Around Idaho: April 2017 Economic Activity

Information provided in this article 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

Kootenai County

  • North Idaho College received a $482,000 grant from the Idaho Department of Labor to train more than 200 workers in wood products manufacturing. The grant is a partnership with Lewis-Clark State College and a consortium of wood product manufacturers in northern Idaho. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • Work has begun on a $5.44 million revitalization of the Seltice Way arterial. The project – which is expected to continue into 2018 – will provide a new streetscape, roundabouts and bike lanes, as well as upgraded water and waste utilities. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • Kootenai County continues to have a banner year for building permits in 2017. At the conclusion of the first quarter, the cities of Hayden, Rathdrum and Post Falls were all at or near record paces for issued building permits. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press

Shoshone County:

  • Shoshone Medical Center had a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open a new wing, which will house facilities for cardiac, pulmonary, respiratory and wound care. Source: Shoshone News Press


  • Goodwill in Post Falls
  • Cosmic Cowboy Grill in Coeur d’Alene
  • Hawaiian Sun Fitness in Coeur d’Alene
  • Relic Smokehouse & Pub in Coeur d’Alene
  • Livingstone Granite in Coeur d’Alene
  • The Healing Boutique in Rathdrum, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 457-8789 ext 4451

NORTH CENTRAL IDAHO – Clearwater, Idaho, Latah, Lewis and Nez Perce counties

Clearwater County

  • Nightforce Optics in Orofino hit a record for the dollar amount of products shipped in March. Unlike many other gun and ammo makers, its employment remains unchanged since the presidential election. It employs more than 100 people in Orofino. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • The Idaho Youth ChalleNGe Academy in Pierce currently is preparing 110 cadets for graduation. In March, the academy’s family day brought 575 additional people on campus, temporarily doubling the population of Pierce. Cadets have volunteered all over Clearwater County and some worked on the state parks in Nez Perce County. The academy wants to increase career-technical programs for the cadets. Grants from the Idaho Department of Labor helped establish introductory classes in welding, construction and automotive. Source: Clearwater Tribune

Idaho and Lewis Counties

  • The Clearwater Basin Collaborative recently recruited 25 teens ages 16 to 18 for the Conservation Corps in an eight-week paid summer work program. Crews will operate out of Grangeville, Orofino, Pierce and the Kamiah/Kooskia area. The youth work on teams to gain skills and knowledge in preparation for careers in natural resources. Source: Idaho County Free Press
  • A group of Kooskia residents hopes to raise $199,000 by June 1 to purchase the Kooskia Old Opera House and convert it into a community and cultural center. In addition to the purchase, the opera house committee believes it will take $300,000 to restore and reopen the structure. Located on Main Street, the two-story building was used as an opera house from the time it was built in 1912 until about 1922. Over the years, it housed a hardware and furniture store, a funeral parlor, classrooms, toy store and storage. In 1994, the owners restored the structure to its original state, bringing community theatre back to Kooskia. The committee believes that the renovation of the opera house will help revitalize their city of 606 residents. Source: Idaho County Free Press; Lewiston Tribune
  • The Nez Perce Clearwater National Forest working in partnership with the Friends of the Elk City Wagon Road has agreed to improve the route so more people can enjoy it. In August, the Forest Service will begin work on the road, the first phase of a multi-year effort to improve drainage and drivability while maintaining the historic character of the road. Maintenance will begin near Clearwater and progress toward Elk City. Constructed during a gold rush in 1895, the 53-mile route between Clearwater and Elk City roughly followed the Southern Nez Perce Trail. During Elk City’s heyday, between 1890 and 1915, the region boasted a population of 5,000. The historical route also makes up part of the Elk City-to-Kooskia leg of the Grand Exploration Motorized Trail, which the Clearwater Basin Collaborative is developing to link Elk City and Avery. The wagon road celebrates the region’s history and potentially draws tourists. Source: Idaho County Free Press

Latah County

  • The Idaho State Board of Education on June 20 allowed a 3.5 percent increase in student tuition and fees at the University of Idaho in the next fiscal year, denying the full request of 6 percent. The board approved a temporary one-year waiver of a policy that caps the university’s athletics expenditures at $950,000. The waiver will allow the university to increase its institutional athletic expenditures by $1 million for the 2017 fiscal year. That will help the university transition from Football Bowl Subdivision competition to the more limited Football Championship Subdivision level. Source: Moscow Pullman Daily News
  • Homelessness service agencies in Lewiston and Moscow received extra funding after a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant was awarded to the state in late March. The Idaho Housing and Finance Association gave $108,000 total to Sojourners’ Alliance in Moscow and $65,000 to the Salvation Army in Lewiston. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • The single most important issue facing Moscow is a need for growth, according to responses to the city’s 2016 survey. About 61 percent of those who responded believe growth of business and retail is too slow, up from 59 percent in 2014. Many respondents expressed concerns about the quality of shopping opportunities, availability of public parking and acceptance of people with diverse backgrounds. About 95 percent of those surveyed reported local quality of life as “good” or “excellent.” Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News
  • Clearwater Economic Development Association has led efforts to improve internet access in north central Idaho. It recently completed a cost analysis to provide fiber within the city of Kendrick. The study, conducted by Missoula-based Access Consulting PC, evaluated the existing infrastructure within the city and developed a conceptual network design based on the layout of the community and the current infrastructure. It concluded “that reasonable payback periods can be achieved if the number of subscribers approaches 50 percent of the total premises in Kendrick and if the monthly subscriber rate was between $50 and $70 per month.” First Step Internet, based in Moscow, is evaluating the report at this time and will decide if they want to move forward with a fiber project. Source: CEDA in Motion

Nez Perce and Asotin Counties

  • Gun and ammunition sales nationally grew 150 percent from 2008 until late 2016, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Sales have dropped considerably since early November 2016,  however. In Idaho, Vista Outdoor lost 10 positions through attrition in February and 15 in March. In addition, it placed about 100 employees on furlough in late February, but recalled them in late March. In April, gun and ammo makers in the region employed about 1,830 people, down 8 percent from a peak of 1,980 in November. Despite the recent job losses, employment in gun and ammo operations were 6 percent higher this April than in the same month a year earlier, when it was 1,429. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • Lewiston entrepreneur, Gary Peters, plans to build an aviation museum and develop spaces for air-related businesses at the Lewiston airport. The aviation museum will feature an airplane flown by Charles Lindbergh and an events center that will serve as the centerpiece of the development. Construction will occur in 2018. About 16 acres of land will be available for commercial development, including helicopter operations or businesses that mail parcels. Another 4 acres on the southeast side of the runway will be the site of up to 25 hangars. Peters is owner of Peters & Keatts Equipment, which leases and sells trucks, bulldozers, cranes and other heavy equipment. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • The Lewiston metropolitan area tied for first place for fastest construction growth among the 358 metropolitan areas across the U.S. between January 2016 and January 2017, according to Associated General Contractors of America’s analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Construction employment grew 36 percent in both Lewiston and Grand Forks, North Dakota. The Lewiston metro area added 400 construction between January 2016 and the same month a year later. Its construction employment rose to 1,700 in November, where it stayed in the next two months. That 1,700 is the highest level for construction employment since records were first collected in 1966. Increased home building and subdivision works explains about a third of the 400-job increase. About half of the new jobs came from a wide variety of contractors and subcontractors working on a $160 million project to construct a state-of-the-art continuous pulp digester at Clearwater Paper. That project is slated for completion in September. The rest of the new jobs came because Clarkston-based DeAtley Construction is the contractor for a major expansion of the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport, which began last summer. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • Clearwater Paper recently completed an automation project at its Lewiston tissue plant. Laser-guided machines, instead of forklifts, now move cases of finished tissue from converting lines to a warehouse where they are automatically wrapped and distributed. Although it now needs fewer employees to operate forklifts, Clearwater Paper increased employment from 1,370 to 1,403 in the past few months. One reason for the increase is the transfer of some corporate-level positions from Spokane to Lewiston. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • The Port of Clarkston, the only one of the three ports in the Lewiston-Clarkston area that handles passenger ships, welcomed the first cruise boat of the season in early April. American Pride brought 200 tourists from Portland, Oregon. Port director Wanda Keefer says the season will last until November, with an estimated 27,000 passengers and boat crew coming to the port. She says that equates to millions of dollars coming into the local economy. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • Lewiston broke ground in late March on a roundabout to replace the five-spoke intersection of Thain Road, Powers Avenue and 14th Street. The project includes curbs, gutters, sidewalks, pedestrian ramps, stormwater mains and inlets and a large stormwater detention pond. The city awarded the $1.7 million contract to Crea Construction of Lewiston. The Lewiston Orchards Irrigation District also will spend between $500,000 and $750,000 to install more than 10,000 feet of new water mains through the area while the ground is torn up. Source: Lewiston Tribune


  • Witches Brew Coffee and Tea Shop in Kooskia in March. Serving organic coffee, it complements the massage, yoga, meditation, book groups and other activities at Rose Wellness Center in the same building. Source: Idaho County Free Press, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 799-5000 ext. 3984

SOUTHWESTERN IDAHO – Ada, Adams, Boise, Canyon, Elmore, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, Valley & Washington counties

Ada County:

  • CVS Pharmacy announced plans to build its first freestanding Idaho store in Boise as a precursor to several new stores across the state. CVS has confirmed the new pharmacy’s location but declined to comment further on construction plans. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • A tight labor market and unfavorable weather led developers to push back the opening date for the new Residence Inn in downtown Boise. The largest of the four downtown hotel projects currently underway, the Residence Inn was scheduled to open in June, but developers have now pushed that date back to at least July, while acknowledging the potential for further delays. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • Brighton Corp., which is developing a 162-unit apartment project at Barber Station, has confirmed that the first units will be available in May. The new apartments – dubbed Arboretum – are part of a 55-acre mixed-use development which will also include townhomes and office space. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • Winco is preparing to begin construction on a second Meridian store. The grocery chain purchased 35 acres in November between Overland and I-84. The company has not announced a target opening date. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • Auric Solar – a Utah-based installer of residential and commercial solar panels – has moved its Boise office to Meridian and announced plans to increase its Idaho staff. The new location is 10 times the size of the previous Boise office, reflecting the anticipation of growth. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • Developer Jim Conger is planning to build 30 new homes in the Collister neighborhood. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • The city of Boise plans to invest $200 million in the city’s sewer system over the next decade. The investment aims to ensure that the sewer system has sufficient capacity to keep up with population growth by upgrading treatment plants, lines and other infrastructure, as well as ensuring compliance with environmental regulations. Source: Idaho Business Review

Canyon County

  • Reconstruction of two bridges on U.S. 95 in Parma will begin soon. Work will occur at the junction of U.S. 95 and U.S. 20/26 and include the reconstruction of the Union Pacific Railroad overpass, Sand Hollow Creek Bridge and nearby pavement rehabilitation. The project is scheduled to be complete this winter. Source: Messenger Index, regional economist supervisor
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 332-3570 ext. 3201


SOUTH CENTRAL IDAHO – Blaine, Camas, Cassia, Gooding, Jerome, Lincoln, Minidoka and Twin Falls counties


  • According to Idaho Department of Labor, south central Idaho’s projected job growth from 2014-2024 is not expected to be met by workforce growth projections over the same time frame. An expected gap of almost 7,500 is shown in the chart below, with updates of job projections scheduled every two years.

Source: Idaho Department of Labor Long-Term Industry Projections and Population Forecast

  • The U.S. Census Bureau recently released 2016 county population estimates, showing a 1.1 percent growth from 2015 for south central Idaho. The counties that lost population were Gooding and Lincoln counties, at -.1 percent and -.7 percent, respectively. Twin Falls and Jerome counties experienced the largest percentage growth at 1.7 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively — adding almost 1,700 to the micropolitan statistical area. Camas County was the only county to experience a loss of population over a 10-year period with a loss of 31. Only Twin Falls and Blaine counties experienced most of its growth from in-migration, not naturally by births exceeding deaths.

  • The following high schools submitted a preliminary estimate of seniors graduating this spring. These totals reflect approximately 1,900 students who could potentially be seeking summer jobs prior to college or seeking permanent, full-time positions as they continue to consider career objectives.

Blaine County

  • Sun Valley Resort will present to the public its plans to replace the Bald Mountain’s Cold Springs chairlift, the oldest lift at the resort. An improved lift will allow more access to runs and move the skiable area from 2,054 acres to 2,444 acres. The corresponding bike trail will be moved and its length increased. The U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management manage the area collaboratively so an environmental assessment will be prepared this summer. If the public review and environmental assessment go smoothly, the new plan is on schedule for the summer of 2018. Source: Idaho Mountain. Express
  • Hailey Planning and Zoning approved plans to build a 72-room, three-story Marriott on Main Street. Other hotel operators expressed caution that the hotel may be a bit early coming off two large hotel projects in Ketchum. The Wood River Inn announced its occupancy rate was half of the previous year, this on the heels of Ketchum’s Limelight Hotel opening in December 2016. Source: Idaho Mountain. Express
  • Hailey’s city council discussed housing based on data provided by ARCH Community Housing Trust. Most relevant were the statistics citing the rise of rental prices between 2011 and 2016 by 74 percent and the decrease of available rentals by 39 percent. There are plans to create a micro-apartment district, which would increase density dramatically.  Two subdivision projects are in the process of annexation review. The areas might then be part of the city footprint and could help alleviate the housing shortage. Source: Idaho Mountain. Express
  • Blaine County P&Z denied a Camp Rainbow Gold application to build its new camp along East Fork Road. The camp’s board of directors plans to appeal the decision. Source: Idaho Mountain. Express

Gooding County

  • A committee developing a five-year plan to construct and link recreational trails throughout the Hagerman Valley announced a public meeting. The cost to build 35 miles of trails will be around $7 million to $8 million. The end users will consist of walkers, cyclists and horseback riders. Source: Times-News

Twin Falls County

  • The Urban Renewal Agency of Twin Falls held a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off renovation of Main Street. The improvements are being tackled a block at a time encompassing the length of the city corridor with plans to complete sometime in the fall. The cost for these long-awaited improvements are $6.5 million. The general contractor is Guho Corporation based in Eagle, while most of the sub-contractors are local. Source: Times-News
  • The Magic Valley Regional Airport’s $4.3 million expansion project has wrapped up after 342 days of construction and three years of planning. The Twin Falls-based general contractor was Peterson Brothers Construction and the plans added 8,000 square feet to the airport and remodeled 6,000 square feet.  The Federal Aviation Administration paid for 95 percent of the project with the city and county of Twin Falls sharing the $175,000 match. Source: Times-News
  • The city of Twin Falls issued 39 building permits for single-family homes in March. This is a 77 percent boost from March 2016 but is also the single highest March permit pull since June 2007 at the market’s hottest. Source: Times-News
  • Brady Dickinson is the new superintendent for the Twin Falls School District, replacing Wiley Dobbs, Ph.D., a Twin Falls High alumna leading the district for the past 14 years. Dobbs was instrumental in educating the public on the need for construction of four new schools and passage of the ensuing bonds. Source: Times-News

Construction Starts

  • The Black Bear Diner broke ground on a parcel in north Twin Falls. The estimated cost of the restaurant is $740,000, and Don Anderson Construction of Twin Falls is the general contractor. Scheduled opening is in 2018. Source: Times-News


  • Twin Falls Food Express opened its doors, expanding from its start-up in Pocatello. The company delivers food from 17 different restaurants in Twin Falls for a $5 fee plus a 15 percent gratuity. The service allows for multiple restaurant deliveries, which individual restaurant deliveries do not promote. Source: Times-News, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 735-2500 ext 3639

SOUTHEASTERN IDAHO – Bannock, Bear Lake, Bingham, Caribou, Franklin, Oneida & Power counties


  • YourFIT, or Your Future in Technology, continues its outreach to high schools across Southeast Idaho raising awareness of high-wage careers in industries looking to replace their aging workforce. The program, which is in its second year, continued its career fair expos this month at Pocatello High School with Highland High School, Butte County High School, Malad High School, Grace High School with Soda Springs and North Gem high schools,  and Century High School with Marsh Valley High School. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • The Idaho Transportation Department has lined up several projects for Interstate 15. Projects starting this spring include the resurfacing of 6 miles of I-15 from Fort Hall to Burns road, and the rehabilitation of interstate bridges and guardrails in Pocatello and Inkom. Source: The Morning News

Bannock County

  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints plans to build five more temples across the globe; one of them will be in Pocatello. The Pocatello temple will be the sixth operating temple in Idaho. The location of the temple has not been announced. Source: KIDK
  • Pocatello-Chubbuck School District 25 is engaged in a massive outdoor facilities project. Phase one started this month at Highland High School and will be completed by the end of summer. The improvements will include the construction of a new track, the addition of lighting, bleachers and amphitheater-style seating. Highland’s baseball field will also receive improvements and the school’s gravel parking lot will be paved. Total cost is expected to be about $2.5 million. Phase two will include outdoor facility improvements at Hawthorne Middle School during the summer of 2018. Phase three will be focused on improving Century High School’s outdoor facilities and will be completed during the summer of 2019. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • The multi-million dollar expansion of the Great Western Malt Plant is close to completion. The original 35-year-old plant takes high grade locally grown barley and wheat and produces malt for brewers and distributors. The plant is expanding 120 percent and as production increases to full capacity, that could mean up to a dozen new full-time jobs. A grand opening is scheduled for July 5. Source: KPVI
  • Economic growth continues in the Gate City area, with a new business, Zip Kit Homes, planning to expand into the Pocatello-Chubbuck area this summer. With the new business, area residents can expect 20, possibly 40 new jobs .The modular home manufacturing company plans to begin hiring by June 1. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • The passage of the Idaho Legislature’s $320 million transportation funding plan this April means an Interstate 15/Siphon Road interchange is closer than ever to getting the green light. The Idaho Transportation Department has already approved the conceptual design for the interchange, and a need for the project was originally identified by the ITD in 2003. Source: Idaho State Journal

Bingham County

  • The Bureau of Reclamation began reconstruction work to the boat ramp on the west side of American Falls Reservoir. The ramp will re-open Memorial Day weekend. Source: Aberdeen Times
  • After 10 years of delays and market downturns, the Shelley City Council gave developer Brent Christensen the green light to begin developing the first phase of Sunset Vista Subdivision off of Baseline and Ash Street. The Sunset Vista Subdivision phase one will have 32 lots for new home construction. Source: The Shelley Pioneer
  • Bingham Memorial Hospital in Blackfoot, with Lost Rivers Medical Center (LRMC) in Arco, announced a partnership aimed to increase access to high quality surgical services to the residents of rural Butte County and Custer County. Through this collaboration, the two hospitals are building a new, state-of-the-art surgical suite at LRMC, a Critical Access Hospital. Source: Blackfoot Business Monthly

Caribou County

  • A petition to stay the Bureau of Land Management’s approval to authorize the development of a phosphate mine by Agrium at Rasmussen Valley was denied by the interior Board of Land Appeals. The Yellowstone to Uintas Connection previously appealed the decision and also asked for a stay of the decision. The appeal of the decision will be now reviewed by the board and could be month away from a decision. Source: Caribou County Sun
  • Soda Springs is starting its water infrastructure upgrade to accommodate the new Cobblestone Hotel. A Department of Commerce Idaho Gem grant and match from the city is funding the project. The hotel has started construction and plans to open mid to late summer. Source: 4-CASI

Franklin County

  • The Franklin County Commissioners approved a plan for a class 1 subdivision to be built in Fairview. The subdivision will be on 17 acres and consist of three lots. Source: Preston Citizen
  • The Consolidated Irrigation Company will open its Glendale Reservoir to recreational use on May 26. The company owns and operates four private reservoirs in the county. In addition to Glendale, it owns Johnson, Lamont and Foster reservoirs. Measures to protect this valuable water resource will follow the same action taken to protect the reservoirs last year. Source: Preston Citizen
  • The Preston City Council approved a $4,000 feasibility study, which will explore the viability of building and sustaining a hotel in the city. The hotel would supplement the existing motel in Preston, the Plaza. Councilman Brad Wall emphasized that any new hotel would provide a “smallish” property of 50-90 rooms, probably at a price point higher than the Plaza. Source: The Preston Citizen
  • Preston industrial Park now has fiber optics due to a Department of Commerce Idaho Gem Grant and match from Preston City. The city will be closing out this $24,760 grant for installation of fiber optic phone and data lines. Source: 4-CASI, Preston Citizen

Oneida County

  • Oneida County Commissioners approved the building permit for the convenience store/lottery outlet at Woodruff. The approval was on the condition that the developers meet all requirements necessary to prevent erosion and runoff concerns. Source: The Idaho Enterprise
  • Malad city is presently engaged in a feasibility study for a hotel. A company has expressed interest in building a hotel, but there is currently no commitment for a hotel. Source: 4-CASI

Power County

  • The Fired Up program at the American Falls School District received a grant that will allow the program to continue for five more years. The Fired Up program is part of the federal 21st Century Community Learning Centers program. It uses a grant from the Idaho State Board of Education to offer an after-school program for about 100 students from Hillcrest Elementary, American Falls Intermediate School and William Thomas Middle School. Source: Power County Press
  • Magnida CEO Ric Sorbo met with a group of Power County economic development and government representatives to announce that the fertilizer plant project has now been dropped. The decision to exit the project came in 2016, about the same time the company decided to sell the water rights earlier purchased from FMC Corporation. Source: Power County Press


  • Jakers Bar and Grill, Pocatello/Chubbuck
  • Miracle Ear, Montpelier, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 236-6710 ext. 4331

EASTERN IDAHO – Bonneville, Butte, Clark, Custer, Fremont, Jefferson, Lemhi, Madison & Teton counties

Idaho National Laboratory

  • The Idaho Legislature overwhelmingly passed a resolution allowing $90 million in state bonds to be issued to construct two new Idaho National Laboratory buildings near University Place in Idaho Falls. The Cybercore Integration Center will serve as a research, education and training facility for cybersecurity work, which INL leaders see as an area with major future growth opportunities. The Collaborative Computing Center will house a new supercomputer for scientific simulation and modeling, research and education. The buildings are expected to create 500 high-paying tech jobs in Idaho Falls, along with about 1,000 temporary construction jobs. Source: Post Register
  • Noël Bakhtian will become director of the Center for Advanced Energy Studies on May 15. Bakhtian succeeds Mike Hagood, who has been serving as acting director of CAES following former director Steve Aumeier’s departure in November to work on nuclear initiatives. CAES is a research and education consortium between Idaho National Laboratory and regional universities. Bakhtian most recently served as senior policy advisor for environment and energy in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Source: Post Register
  • Todd E. Combs, currently the director of Argonne National Laboratory’s Global Security Sciences Division, starts May 1 to be Idaho National Laboratory’s associate lab director for Energy and Environment Science & Technology. Source: Bizmojo

Bonneville County

  • Iteris Inc., a company based in Santa Ana, California, that specializes in traffic management and agricultural systems is opening an Idaho Falls office in the Earl Building on Park Avenue. In agriculture, Iteris produces systems that process weather and agronomic data with land-surface modeling and machine learning to help farmers and agronomists simulate field conditions and determine how new products may perform on a crop. Growers can leverage the company’s ClearAg Advisories to determine best times to plant, spray, fertilize and harvest. Source: Bizmojo
  • A Japanese metal pipe-casting company opened its first American office this month in downtown Idaho Falls. In establishing an eastern Idaho presence, Tokyo-based Sakae Casting opened the door to partnerships with Idaho National Laboratory, local universities, Regional Economic Development for Eastern Idaho and manufacturing firms. Source: Post Register
  • United Way of Idaho Falls and Bonneville County raised $765,000 in its 2017 campaign to support local nonprofits that help those in need. The organization’s 2017 campaign began in October with a goal of raising $750,000. About $550,000 of the funds will be dispersed throughout the year to United Way member agencies and other nonprofit organizations, according to a United Way news release. Source: Post Register
  • Wheelhaus Inc., a manufacturer of tiny homes, said it is moving all of its operations from Jackson, Wyoming, to Bonneville County. Work has already begun to move corporate offices, the showroom and construction facilities to a 50-acre piece of land off Highway 26 east of Idaho Falls. Company officials believe the move to Bonneville County will result in the creation of a number of new jobs. It is unclear how many jobs will actually be created. Source: Local News 8

Madison County

  • The Ashton city’s Planning and Zoning board tabled approval of the proposed New Crown Hotel, partially based on the hotel’s demand on the city’s infrastructure. A study estimated the 50-unit hotel/200 seat-restaurant would use 16 percent of the city’s unused wastewater service capacity and 27 percent of the city’s excess drinking water, while a 108-unit hotel/200 seat restaurant would consume 31 percent of city’s unused wastewater service capacity and 51 percent of excess drinking water. Source: Rexburg Standard Journal
  • Work on the much anticipated Rexburg Panda Express started this month. Plans call for it to be completed this summer. The 2,600-square-foot building is being constructed on 2 ½ acres of land. The new restaurant also means the creation of up to 10 more jobs in the community. Source: Rexburg Standard Journal
  • NAVEX Global, an ethics and compliance software and services company, will expand its Rexburg operations by opening a contact center. The company anticipates creating between 80 and 100 jobs, including part-time positions, according to a NAVEX news release. It already has about 50 sales, services and software development employees in Rexburg at its 346 Grand Loop office. Source: Rexburg Standard Journal

Custer County

  • Things are looking up for Idaho Cobalt Project, with cobalt prices topping $25 per pound and rising. Worldwide demand for cobalt for lithium ion batteries in everything from smartphones to electric cars is growing at a rate of nearly 12 percent per year. The Idaho Cobalt Project should finish a bankable feasibility study by the second quarter of this year then seek to raise $147 million to finish construction on the mine and mill. The company could begin producing ore by the second quarter of 2018. The $147 million needed to finance the project includes construction of a cobalt production facility near a railhead in the Idaho Falls-Blackfoot area. Source: Challis Messenger


  • Steak and Kebab Hut restaurant held a grand opening in April in Rexburg., regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 525-7268 ext. 4340