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.