CCH Design Remodel
  • Rafael Caballero – Wood Windows
  • Andrew Croce – CCH Design Remodel
  • Roderick Johnson – CCH Design Remodel
  • Kohl Kesner – Strite Design+Remodel
  • Gajge Porter – Strite Design+Remodel
  • Jon Sallee – Strite Design+Remodel

The program was made possible through a partnership between the Idaho Department of Labor, the National Association of Remodeling Industry (NARI) and the U.S. Department of Labor.

Interested businesses and job seekers can learn more about the Idaho Department of Labor apprenticeship program at https://ApprenticeshipIdaho.gov

Discovering What Idaho’s Youth Need to Succeed at Work

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: Month Day, 2021
Media Contact: Georgia Smith, georgia.smith@labor.idaho.gov

The Idaho Department of Labor is asking Idaho youth between the ages 16-24 who are out of school to talk about what they need to succeed in the workplace.

Participants will share their thoughts during six focus group sessions scheduled for April 19-30 at local Labor offices and several postsecondary schools throughout the state.

The results will be used to improve the recruitment and service delivery methods for youth employment and training programs funded by the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

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Idaho’s March Unemployment Rate Down to 3.2%

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: April 16, 2021
Media Contacts: Karen Jarboe Singletary, karen.jarboesingletary@labor.idaho.gov or Salvador Vazquez, salvador.vazquez@labor.idaho.gov

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.2% in March, dropping slightly from a revised 3.3% in February.

With an over-the-month increase of 1,100 jobs, the state’s nonfarm payroll growth has leveled off over the past two months.

Civilian Labor Force

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted labor force was virtually unchanged in March at 899,375, down from 899,915 in February.

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Multi-Employer Job Fair Set for April 15 in Boise

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: April 9, 2021
Media Contacts: Anthony DeVille, Anthony.deville@labor.idaho.gov or Julie Sherry, Julie.sherry@labor.idaho.gov

Employers representing a variety of industries are among those looking for workers at a job fair on Thursday, April 15, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn, Boise Spectrum at 7699 W. Spectrum St. in Boise.

Participating employers include Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn, Autovol, Sorrento Lactalis, AT&T, Albertsons, Express Employment Professionals, Amazon, Atlas Staffing, Bluebird Carwash, Paradies Lagardere Travel Retail, World Connect, Community Partnerships of Idaho, Hearthside Food Solutions and many more.

Some of the open positions include production operator, sanitation operator, customer service representatives, direct support professionals, behavioral health specialists and skilled construction trades, such as electricians, drywall hangers, roofers and framers.

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CWI’s Partnership with Idaho Job Corps Helps Students Thrive

The following article was first published April 2, 2021, on the College of Western Idaho website.

College of Western Idaho (CWI) began an exciting partnership with the Idaho Department of Labor in November 2019 to deliver educational services to Idaho Job Corps students.

Idaho Job Corps welding student, Ben Still

Idaho Job Corps serves students, 16-24 years old, by connecting them to skills training and employment. Students can earn a high school diploma or GED while training in CWI classes that prepare students to work in various industries, including welding, construction, and the medical field.

On March 18, CWI and Idaho Job Corps staff were pleased to present a certificate of completion to the first group of students finishing their welding training.

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ID.me Helps Stop Unemployment Insurance Fraud

by Idaho Department of Labor Director Jani Revier

Crime rings across the globe are exploiting the COVID-19 crisis by attempting to commit large-scale fraud against multiple state unemployment insurance programs, and Idaho is not exempt.

These crime rings possess large databases of stolen personally identifiable information which is used to submit a large volume of applications for unemployment benefits. Scammers use the names and addresses of Idaho residents, but then have payments sent to bank accounts in other states or have bank cards mailed to different addresses.

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Serve Idaho Celebrates Impact of National Service

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: April 6 2021
Media Contacts: Renee Bade, renee.bade@labor.idaho.gov or Micaela de Loyola-Carkin, Micaela.deloyola-carkin@labor.idaho.gov

Serve Idaho joins leaders across the country in the ninth annual National Service Recognition Day, a nationwide bipartisan initiative to highlight the impact of national service in tackling local problems. The event was established to recognize the positive impact of national service, to thank those who serve and to encourage more citizens to give back to their communities.

This year’s event is especially meaningful as tens of thousands of AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors members have supported communities in response to the pandemic and other challenges during the past year. National service members and volunteers across the nation continue to help distribute vaccines, work at food banks, support tutoring initiatives, safely get students back in the classroom and support isolated seniors.

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Idaho Beef Industry Showing Marked Recovery

The beef life cycle is one of the most complex of any food, taking anywhere from two to three years to bring beef from farm to fork. This process involves multiple stakeholders, beginning with farmers and ranchers and ending with packing plant workers. Traditionally, the U.S. beef industry has been comprised of three main sectors ‒ cattle production, feedlots and meat processing. The packing sector is the primary driving factor in the beef industry’s vertical supply chain. The packers are the market outlet for the feeding sector and in turn, the feedlots are the primary market outlet for the cow-calf producers.

An overview of Idaho’s beef industry shows the cattle production sector’s total cow-calf inventory has grown slightly faster than the national average. A 2019 January industry snapshot shows Idaho’s cattle inventory stood at 2.5 million cows and calves, raised across 7,400 farm operations. This inventory comprised 504,000 beef cows that had calved and 625,000 milk cows that had calved. About 48% of this inventory was in south central Idaho, which has a competitive cattle production advantage in forage and crop aftermath grazing resources compared with the rest of the state.

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