Serve Idaho Receives Grant to Assist Rural Nonprofits


For Immediate Release: May 10, 2021
Media Contact: Renee Bade,

Idaho rural nonprofits and local / state government agencies may get a hand up with the help of a three-year grant awarded to Serve Idaho from the federal AmeriCorps.

Serve Idaho logoAmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) members will be placed in rural nonprofits and local / state government agencies across Idaho for one year. These full-time VISTA members will help rural Idaho communities build capacity, explore challenges facing Idaho’s rural nonprofits and support community efforts to overcome poverty. In return for their year of service members receive a living stipend, an education award, health benefits and potential advantages for future federal jobs.

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70+ Employers to Participate in Caldwell Outdoor Hiring Event May 19


For Immediate Release: May 5, 2021
Media Contact: Robert Vetter, or Elizabeth Anzaldua,

More than 70 Idaho employers representing a variety of industries will be looking for employees for more than 2,200 jobs at Idaho Labor’s All-Star outdoor hiring event. It is sponsored in partnership with the city of Caldwell.

The event takes place Wednesday, May 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the GALS Quad softball fields, 4700 Skyway St., in Caldwell.

The first half hour is dedicated to military veterans.

Participating employers such as Amazon, St. Luke’s and Capitol Distributing are looking for warehouse associates, electrical engineers, certified medical assistants, customer service reps, food plan operators, maintenance technicians, superintendents, fork lift drivers, custodians, landscapers and more.

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Idaho’s Cybersecurity Jobs Increase 160% since 2015

Despite the nationwide pandemic, the number of cybersecurity job openings in Idaho saw a 28% increase in 2020 with an estimated 1,200 available postings through the course of the year. Since 2015, openings for cybersecurity jobs have grown by 160%, sustained by accelerating demand across multiple industry sectors. Nationwide, job postings rose to more than 350,000 in 2020.

* Job postings have been filtered to reflect computer/math occupations with job postings that request cybersecurity skills as determined from the Burning Glass skills taxonomy.

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Claimants Must Look for Work to Receive Unemployment Benefits


For Immediate Release: April 23, 2021
Media Contacts: Georgia Smith,

Pre-pandemic work search requirements for unemployment insurance claimants will be reinstated starting Sunday, April 25.

Idaho has returned to low unemployment levels with 3.2% for March 2021 after hitting an all-time high 11.6% seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate in April 2020. Idaho set the pace for the nation in its economic rebound from the pandemic and was the first state to experience year-to-year job growth.

The work search requirement means Idahoans who are out of work and collecting unemployment benefits will need to look for full-time employment unless they are returning to work with their employer within 16 weeks of their layoff date or are an active member of a work referral union. This is not a new requirement; rather a return to the process from before the pandemic.

Claimants who do not meet their work search requirements will not receive unemployment benefits for the week claimed. Approximately 4,500 claimants will be impacted by this change.

The work search requirements apply to regular and federal CARES Act unemployment insurance programs. Claimants – including self-employed individuals – need to report two work search contacts on their weekly certification application. These work search contacts cannot be self-employment or 1099 gig work.

The most common valid work-search activity is to apply for a job with an application, resume or cover letter. Employment services may also count as valid work search activities. These include setting up an in-person or phone appointment with a Labor workforce consultant for help with interview skills and resumes, on-the-job training, apprenticeships and virtual workshops or job fairs.

Job seekers can get connected with a workforce consultant in their area by filling out this form. Information on upcoming job fairs and workshops can be found on the Labor website calendar of events.

Learn more about Idaho’s work search requirements on the Labor website.

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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
Eastern Idaho


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


  • 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


Coeur d’Alene

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


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

Post Falls

    • Artesian Bottleless Water
    • NW Group Auto Sales, 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,

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

Discovering What Idaho’s Youth Need to Succeed at Work


For Immediate Release: April 16, 2021
Media Contact: Georgia Smith,

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%


For Immediate Release: April 16, 2021
Media Contacts: Karen Jarboe Singletary, or Salvador Vazquez,

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


For Immediate Release: April 9, 2021
Media Contacts: Anthony DeVille, or Julie Sherry,

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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