Around Idaho: Economic Activity in February 2019

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
Southeastern
Eastern Idaho

 

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

Kootenai County

    • Coeur d’Alene-based business incubator Innovation Collective has announced plans to expand and open operations into nine new communities including Sandpoint, Lewiston, Pocatello and Kellogg. The Innovation Collective provides a variety of services aimed at promoting creativity and collaboration while providing space for entrepreneurial activity. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
    • The city of Coeur d’Alene announced that work on the development of the city’s Atlas Mill site is expected to begin this year. The site – a stretch of undeveloped waterfront property along the Spokane River – was purchased by the city in 2018. The new plans outlined by the city call for the space to be developed into a park with a trail system and swimming areas. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
    • Ignite CDA – Coeur d’Alene’s urban renewal agency – is seeking public input on two competing developments proposed for midtown Coeur d’Alene. The agency is seeking to develop a mixed-use development with both commercial space and residential units, and is seeking public input on two competing proposals for the development. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
    • Work is moving forward on the demolition of defunct structures on the site of the former Garden Motel in Coeur d’Alene to clear space for the construction of a new 113-room Marriott Fairfield hotel. The project was delayed after Marriott updated its hotel prototypes, which compelled developers to seek new building permits for the Coeur d’Alene site. Developers anticipate the new hotel opening in spring 2020. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press

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

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

Region

  • As older people retire, manufacturers are having trouble finding skilled individuals to take their places. The Idaho Department of Labor is working with local businesses to expand the Student to Register Apprenticeship Program (STRAP), which prepares youth for jobs where they can earn and learn with local employers. The Northwest Intermountain Manufacturers Association is close to introducing a federally registered program for fabricators and machinists. When the apprenticeship debuts, it will open the door to participate in STRAP for all of the association’s member companies. The companies make parts for products such as guns and boats.
  • The Idaho Department of Labor, Clearwater Economic Development Association, Lewis-Clark State College, the University of Idaho, the Nez Perce Tribe and Clarkston School District also are preparing for the third annual Dream It. Do It Here conference March 1 for high school students in north central Idaho and southeastern Washington to learn about local job opportunities. It takes place at LCSC. Source: Lewiston Tribune

Nez Perce Tribe

  • The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded $300,000 to the Nez Perce Tribe in February to purchase public transportation buses. It will allow the tribe to replace buses for its Appaloosa Express that provides bus service to residents of Kooskia, Kamiah, Orofino, Culdesac, Lapwai and Lewiston. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • The Nez Perce Tribe completed the purchase of the Clarkston Golf and Country Club in February. The country club, which includes an 18-hole golf course and clubhouse, had fallen on financial hard times. Last year, the club had about 160 members – roughly half the number it had 25 years ago. The tribe hopes to revitalize the club and use it as part of its hospitality offerings in the area, anchored by its casino hotel outside Lewiston. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently awarded five Northwest tribes nearly $500,000 for programs that restore habitat and protect water quality across three Northwest states. The Nez Perce Tribe received a $100,000 grant for a water quality improvement project in the headwaters of the Lower Lapwai Creek watershed, which covers parts of Nez Perce and Lewis counties. The project will create 14 acres of new riparian habitat along a heavily degraded stream reach, construct beaver dam analogues throughout the project area to promote reconnection of floodplain surfaces and increase habitat quality. Source: Idaho Statesman

Clearwater County

  •  Clearwater County officials are hoping to change the plans of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to close its Orofino office. Since the NRCS office also houses the Clearwater Soil and Water Conservation District and the Idaho Soil and Water Commission, they also would close unless they can find affordable space in Orofino. Over the years they have brought millions of federal and state dollars into Clearwater County. Source: Clearwater Tribune
  • The Shopko Hometown Store in Orofino is expected to close May 5, as one of Shopko’s 105 store closures due to bankruptcy. When the closures were first announced in January, it was believed that only the store’s pharmacy would close, but now it appears the entire store, which employs more than 20 people, will close. Shopko opened the store in October 2016. Source: Clearwater Tribune

Idaho and Lewis Counties

  • White Bird began work on a water system overhaul in February. The Army Corps of Engineers will fund $500,000 of the expected $668,000 cost of the project that includes installation of mechanical and plumbing parts for the headworks, lagoons and lift station; and purchase and installation of the concrete vaults, lift stations and pond liners. Cook & Sons Construction, LLC, of Grangeville, is the main contractor. Following a system failure that left the town without water for more than two weeks in late 2017, the city also received a federal grant for $964,000 for a separate waterworks project through USDA Rural Development’s Emergency Community Water Assistance Grant program. Source: Idaho County Free Press
  • Wishful Thinking Enterprise — selling handmade gifts — opened at the Ray Holes Mini Mall on Grangeville’s Main Street early this year. The shop also is the local distributor for Quoizel Lighting, which makes decorative lighting for homes. Source: Idaho County Free Press

 Nez Perce and Asotin Counties

  • Vista Outdoor is working to reduce costs, as the market for ammunition continues to be poor since the presidential election two years ago. It shut down most of its ammunition-manufacturing operations in Lewiston for three days in February. In January, early retirement was offered to some workers, with fewer than 20 employees in Lewiston accepting offers. The number of employees in Lewiston hit a peak of nearly 1,500 in 2016, and is now around 1,135. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • Lewis-Clark State College received a $35,000 grant from the Idaho Workforce Development Council in February to launch a new adult learner initiative. It will expand the resources available for non-traditional students, including more online courses, night and weekend classes, scholarship opportunities and a revamped Prior Learning Assessment program. The initiative will help students find the shortest route to earn their degree by analyzing their college credits and determining if they are eligible for prior learning credits, acquired through professional or educational experience. The college also is developing an adult learner website that will come online this spring. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • Beautiful Downtown Lewiston Revitalization Corp. is leading the development of a master plan for the downtown area that identifies opportunities to further strengthen its economy and attract additional private investment. Greater downtown Lewiston employs 6,000 people within a 10-minute walk of Main Street. The largest employers are St. Joseph Regional Medical Center and Lewis-Clark State College. Jobs in the area grew at more than twice the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley average between 2010 and 2015, according to the revitalization group. Recently renovated buildings have filled quickly with new independently owned shops and sold-out residential units. The plan will help continue efforts to revitalize Lewiston’s historic downtown. Source: Lewiston Tribune

Openings

  • Karma, an Indian restaurant, held its grand opening at Moscow’s Eastside Market in February.
  • Panhandle Cone and Coffee opened March 1 in downtown Moscow.

Kathryn.Tacke@labor.idaho.gov, 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

  • Boise State University is preparing to renovate part of Albertsons Stadium. It may also rename Taco Bell Area since the current naming rights expire July 31. The university is talking to Atlanta developer Greenstone Properties, which wants Boise State to be part of a proposed West End stadium. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Boise climbed to No. 12 in the Milken Institute’s ranking of the best-performing economies in the nation. The uptick was up 14 spots from last year. Provo, Utah, topped the rankings of 200 large metros. Seattle ranked eighth and Salt Lake City ranked 10th. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Saint Alphonsus Health System is consolidating its billing services at its parent company located in the Midwest. The consolidation will affect 181 employees – 127 who work in hospital patient billing and 54 in physician practice patient billing. The jobs will be moved to Farmington Hills, Michigan. Employees who are affected will have the option to move, apply for another role within the company or take a severance package. The parent company, Michigan-based Trinity Health, will offer relocation assistance. The change will not be implemented until October. Source: Idaho Press
  • The city of Boise issued 22,486 buildings permits for a total value of roughly $887 million in 2018, a 5 percent increase over 2017. Inspections were up 12 percent with 70,022 conducted during 2018. However, impact fees, which are imposed on developers, were down slightly from a high of $3.6 million in 2017 to $3.2 in fiscal year 2018. Last year 3,850 plan reviews for permits were conducted of which 1,259 were for residential additions or alternations. The second most common type of review was for new single-family or residential projects, with 718 permits filed. There were 556 permits issued in less than one day, a 14 percent increase. Source: Idaho Press
  • Southwest Airlines is adding a Chicago flight as a seasonal destination this summer at the Boise Airport. Service will begin Aug.10 and continue through Sept. 28. The nonstop service between Boise and Midway (the airport near Chicago) will be once weekly and on Saturdays only. The airline’s seasonal service to the Chi-town has been offered in the past. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • China Blue in downtown Boise remains closed as the owner is replacing the ceiling, which experienced major damage in 2016. The 117-year-old showed signs of a sagging ceiling, which hit crisis level with the extreme weather in the winter of 2016. Owner Ted Challenger does not plan to rebuild China Blue, but says he is working on a new concept. The historic building has been home to a men’s athletic club, a Seventh Day Adventist Church, Capitol Lithograph and Printing and restaurants. Source: BoiseDev
  • The Old Boise Country Music Festival will be held June 8 in downtown Boise. It will provide some grassroots and Idaho-focused music. The eight-hour schedule includes groups from Donnelly, Boise, Emmett and New Plymouth as well as out-of-staters from Austin and Fort Worth. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Bogus Basin hosted a “FebruBURIED” party on March 2 to celebrate a 100-inch base depth. The last time Bogus measured 100 inches of snow in the base was in 1940. The ski resort hit the 100-inch mark on Feb. 26. The snow is not only good for all of the activities at Bogus but for season pass sales. There has been an uptick in season pass holders with 29,000 season pass holders for the 2018-2019 season compared with 27,000 for the 2017-2018 season. Another increase for Bogus is its ski school student enrollment. Sources: KTVB and Idaho Press
  • A seven-story, Home2 Suites by Hilton Brand hotel is coming to downtown Boise at the corner of Fifth and Front streets. The hotel will feature large patio attached to a restaurant and bar, pool, meeting rooms and fitness center. The site will also include a 600-space parking garage, 200 for the hotel. Source: BoiseDev
  • Seattle-based Guidant Financial is moving to Boise. Guidant specializes in financial product rollovers for business startups that allows individuals to take funds in the 401(k) accounts and put them toward certain business costs. The company will start with 25 employees and could grow to 40-50 this year and more than 75 by 2020. Source: BoiseDev

Canyon County

  • A new charter school aimed at providing education to rural Idaho counties, Forge International, is slated to open in Middleton in September. The new school will be a K-5, year-round public charter school bringing international baccalaureate education to students in Canyon, Gem and Payette counties. International baccalaureate education is an internationally recognized program designed to bring intercultural understanding and respect to students around the globe. The school will offer Spanish language instruction in kindergarten, as well as a combination of integrated arts, health and physical education classes. The school will have about 200 students enrolled initially with the intention to expand to grades K-12 and serve about 650 students in the next several years. Source: Idaho Press
  • After 20 years indoor BMX racing is back. Local nonprofit Idaho BMX is transforming the Canyon County Fair Building into an indoor track for Treasure Valley racers. The two-year project cost roughly $70,000 to complete. This will be the fourth active BMX track in southern Idaho – one in Eagle, another in Caldwell and one in Mountain Home. Source: Idaho Press
  • McCain Foods is negotiating with the city of Caldwell to build a facility in the Sky Ranch Business Park on a 20-acre plot owned by the Caldwell Urban Renewal Agency. The agency will need to pass a resolution to “authorize the execution of the purchase and sale agreement” with McCain Foods for the project to begin. Two grants awarded to McCain Foods for use on the project in June 2018 may still be available if the company still meets the criteria. McCain had previously secured a $200,000 urban renewal Business Incentive Grant for job creation and a $200,000 infrastructure grant. The job creation grant, which awards $10,000 per qualified job up to 20 jobs, would be awarded to McCain Foods only if they decide to build the facility and begin hiring people. Source: Idaho Press
  • Project Bronco, referring to an unnamed company building a large distribution center in northeastern Nampa, is likely to bring a lot of traffic to the area. The project is expected to employ 2,000 to 3,000 people and would create 7,000 vehicle trips during the peak operating season. A traffic study indicated Project Bronco many require as many as eight new roundabouts or traffic signals and six additional intersections by 2030. The increase in traffic also affects Meridian. The Nampa City Council authorized an agreement with the project’s developer, who will fund $14 million in payments and roadway improvements aimed at alleviating the increased traffic. The 2.6 million-square-foot center is projected to cost $130 million. Construction of the warehouse and distribution center is off schedule. The original completion date was 2020. The developers did not specify a new completion date. Source: Idaho Press

Elmore County

  • The Mountain Home High School agriculture program received a grant and donations from the community to build a greenhouse. The students will use the 60-foot-by-30-foot greenhouse in a new class, introduction to agriculture plant industry. Students will grow and care for the plants, then sell them to the community in 2020. The instructor, Kyas Vines, built the frame with the help of her family. Elmore County Farm Bureau and Idaho Materials and Construction donated concrete. Dodge Boys excavation donated the gravel and Bideganeta Construction poured the concrete. The senior agriculture class and automotive class are installing the plastic siding onto the frame during class. Source: Mountain Home News

Gem County

  • The city of Emmett has been awarded a $220,000 grant to take the next steps in its Safe Routes to School initiative. Previous grants have helped provide flashing warning signals near Emmett Middle School and other improvements to make pedestrian and vehicular transportation paths safer for students and drivers. The new grant will be used to complete the “12th Street Pathway” which focuses on construction of a 2,667-foot pathway. This will include curing, filling in missing concrete sidewalk sections and connecting existing sidewalks so that a safe path is available to access Carberry Elementary School. Source: Emmett Messenger Index
  • The Laundry Bag, a coin-operated laundry service, recently opened in Emmett. The company has another location in Middleton. Source: Emmett Messenger Index
  • John Wood purchased the former old Boise Cascade mill site in Emmett and is transforming it into a multi-use complex. Wood’s plan is to retain many of the existing building on the perimeter of the property as operational commercial concerns. The buildings and the equipment are still operational and valuable to businesses that specialize in production of specialty wood products. Eventually, he hopes to make the center a venue to include events to draw visitors from throughout the region. Source: Emmett Messenger Index

Owyhee County

  • US Ecology Idaho resumed a landfill disposal operation in early February with state approval. The first shipments arrived Feb. 8 and additional shipments were expected in the near future. Other traditional services such as drum processing waste treatment will be rolled out in a phased approach later. Under the agreement, the company is authorized to accept and dispose of certain bulk wastes that meet disposal criteria. US Ecology is prohibited from conducting treatment operations during this initial phase. Source: The Owyhee Avalanche

Valley County

  • The city of McCall approved an incentive program that would reimburse up to $10,000 per unit to developers if they agree to build homes or apartments affordable for people who work in the McCall area. The funds could be used to pay for public development costs such as sidewalks or pathways, water hookup fees, building permit fees, or improvements to water and sewer lines. To qualify, a developer must agree to caps on rents and sale prices. Only those who held jobs of 30 hours or more week in the McCall area could be renters or buyers. The restricted housing also would be made available as primary residences for people age 65 or older or those with disabilities. A 2018 study found 82 percent of people who work in McCall commute from outside the city and 40 percent commute 50 miles or more. There is an estimated need for 700 homes or apartments affordable for local workers. Source: McCall Star-News
  • The McCall City Council recently approved a 16-unit condominium project on Thompson Avenue designed to attract people who work in McCall. The project would include four buildings with four units each on a one-acre parcel. Each unit would be a single level with two bedrooms, one bathroom, a kitchen and a living area totaling 640 square feet. The developer, Kurt Marostica of Boise, would make the condominiums with recycled shipping containers that would be finished with a focus on quality and energy efficiency. Source: McCall Star-News
  • The city of McCall awarded a $190,000 contract to Dalrymple Construction Services, Inc. of Cascade to remodel the former police department offices in city hall. The 1,900-square-foot space will house city employees from human resources, finance and information technology. It also will include an office for city council members. The council also approved a $24,000 contract with Humphries Poli Architects from Denver to design a master plan for the city’s downtown campus to include the library, city hall, the future home of Treasure Valley Transit, former fire station and McCall Community Center. Source: McCall Star-News

 Washington County

  • A survey of Weiser residents said they would like the Weiser Library to open on Saturday and want the librarian to be a full-time position. The Friends of the Weiser Library requested the survey, which was conducted by graduate students working with Boise State University’s Idaho Policy Institute. The purpose of the survey was to get a better idea of how the community uses the library and what the library can do more effectively meet the needs of patrons. The library continues to increase the number of users with 174 new city and rural accounts added in 2018. The library checked out 31,747 materials, including books, audio, video and other media during the year. The availability of interlibrary loan and an e-book checkout system were top priorities. A majority of the respondents would like to see more adult and children learning programs at the library. The results of the survey were given to the library board and the librarian to determine action. Source: Weiser Signal American

Openings

  • The STIL ice cream shop opened a mini-location inside Chow Public Market & Eatery in Boise.
  • Boise Farmers Market is relocating to the former Kmart store parking lot on Americana Boulevard.
  • Westmark Credit Union opened its first downtown Boise branch on March 1. It is a full-service branch with a drive-through. It is located in the former Bank of the Cascades branch.
  • A second Fiesta Chicken restaurant will open in April in the former Wendy’s on Orchard Avenue in Boise. The area’s first location is on Ustick Road.
  • Sweet Zola’s Candy Shop opened in February on Main Street in Meridian.
  • Café Yumm! opened in the Bridges at Lakemoor shopping center in Eagle in January. It is the first of multiple Boise-area locations. The new restaurant provides customizable rice-and-bean bowls, and more than 50 percent of the ingredients are certified organic.
  • Gyro Shack, part of a Greek restaurant chain, opened in Caldwell in February on Blaine Street.
  • Los Pablanos Market grocery store and restaurant opened in Weiser. It specializes in authentic Mexican food.

Closings

    • Payless Shoe stores will close its seven locations in the Treasure Valley between March and May. The company is closing more than 2,000 stores across the county as part of chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.
    • A regional distribution center in Boise for Shopko will close in April, affecting 120 workers. The center serves Shopko stores in much of the West, including Idaho, where all of the Shopko’s Treasure Valley stores are closing.

Janell.Hyer@labor.idaho.gov, senior economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 332-3570 ext. 2330

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

Camas County

  • Soldier Mountain Ski Area is once again for sale. The current owners, who purchased it in 2015, believe an infusion of funding is necessary, particularly toward the purchase of snowmaking equipment. Source: Idaho Press
  • Camas County School District will seek to renew its two-year $300,000 supplemental levy. The levy requires a simple majority to pass and is solely for school district operating expenses. Nine other school districts in the region are presenting similar requests to the voters in March. Source: Times-News

Blaine County

  • The Blaine County School District released data on its Gifted and Talented Program finding that participation had increased, even in the rural schools. However, the demographics of participants continues to be predominately male and white. District officials say the goal is for the program to reflect the demographics of all the students in the district. Source: Idaho Mountain Express
  • Safe Haven has declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy while continuing to operate its two facilities in Bellevue — Bell Mountain Village Care Center and Safe Haven Assisted Living. The company intends to liquidate the two facilities. The company lost a Pocatello facility in a fire, placing a strain on its budget after insurance proceeds did not readily arrive. The company has a facility in Wendell, with plans to hold it as a personal asset of its CEO and President. Source: Idaho Mountain Express
  • The Hailey Public Library is celebrating its 100th anniversary remembering when women of the community rented a room in a bank building for the library at $5 a month. Various events to commemorate the anniversary include book clubs, vintage games, story hours and historical presentations. Source: Idaho Mountain Express

Minidoka County

  • The University of Idaho purchased 500 acres of land in Minidoka County for a research dairy, a move approved by the Idaho State Board of Education. The project’s acronym is CAFÉ for Center for Agriculture Food and the Environment. Those donating money toward the land acquisition include U of I and the Idaho Dairymen’s Association totaling $4.5 million for the acreage 15 miles north of Rupert. The long-term plan calls for an outreach and education center in Jerome, likely at Crossroads Point, along with a food processing facility for training and research on the campus of College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls. Source: Times-News

Twin Falls County

  • The pop-up ice rink has left the Downtown Commons. The seasonal attraction and was popular during the Christmas break when AWOL Adventure Sports had a skate rental concession. AWOL plans to return the next holiday season. Source: Times-News
  • Barb Denney, Canyon Ridge High School college and career advisor, received an award from the Idaho ACT Council for building the program at the high school, serving 1,200 students in Twin Falls. The council gave out four awards statewide. The nomination came from Denney’s peers. The ACT Council is affiliated with the national nonprofit that provides the ACT college entrance exam. Source: Times-News
  • The College of Southern Idaho’s Refugee Center is offering more assistance to youth approaching it from three directions. First, they offer after-school help with homework and academics since many parents do not have the English skills to help their kids. Second, the center is offering career-advising services to help the children of refugees consider their gifts in relation to their future. Third, case management is provided to assist families with limited English skills develop processes to pay bills and handle household duties independent of help from their kids. Source:  Times-News

Openings

  • Mountain Humane held a grand opening for its state-of-the-art education, veterinary and animal shelter in Hailey. The shelter cost $16 million in private donations and includes a splash park, a cat café, heated dog runs, and a solar-powered heating and cooling system. About 1,000 people toured the facility during the grand opening. Source: Idaho Mountain Express

Closures

  • Shopko announced it would close its Twin Falls retail operation. The last day of operations is listed as May 12, 2019. Source: Times-News
  • Ketchum Burrito closed its downtown restaurant after three years. The first restaurant will remain open with expanded hours for breakfast. Source: Times-News

Jan.Roeser@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 735-2500 ext. 3639

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

Region

  • Idaho State University plans to spend up to $1.7 million to buy a 5.69-acre field to build additional parking for its growing Meridian campus. The university hopes to purchase the property by April and move forward with construction of the parking lot by next summer. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • Idaho State University is about to get a $10 million boost for its vocational education programs. Legislation passed the House and the full Senate to shift a $10 million appropriation towards upgrading and remodeling the Eames Complex on the ISU campus. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • United Way of Southeastern Idaho will be receiving a $150,000 grant from StriveTogether, a national non-profit dedicated to helping children succeed in school. The region was one of 11 communities selected nationwide. The money will be applied toward securing preschool funds by developing local support. Source: KPVI
  • A long-anticipated casino expansion in the works for the past two years recently wrapped up in Fort Hall. The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes officially opened a new 85,463-square-foot casino connected to the Shoshone-Bannock Hotel and Events Center. Now known as the Shoshone-Bannock Casino Hotel, in addition to the gaming floor, the expansion also includes a new 150-seat restaurant, lounge and a 240-seat bingo hall. There’s also a new parking lot with more than 300 spaces. Source: Idaho Business Review

Bannock County

  • The Shopko store in Pine Ridge Mall will be closing on May 5. The Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin-based retailer, founded in 1962, announced plans in January to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Company officials initially said they would have to close 105 U.S. stores. Though the Pine Ridge Mall location was not on the original list of closures, the company included the southeastern Idaho store in a news release it issued in February announcing the closing of an additional 139 Shopko and Shopko Hometown stores. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • The Portneuf Greenway Foundation has applied for a $250,000 Idaho Department of Parks & Recreation grant. If awarded, the grant money would be used to construct and pave three segments totaling 5 miles of a recreational path planned to link South Pocatello with the future Northgate development in the city’s northeast corner. Construction of the three trail sections is expected to begin this summer. Source: Idaho State Journal

Bingham County

  • Adams Publishing Group, a Greeneville, Tennessee-based media company, is launching a new publication- the Bingham County Chronical – to cover eastern Idaho news. The five-day-per-week newspaper will cover local news from Bingham County, including Aberdeen, Shelley, Firth, Fort Hall and Blackfoot, among other communities. The offices are in downtown Blackfoot with a six-person staff of reporters, advertising sales employees and an office manager. The first edition of the newspaper was March 5. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • Blackfoot’s Premier Technology, a privately owned engineering, manufacturing and construction management company, earned a certificate to create its first state-registered apprenticeship program. The registered apprenticeship program will allow those interested in working at Premier Technology to get hands-on training while also receiving an education from College of Eastern Idaho. Training will include machine and system operation, coding and working with advanced technology. Source: Post Register

Openings

    • Salt and Honey, Your Natural Creation Shop in Old Town Pocatello.
    • Union Tap Room in Pocatello.
    • The Old Town Juke Box in Pocatello.
    • Shoshone-Bannock Casino Hotel in Fort Hall.
    • Ecker Leather in Grace.

Esther.Eke@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 236-6710 ext. 4331

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

Region

  • Idaho National Laboratory’s economic impact in Idaho was more than $2 billion in 2018. The lab’s reported impact includes both the 4,349 people employed directly by contractor Battelle Energy Alliance in Idaho and the thousands more who worked for the site through indirect or induced jobs. Source: Post Register

Bonneville County

  • Jackson Hole Junction, a 22-acre commercial Idaho Falls development, officially broke ground on a Holiday Inn Hotel in late February. The 100,000-square-foot hotel will include 108 rooms and a full restaurant and bar. It will feature a 4,600-square-foot meeting room that can hold 300 people. Developers hope the hotel and its conference space will act as an anchor for future development, which would include shops, restaurants, entertainment venues and a new medical clinic. The Holiday Inn is expected to be completed by May 1, 2020. Source: KPVI
  • Idaho Falls Zoo opened a new education center. The new zoo building is 4,400 square feet, equipped with three classrooms, office space, bathrooms and a kitchenette. Officials broke ground for the education center in July 2018 and the building took about three months to construct. The cost of the building was a little more than $1 million. Source: East Idaho News

Lemhi County

  • ECobalt Solutions Inc., owner and developer of the Idaho Cobalt Project, is laying off workers at its Salmon cobalt development site, a result of companywide cost control measures following a sudden drop in global cobalt pricing. ECobalt currently has 32 employees at its Salmon site. Source: Post Register

Madison County

  • Basic American Foods is expanding its current Rexburg facility, bringing 40 new jobs to the area. Basic American Foods currently has about 1,000 employees in Idaho, and the Rexburg facility has about 176 employees. Source: Rexburg Standard Journal
  • Brigham Young University-Idaho enrollment increased by 2.9 percent from a year ago with total campus enrollment reaching 19,235 this winter. The university, based in Rexburg, had 18,689 students enrolled during the same time last year. Source: Idaho State Journal

Openings

  • Firehouse Subs in Idaho Falls.
  • CaptionCall in Idaho Falls.
  • Tacos Izcalli in Idaho Falls.

Closings

    • Teton Lanes, a bowling alley, in Rexburg.

Esther.Eke@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 236-6710 ext. 4331

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