Around Idaho: Economic Activity in October 2019

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
Southeastern
Eastern Idaho

 

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

Bonner County

  • Summit Cancer Centers has opened a new cancer clinic in Sandpoint. The clinic offers imaging services, as well as immunotherapy and chemotherapy. Source: Journal of Business

Kootenai County

  • Blue Cross of Idaho opened a new office in Coeur d’Alene. The new facility, which will eventually employ 40 people, will provide local customer service to Blue Cross health services members in northern Idaho. Source: Journal of Business
  • TDS Telecommunications, a Wisconsin-based internet service provider, opened a retail store in Coeur d’Alene. TDS is also planning to install roughly 700 miles of fiber cable in Kootenai County over the next three years. Source: Journal of Business
  • Construction is underway on a new elementary school in Coeur d’Alene. The new school, which will have more than 53,000 square feet of space, will replace an older facility in Hayden as the home of Coeur d’Alene’s NExA program for K-5 students, which uses expeditionary learning models. Source: Journal of Business
  • The Coeur d’Alene City Council approved a deal with T. LaRiviere Construction to begin work on the Atlas Waterfront Park. The new park will add public access to 3,800 feet of waterfront, and will include a variety of park facilities such as a dog park and kayak launch. 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

Clearwater County

  • Thirty businesses opened in Orofino during the first nine months of 2019. Some of those include:
      • Clearwater Serenity Johnson Avenue sells tea, artwork, jewelry, CBD oil, hemp T-shirts and socks and other items.
      • Wannigan Gift Shop opened recently on Johnson Avenue, featuring sculptures, greeting cards, homemade candles and other gift items. The owners plan to open a barbecue restaurant there in a few months.
      • Clearwater Tackle and Outdoors shop opened in September at the former site of Camp, Cabin and Home on Highway 12, offering a wide variety of fishing, hunting and camping gear and apparel. It also expects to offer fishing and hunting licenses, when the state finalizes the process.

Other new businesses include:
Arnzen’s Glenwood Pharmacy, Atmosphere Construction, J. Bowen Photography, Cassidy Rist Beauty Services, Clearwater Canyon Pharmacy, Clearwater Services and Construction, Daryl Donovan Renovations, Krei Painting LLC, Michael Miles Creations, Northwest Trinity Construction, Phillips Plumbing, Progressive Jui Jitsu, Readings and Rootwork, Spokane Roofing Company, The Sweet Melon Shack, TnT Management and White Inspired Ventures LLC — a coffee vendor inside Clearwater Valley Hospital. Source: Clearwater Tribune

Idaho and Lewis Counties

  • More than 300 students from six high schools in Idaho and Lewis counties attended a career fair at the Idaho County fairgrounds in Cottonwood on Sept. 19. Organized by Ida-Lew Economic Development, the fair gave students a chance to meet representatives for dozens of employers and learn the many different types of job opportunities available in the area. They also heard about what high school classes and postsecondary education they need for those jobs. Source: Cottonwood Chronicle

Latah County

  • Emsi will be exempt from 75 percent of the increase in value of its new property for five years starting in 2010. Latah County Commissioners granted the exemption for the company’s planned new 70,000-square-foot headquarters. The agreement requires that Emsi creates at least 150 new jobs during that five-year period and completes the project substantially as proposed. In addition to creating high-wage jobs, the project will upgrade infrastructure in that part of Moscow. This has been only the second time the commissioners have granted an economic development property tax exemption. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News
  • The Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport celebrated the opening of its new runway in early October. Funded by multiple government agencies, as well as Washington State University, the University of Idaho and Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, the $154 million project included a new 7,100-foot runway that will allow larger planes to land there and added a new instrument landing system to assist pilots in poor weather and reduce flight cancellations. Starting Nov. 6, Alaska Airlines will add a fifth Seattle flight six days a week. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News
  • Available services and employment continue to grow in Moscow’s health care sector. Gritman Medical Center’s Moscow Family Medicine recently added five new physicians, bringing its total physicians to 14. Palouse Specialty Physicians — a collaboration among Gritman Medical Center, Pullman Regional Hospital and Whitman Hospital and Medical Center in Colfax — opened a new full-service neurology clinic in Moscow in October. It provides diagnostics and treatments for patients with ALS, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and more. Palouse Oncology and Hematology opened its doors in August on South Main Street. The full-time clinic also is operated by Palouse Specialty Physicians. Area residents no longer have to travel outside the area for these treatments. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News
  • The University of Idaho recently opened the WWAMI Medical Education Building on campus after spending $7 million to renovate the building. Students studying medicine at UI do so through the WWAMI program — a partnership through the University of Washington’s School of Medicine that works with universities in Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho to offer students affordable medical training outside of Washington. The new classrooms will allow class sizes to grow over time. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News
  • The recently released Palouse Regional Housing Assessment, funded by The Partnership for Economic Prosperity, says the Palouse is short roughly 340 single-family homes, and the region will need about 270 single-family units per year through 2027 to fulfill the demand. It suggested that many of those homes should be smaller than the 3,000-square-foot homes typically built on the Palouse. Housing availability and affordability is a major concern in the region. Nearly 40 percent of the regional population spends more than a third of their annual budget on housing. Economic development and housing are tightly linked. Source: Lewiston Tribune; Moscow-Pullman Daily News

Nez Perce and Asotin Counties

  • Lewis-Clark State College’s enrollment grew 1.7 percent, from 3,684 last fall to 3,748 this fall, the largest number since the 3,924 in 2016. The number of students who enrolled directly after high school also increased 5.5 percent and transfer students increased 30 percent. Career and technical education programs saw a 6 percent jump in enrollment. The college also boosted student retention by 6 percent, and the overall graduation rate increased to 40 percent. Almost half of the college’s students qualify as low-income, and 76 percent are the first ones in their family to attend college. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • The Federal Aviation Administration awarded $7.2 million to the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport in September for its secondary runway reconstruction project. It will also include taxiway reconstruction, improved airport drainage and installation of airfield guidance signs and runway lights. Source: KLEWtv.com
  • The region’s young wine industry continues to develop. Jovinea Cellars opened a tasting room at Morgan’s Alley in Lewiston in October. The winery near Lenore uses grapes they purchase from the Lewis-Clark Valley American Viticultural Area and other Washington vineyards. Two Bad Labs Vineyard began growing grapes in the Tammany area near Lewiston a few years ago, and produced its first wine last year. Now, it makes 10 different wines using its own grapes, as well as grapes from other area vineyards and Washington vineyards. Tastings are available by appointment. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • Walla Walla Community College plans to spend $1.2 million to remodel and convert two classrooms into a student activity center on its Clarkston campus. The gathering space in the college’s main building will have TVs, a charging station, and pool and foosball tables. It also will include a student government office, a study room, an updated adviser’s office and vending space. A 1,500-square-foot area outside the building will become a partly covered patio area with seating. Mangum Construction, of Clarkston, was awarded the bid for the project, expected to be finished in January. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • A crack in the Bonneville Dam lock forced a three-week emergency closure, preventing boat traffic on the Columbia-Snake system to Lewiston and Clarkston. The dam closure prevented cruise ships coming to Port of Clarkston during their busiest time of the year, and the resulting economic loss to the area was half a million dollars. The system reopened at the end of September, allowing barges and cruise boats to move again. Source: KLEWtv.com

Opening

  • Kooskia Outpost opened in downtown Kooskia in early October. It sells bedding and bath items, kitchen gadgets, candles, children’s toys and a small selection of books.

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

  • ChargeltPro, a Boise subsidiary of Seattle-based Gravity Payments, will phase in a minimum salary of $70,000 a year over the next four years for its 40 Boise employees. Company owner Dan Price started the practice four years ago for Gravity’s 120 employees in Seattle. Gravity Payments, which processes credit card payments for merchants, purchased ChargeItPro two years ago. The new Boise office has room for 104 employees. Price plans to add workers over time, including software engineers, payment specialists and sales people. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • LocalConstruct, the Los Angeles developer of projects like The Fowler and Watercooler apartments in Boise, changed its name to Roundhouse. The company recently brought the Parkview Apartments next to Ann Morrison Park and is developing a new project in Eagle, The Clara, which will add 277 housing units. Source: BoiseDev
  • Idaho State University’s campus in Meridian debuted its expanded facilities in September. The expansion is part of a nearly $7 million, 12,000-square-foot build-out of the first and second floors of the Sam and Aline Skaggs Health Science Center. The cadaver lab was expanded to include 12 anatomy stations, high-definition cameras and distance-learning technology. The anatomy space, which complements the existing anatomy, bioskills and virtual labs, include students in the physician assistant studies, nursing, communication sciences and physical therapy programs as well as students of the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine. The second-floor addition houses a nursing skills lab, research space and faculty offices to accommodate the accelerated nursing program. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • Hendricks Commercial Properties bought the historic Owyhee hotel and several adjacent lots in early 2019. It plans to build a boutique hotel near the Owyhee. This will be the third boutique hotel in Boise. The company plans to look into the history of the property and use that as a guide for the project. A timeline for when the hotel construction will begin has not been set. Source: BoiseDev
  • Verizon Wireless is the first cell phone carrier to implement a 5G network in Boise. Verizon implemented the 5G network on in late September in Boise, New York City and Panama City. To use the network, consumers need a 5G device. Other cell phone networks like AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint have rolled out 5G across the country, but none of them has reached Idaho yet. Source: KIVI
  • Idaho Department of Fish and Game will demolish its headquarters on South Walnut Street in Boise and replace it with a $19 million multistory building. The plan is to construct a building that will fit into the neighborhood. The Idaho Fish & Wildlife Foundation is arranging financing. Fish and Game will lease the building for $1.2 million per year and take ownership after the bonds are paid off in about 30 years. The new building would have about 72,000 square feet, double the size of the current building, and should be completed by the end of 2021. The MK Nature Center, which is located behind the existing building, will remain open during the construction that is slated to begin in September 2020. During the construction period, the offices will temporarily move to the agency’s former Region 3 office on South Powerline Road in Nampa. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Dillys Pickled Veggies are produced and packaged in a new commercial kitchen in Kuna. Owner Jessica Norris has leased a 3,000-square-foot facility in Kuna and invested in new equipment. Dillys will be hiring 15 -20 seasonal workers to help with production and packaging. Norris plans to open the kitchen to other local food companies for opportunities to co-pack and create new products. Wild Rose Farms is already working with her to package its honey and other products for commercial sales.  Source: Kuna Melba News
  • Trader Joe’s opened a 17,000-square-foot store in Meridian in the former Rosauers on Eagle Road This location is slightly larger than the its first Idaho store in downtown Boise. Source: Idaho Statesman

Canyon County

  • R & H Machine Inc. is the only facility in the Treasure Valley that makes and distributes large-scale “wear parts,” or replacement parts for farm equipment, made of chrome alloy, a long-lasting material comprising various metals. R & H Machine has been in Caldwell since 1978. The foundry, which was previously Gem State Alloys, Inc., merged with R & H Machine in 2006 to streamline the process. The company has about 15 employees. Source: Idaho Press
  • Five major construction projects are scheduled along Middleton Road in Nampa through the year 2021. The projects include: Middleton Road and Ustick Road bridges over Interstate 84 to allow more room to widen the interstate; new traffic signals at the intersection of Middleton Road and Orchard Avenue; new traffic signal and wider lanes on Middleton Road and Smith Avenue; additional lanes, traffic signals and street lighting on Middleton Road and Lone Star Road; and Middleton Road will be widened south of Roosevelt Avenue and north of Greenhurst Road. Source: Idaho Press
  • The College of Idaho is teaming with indieDwell to create more housing. The college has the largest incoming class with one of the highest enrollments ever. The goal is to keep the majority of their students in on-campus housing, but demand exceeds the supply resulting in a waitlist for single rooms on campus. indieDwell is a Caldwell company that brings modern affordable housing to the market by using shipping containers. Creating dorms for a college out of shipping containers is a first for the company. The new construction will consist of two three-story structures housing 54 students, 27 in each building. The project is expected to be completed by January, ahead of the spring semester, which begins in February. Source: KIVI & Idaho Business Review
  • Meridian company Franklin Lofts LLC is building 90 luxury apartments called Franklin Lofts at Karcher and Franklin Roads in Nampa. The owner is also developing the Orchard Loft Apartments on West Orchard Avenue. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Lone Star Middle School in Nampa is becoming a HP Spotlight School. The school is partnering with Idaho Business for Education, HP, and Digital Promise Global that will focus on technology and personalized student learning. Lone Star is the second school in the country to become a Spotlight School. The school will have a studio that will is likely to include media production, digital fabrication and virtual reality technology. Source: Idaho Education News
  • The “Project Bronco” development, announced in 2018, was confirmed in October as a 650,000-square-foot Amazon fulfillment center to be built in Nampa. Located at the southwest corner of East Franklin and Star roads, it is set to open in 2020 and will create more than 1,000 full-time jobs. Source: Idaho Press

Elmore County

  • After two and half years of negotiation, Mountain Home Air Force Base has transferred ownership of base’s old railroad spur to the city of Mountain Home. City leaders have a vision to refurbish the tracks in an effort to bring economic development to the city. Although the two entities have worked together to bring the transfer about, it took an act of Congress to make it official. Mountain Home is hoping by refurbishing the railroad they can attract more manufacturing and industrial businesses. Source: KIVI

Payette County

  • Fruitland is getting a fiber optic network expected to provide its residents with up to 1 gigabit per second download internet speed by the end of the year. Access to high-speed Internet is expected to help existing businesses expand, make Fruitland more attractive to businesses looking for a place to locate and draw more people to live and work there. Farmers Mutual Telephone Company, an independent telephone cooperative based in Fruitland, decided to bring fiber to better serve its customers and maintain its competitive edge. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • St. Luke’s has opened the Fruitland Respite House to help ease the burden of a long commute for treatment. The facility will provide lodging for patients from eastern Oregon and western Idaho who often travel long distances for cancer treatments. The new facility cost $1.6 million and will be used by patients of the St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute-Fruitland. The institute’s medical team handles 10,000 annual appointments. The respite house is located one block from the St. Luke’s Fruitland Medical campus. It has four private, wheelchair accessible bedrooms with adjoining bathrooms, along with a living room, central kitchen and dining room, library, picnic tables, a grill and outdoor patio furniture. There is also RV parking nearby. Source: Idaho Business Review

Valley County

  • Cascade Medical Center is looking for property so that it can expand. With both its population and the number of tourists staying in the area, the medical center has grown steadily over the past few years. Last year, patient visits grew 11 percent. Currently, the 10,454 square-foot hospital provides 10 beds and employs 45 people. Source: McCall Star-News
  • The first condominiums to be subsidized by the city of McCall’s resident housing program will rent for $1,300 per month. The 12 housing units on Thompson Avenue will be reserved for people who live and work in McCall. People with disabilities or age 65 or older are also eligible for the units. The 12 units are part of the 16-unit Thompson Place that are to be made of shipping containers. Each 662-square-foot unit includes two bedrooms and one bathroom. Source: McCall Star-News
  • WaveDivision Capital of Kirkland, Washington, is in the process of buying the Idaho operations of Frontier Communications, including those in Valley County and Meadows Valley. The sale is expected to be completed by July 2020. Until then, all current Frontier services will continue without disruption, all offices will remain open and all contracts and rates will be honored. Source: McCall Star-News
  • McCall could enjoy faster internet speeds by building a city-owned network of fiber-optic wires, the city’s information systems manager Chris Curtin told the city council in October. The city would like to see improvements in internet service, which currently offers poor service quality and intermittently slows speed. Curtin proposes the city install underground fiber cables, enabling residents to choose to upgrade from copper wires currently connecting homes to the internet. Home and business owners would have to pay an initial $3,500 to connect to the fiber cables. After that, they could choose from a variety of Internet service providers. Implementing the plan would cost the city about $700,000 in the first year. Source: McCall Star-News
  • Valley County commissioners have approved substantial changes to a property tax exemption ordinance intended to bring new businesses to the county. The new ordinance institutes a scoring system to evaluate proposals and changed rules to make them more specific to Valley County. The ordinance gives up to five years of tax relief to qualifying, non-retail businesses investing more than $500,000 in a new facility in the county. The previous version granted a tax break with no verifiable benefits to the county. Source: McCall Star-News

Washington County

  • Agri-Lines Irrigation opened a sales office, parts department and fabrication shop in Weiser, offering a convenient source of irrigation equipment to a customer base from Payette and Vale to Midvale, Cambridge, Council, New Meadows and all the way to Riggins. Agri-Lines sells, installs and services irrigation equipment in a total of seven locations, including the new one in Weiser. The employee-owned company’s dedication has allowed it to become the premier irrigation equipment dealer in the region. Source: Weiser Signal American

Openings

  • Build-A-Bear opened a store at the Walmart store on 12th Avenue Road in Nampa.
  • Tavern at Eagle Island opened in September 30. This is the third location for the fine-dining restaurant in the Boise area. The original location at Bown Crossing and a second in downtown Boise.
  • Roosters Men’s Grooming Center opened at The Village at Meridian in October.
  • The Nest, based in Eagle, will opened a holiday decor store at The Village at Meridian. The pop-up location will be open for shoppers through the holidays.
  • Certified Kitchen and Bakery opened in September in Boise’s Hyde Park area. The owners brought their 53-year old sourdough starter as they opened their second restaurant.
  • Hook & Reel, a new Cajun restaurant, opened in July in Meridian in the former Whitewater Pizza & Pasta building.
  • Table Rock Organics, a store offering CBD products, opened in Boise.
  • Bank of Idaho opened a second Boise branch in Boise.
  • Ravenwood Solutions Inc., a company that provides combat training to soldiers, moved most of its operations from Fremont, California, to Boise. Ravenwood, a subsidiary of SRI International, is opening its new product and service operation center on Gowen Road. The army national guard is its longest-standing customer.
  • Edge Brewing Co. opened a second brewpub in downtown Boise.
  • Ada West Dermatology and Eagle Vision One held a grand opening at its new offices on North Ten Mile Road in Meridian in October.
  • Wildflower Salon, a nail salon, opened in Nampa.
  • The new Boise Salvation Army store in Boise opened in October.
  • Grandma’s After 2!, an after school day care, opened in Weiser in October.

Changes

  • Seattle-based Washington Federal has changed its name to WaFd Bank.

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

Regional News

  • St. Luke’s is providing all public schools in Jerome and Twin Falls counties with $1,000 grant per school to increase health awareness while decreasing the share of students with obesity and/or diabetes. The initiative was based on a health needs assessment that is conducted every three years. Source: KMVT News

Blaine County

  • Hillside Grain, a stone mill south of Bellevue, began operations last spring and has since fine-tuned its process. The mill is selling flour to bakeries and retail outlets in the Wood River Valley, the Treasure Valley and Salt Lake City with expansion plans for marketing in California. The boutique mill produces high quality wheat and barley flours. Source: Capital Press

Cassia County

  • “Crossroads: Change in Rural America,” an exhibit from the Smithsonian Institute’s traveling program, is currently on display at the Burley Public Library. The library received a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council to bring in the exhibit, which included staff training. It highlights the transition for rural America population when it became a minority of the country’s population and the consequences of this shift. The free exhibit will be at the library until Nov. 18, 2019. Source: KMVT News

Gooding County

  • Hagerman hosted its third annual Fossil Days parade and event in October at the park. The event included more than 40 vendors, entertainment and live music. Source: Times-News

Jerome County

  • Idaho Milk Products cut the ribbon on the completion of a $30 million expansion. The plant is owned by Bettencourt and Big Sky dairies, and the expansion increases its processing capacity by one million pounds of milk, saving on transportation costs incurred when the dairies had to send the milk to other processors. The expansion also includes a new research and development space that will allow for more innovation. IMP’s milk protein concentrate and isolate are used in yogurt, cheese, ice cream, protein bars, breakfast foods, beverages and products aimed at maximizing nutrition in sports, health and weight management. Source: Times-News

Minidoka County

  • Minidoka Memorial Hospital in collaboration with the Mini-Cassia Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting for the new landing pad for the emergency helicopter, which is equipped much as an ambulance. The $1.3 million investment included moving the existing landing pad, elevating it and fencing the area. There was also an addition to the emergency services building, which houses the ambulances and mini-buses, and the addition of new parking spaces for the hospital. The service area ranges from Salt Lake City to Boise. Source:  Times-News
  • Minidoka Irrigation District closed its North Side Canal delivery on Oct. 8. Source: Times-News
  • Minidoka County School District is asking voters for a two-year continuation of its supplemental levy of $2.25 million. The funds are directed toward facilities and maintenance, technology and the acquisition of buses. There will be no increase in the amount of the levy that is set to expire June 30, 2020. Source: Times-News

Twin Falls County

  • The Historic Elks Club received an award for the Top Project of the Year from the Idaho Business Review. The building houses a brewery and restaurant called Milner’s Gate. The issue of integrity and safety arose for the 1922 vintage building as different levels of the property were enhanced, including a patio. Collaboration among engineers, the design company, the subcontractors and the city organically happened as each step had to be scrutinized for safety purposes. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • The Twin Falls City Council approved the designation of an Entitlement City under the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program administered by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development agency. The new city designation comes with an estimated grant of $342,000 annually to be used for planning and paying for community development projects. The trade-off is the city can no longer be eligible for state-funded CDBG monies awarded by the Idaho Department of Commerce. Since 2011, the city has received $1.5 million to pay for infrastructure projects associated with the construction of Chobani and Clif Bar plants. Source: Times-News
  • Clif Bar has constructed a solar farm near its commercial bakery that will provide one-third of its energy needs. The solar farm is part of a research project by the Golden, Colorado, based National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) studying which plants grow best around solar panels and which ones bring pollinators with them. Clif Bar is one of 25 sites involved in NREL’s InSPIRE project. The project tracks native vegetation, beekeeping and agriculture co-existing with solar fields since the lab predicts that within a decade, three million acres in the U.S. will be covered by solar panels. Solar farms create a microclimate and typically are built on ground that is grated and barren. The microclimate for these solar panels will be full of native wildflowers and plants, called “low-impact solar.” One premise is conditions that are great for pollinators and butterflies also increase the amount of energy the panels can soak up. The premise will be tested regularly by NREL’s team. Clif Bar officials say the company could not make the food they do without pollinators. Source: NPR News
  • Twin Falls County renewed its contract for 25 jail beds in Jerome County. Currently, there are 275 inmates at the Twin Falls County Jail based on a capacity of 194. The overcrowding issue puts a stressor on the inmates and the staff. Source: KMVT News
  • The College of Southern Idaho has a new program – Weekend College Plus – designed for students who are working. Class options include liberal arts, general business, education, accounting, bookkeeping and welding. Classes are offered on weeknights, weekends and custom designed schedules called hybrid classes. Source: KMVT News
  • The College of Southern Idaho’s nontraditional teacher preparation program is wildly popular, growing from 18 participants the first year to 80 enrollees this second term. The program offers a nontraditional path to teacher certification in Idaho. Students range from paraprofessionals to education volunteers who do not have a bachelor’s degree. The program, which can be completed online -takes the average person four semesters and a summer term to complete at a cost of $1,000 per semester. A key component are paid mentors, typically a teacher, assigned to each student. Some students start a bachelor’s degree program simultaneous with the teaching curriculum. Source: Idaho EdNews

Openings

  • R&R Pharmacy held a grand opening offering a flu shot clinic in Twin Falls. Its co-tenant in the building is Urgent Care of Twin Falls. Source: Times-News
  • Guppies Hot Rod Grille opened at its new location in Kimberly after a fire closed its original venue. Source: Times-News
  • Aspen Dental opened in Twin Falls. Source: Times-News
  • The Marriott TownePlace Suites opened its doors in Twin Falls after a 16-month construction period. The facility opened next to its sister property, the Fairfield Inn and Suites. It is an extended-stay 108-room property that provides more amenities especially for those visiting patients at the Magic Valley Regional Medical Center. Source: Times-News

Closures

  • Chico’s, a women’s apparel and accessories store, closed its doors in Twin Falls. This is part of the parent company’s nationwide closures, projected in January 2019, of 250 Chico’s, White House Black Market and Soma stores. Source: Magic Valley Mall/Woodbury Corp.

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

  • The Idaho State University Bengal community celebrated the return of the Red Hill “I” on

    Photo: Idaho State University

    Oct. 10. The cost to replace the “I” totaled approximately $225,000 — an amount the Rice Family Foundation donated to ISU for the project in honor of late Lawrence H. Rice, Ph.D. After a five-year hiatus, the University President Satterlee says the return of the historic landmark signifies an everlasting bond between the university, current and past Bengals and the entire local community. Source: Idaho State Journal

  • Idaho State University’s Disaster Response Complex is moving full steam ahead. Project personnel have already completed surveying the building site. The complex will be one of the first of its kind. It will provide a training ground for organizations statewide to respond to disasters effectively with the use of the latest technology. Construction is expected to be completed by spring 2020, and project personnel hope to start their first disaster response training in spring or summer of 2020. Source: KIDK

Bannock County

  • A groundbreaking was held for an RV Park extension at the Bannock County Fairgrounds. In June 2018, Bannock County was awarded a grant of $750,000 from Idaho Parks and Recreation Department for the construction of an RV Park. The project is also funded by Bannock County with in-kind services by the County’s Road and Bridge and Event Center Departments. The RV Park Expansion project will be completed by the end of May 2020. Source: East Idaho News
  • Bannock County’s new budget has reportedly decreased its investment in Bannock Development Corp. by $25,000 from the prior year, and by 64 percent from 2017 to 2020. Bannock Development President and CEO John Regetz believes the cuts to his organization — a nonprofit that works to draw new companies to the county and its cities. and helps grow already existing businesses — will have long-term negative impacts on the community and its economy. Source: Idaho State Journal

Bingham County

  • Ground was officially broken on Cromwell Lane for Idaho’s much-anticipated second state veterans cemetery. Construction has already begun on the cemetery, located south of State Hospital South, and is anticipated to be completed during the winter of 2020. Source: Bingham County Chronicle

Openings

  • Branding Iron Old West BBQ in Blackfoot.
  • The Island Bowl Grill in Preston.
  • The Dirty Dog Grooming Salon in American Falls.
  • The Candy Jar in Blackfoot.
  • Old Dominion Freight line Inc. service center in Blackfoot.
  • Country Road Clothing & More in Montpelier.

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

  • The INL, the Idaho State Board of Education and the Idaho State Building Authority officially opened the Cybercore Integration Center and the Collaborative Computing Center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Both facilities will help with collaboration between researchers and students from Idaho State University, University of Idaho and Boise State University. The Cybercore Integration Center will serve as an education, training and research facility for cybersecurity students and professionals. The Collaborative Computing Center will house INL’s Falcon and Lemhi supercomputers. Next year, students will also have access to Sawtooth, expected to be one of the most powerful supercomputers in the Pacific Northwest. Source: East Idaho News
  • Idaho National Laboratory is launching a new security institute to study ways to secure fifth-generation wireless technology. While INL has done research into wireless technology in the past and has expanded its wireless research capabilities in recent years, this institute will bring these efforts under one umbrella. Source: Post Register
  • The Fluor Corporation announced in a news release that it was selling part of its business, a move which it said would improve the company’s finances and let it focus on core areas of its operations. The company is initiating plans to sell its construction equipment rental company and its government business, and to monetize surplus real estate and non-core investments. Fluor anticipates these actions to generate in excess of $1 billion in aggregate proceeds. However, Fluor is planning to keep NuScale Power, the company working with Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems to build 12 small modular reactors at the desert site. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is reviewing the reactors’ design now and the plan is to have them operational by the mid-2020s. Source: Post Register

Bonneville County

  • In a unanimous vote at a special meeting in October, the Idaho Falls City Council moved to continue the expansion the city’s fiber network to provide high-speed broadband access throughout the entire city of Idaho Falls. The build-out of the citywide network is projected to take place over the next four years. The network will be built in areas that are served by Idaho Falls Power, which is also a not-for-profit electric utility owned by the city and its residents. Source: East Idaho News
  • Idaho Falls Community Hospital was up and running on Nov. 4. The three-story facility located next to Mountain View Hospital includes a 22-bed emergency room, 16-bed intensive care unit, hundreds of staff members and the ability to treat immediately dozens of patients. The new hospital cost $113 million to build in the year since it was first announced and an additional $30 million to stock with equipment. If the hospital becomes fully staffed at some point, it will have nearly 300 medical staff and more people working behind the scenes or at the outdoor restaurant and café. Source: Post Register
  • The 20,265-square-foot construction project on Lindsay Boulevard in Idaho Falls that began in April is now home to the Smart Foodservice Warehouse Store. The business is a wholesale grocery store catering to the restaurant industry. The Idaho Falls store is the sixth location in Idaho. One in Coeur d’Alene recently opened. There are also stores in Nampa, Meridian, Boise and Twin Falls. Smart Foodservice Warehouse opened Nov. 1. Source: East Idaho News

Madison County

  • Electric scooters are now authorized for use in Rexburg after the city moved forward with a six-month pilot program. Scroll, the pilot program, allows the city to implement some level of safety. The city’s pilot program allows companies up to 250 dockless personal vehicles during the six-month trial period. That number is adjustable based on demand and daily use. Source: East Idaho News

Openings

  • Bob’s Indoor Golf (BIG) in Idaho Falls.
  • Unbridled Hope, an equine therapy facility in Shelley.
  • Brick House Recovery, a faith-based addiction recovery center, in Idaho Falls.
  • DownEast Outfitters in Rexburg.
  • Crumbl Cookies in Rexburg.
  • GOAT Rexburg, a scooter rental in Rexburg.

Closings

  • Famous Dave’s in Idaho Falls.

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

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