Here is a roundup of economic news compiled by the Idaho Department of Labor:
• Frontier Communications is returning to its old home in the former GTE building in Coeur d’Alene. The new space will have about 50 employees including the regional headquarters, sales, local operations and the main center for regional Internet traffic.
• Coeur d’Alene Mines Corp. has successfully completed acquisition of the remaining 49 percent interest in the Joaquin silver-gold project in the Santa Cruz province of Argentina from Mirasol Resources Ltd. Coeur now owns all the Joaquin project. At the same time, media sources announced the corporation may move its headquarters to Chicago from its founding location in Coeur d’Alene, where it has been for more than 80 years.
North Central Idaho
• The Idaho Department of Labor announced in December it will help pay the cost of training new employees of Ende Machine and Foundry LLC. The Workforce Development Training Fund will provide up to $144,500 to the foundry, which is the anchor tenant at the Craig Mountain Business Park in Craigmont. The foundry currently employs three people making hydraulic pump and motor parts. It plans to purchase new equipment to increase its pouring capacity and hire up to 30 workers in the next two years. The training subsidy will average about $4,800 per worker, who will earn between $12 and $38 an hour.
• First Wind’s 58 turbines in northern Whitman County became fully operational in December. During construction, which began in May, the wind farm employed more than 150 people. Palouse Wind sells the power to Avista under a 30-year agreement. At full capacity, the project generates up to 105 megawatts of electricity that can power about 30,000 homes. The facility employs 10 people and will pay about $700,000 each year in property taxes.
• D&B Supply plans to open a new 40,000-square-foot store in Boise in a building that was occupied by a Smith’s Food and Drug. It will be D&B’s 12th store and the fifth in the Boise area. The store will employ about 25 people.
• A study conducted by the University of Idaho Extension in Valley County found that Kelly’s Whitewater Park in Cascade added $600,000 to the area’s economy. Visitors to the park ballooned from 20,000 in 2010 when it opened, to 50,000 in 2011.
South Central Idaho
• It was another record year in 2012 for agricultural receipts at $7.7 billion for the state, topping 2011’s estimate of $7.4 billion, according to the “Financial Condition of Idaho Agriculture: 2012” report published by the University of Idaho’s Agricultural Research and Extension Service.
• Family Health Services has broken ground on its sliding-scale affordable health care clinic in Kimberly. The clinic is scheduled to open in June and will offer a myriad of services to residents who currently travel to Twin Falls for health care.
• Several eastern and southeastern Idaho mayors have endorsed further study into establishing interim nuclear waste storage in Idaho.
• The International Association of Fairs and Expositions has recognized the Eastern Idaho State Fair, earning a first place for its billboard and social media efforts, and second in the newspaper, television and printed material category. The Eastern Idaho State Fair in Blackfoot drew more than 224,000 visitors to its 110th edition last summer.
• Teton Valley Hospital in Driggs formally transitioned to a nonprofit entity separate from the county. The transition occurred on Jan. 1.
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