Monthly Archives: February 2020

Labor Program Offers Support to Recently Released Incarcerated Vets


For Immediate Release: Feb. 28, 2020
Information Contact: Georgia Smith, (208) 332-3570 ext. 2102

More than 70 previously incarcerated veterans in Idaho have benefited from a variety of services provided through the Incarcerated Veterans Transition Program since its start in July 2018, and officials hope to help an additional 75 veterans over the next year and a half.

The federally funded program, managed by the Idaho Department of Labor, can provide services such as classroom training, on-the-job-training, occupational skills training, and apprenticeship training and retraining. Additional support may include funding for work tools and clothing, rental assistance, car repairs, transportation and child care.

The program is intended to ease the transition from incarceration – whether city, county, state or federal facility – to employment with the right support structure in place.

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Idaho Census Data Changes Over the Decades

The 1870 Census found 14,999 people living in the Territory of Idaho. Ten years later, that grew to 32,610 people. In 1890, the year Idaho became a state, it had 88,548 residents. Its population nearly doubled by 1900 and then more than doubled to 325,594 in 1910.

Population grew more slowly in the next 10 years reaching 431,866. Despite the Depression, Idaho’s population rose to 524,873 by 1940. Over the next three decades, Idaho’s population grew an average 14 percent per decade, reaching 667,191 in 1960. Growth slowed to 7 percent in the next decade. The economic prosperity of the 1970s helped Idaho grow an impressive 32 percent, from 712, 567 to 943,935. The double-dip recession of the early 1980s hit Idaho hard, resulting in only 7 percent growth. By 1990, Idaho had more than a million residents. The next two decades brought strong growth — 29 percent to 1,293,953 people in 2000 and 21 percent to 1,567,582 by 2010.

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Census 2020 – Making Idaho Count

Across Idaho, county commissioners, mayors, tribal leaders, nonprofit representatives and other civic leaders are urging Idahoans to stand up and be counted in the 2020 Census. They are well aware of the importance of ensuring that every member in their communities. A lot depends on it.


Political clout.
A main purpose of the census is to count how many people live in each state, which determines how many members of the U.S. House of Representatives that state has. In the neighboring state of Montana, leaders are especially concerned about counting their total population this year, because the results could give Montana a second member of the House. If Idaho’s population continues to grow at its current strong rate, it’s very likely to get a third House member 10 years from now based on the 2030 Census.

The Census numbers also are used to determine the size of legislative districts within the state. It makes sure that areas get a fair share of political representation relative to population size.

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Idaho Teens Earn National Volunteer Award


For Immediate Release: Feb. 26, 2020
Information Contact: Renee Bade, (208) 332-3578 ext. 4061

Idaho teens Lilian Smith of Coeur d’ Alene and Kaleb Chatelain of Ammon were named Idaho’s top two youth volunteers of 2020 by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.  The award program, in its 25th year, honors young people in each state for outstanding acts of volunteerism.

Smith and Chatelain will be awarded $1,000 each, an engraved medallion and an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., for four days of national recognition events.

Smith, 17, a junior at Coeur d’ Alene High School, co-founded a nonprofit that has organized competitive math teams and/or peer mentoring math programs at 12 local schools over the past three years. When Lilian was in fifth grade, she joined a math team and loved it. But “I knew that many kids in my community, especially at schools that serve low-income families, did not have this opportunity,” she said. So three years ago, Lilian outlined a program that could encourage kids to have fun with STEM subjects while improving their math and critical thinking skills.

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Film Addresses Crimes Against Indigenous Women in U.S. and Canada


For Immediate Release: Feb. 22, 2020
Information Contact: Benjamin Earwicker, (208) 334-2873 ext. 4055

The public is invited to attend a screening of the film Somebody’s Daughter, a documentary about missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada and the United States. It will be shown March 16, 6 p.m., at the Linen Building, 1402 W. Grove St. in Boise.

This film not only tells stories of the indigenous women and their families, but the jurisdictional and socioeconomic barriers they face, as well.

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Around Idaho: Economic Activity in January 2020

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
Eastern Idaho


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

Kootenai County

  • Aspen Homes & Development has begun construction on a 20-unit apartment complex in Coeur d’Alene. The units will be roughly 1,200 square feet and priced around $1,400 per month. Source: Journal of Business
  • Idaho’s first “Holistic Chamber of Commerce” has opened in Post Falls. The chamber will target specifically environmentally friendly companies, ideas and products, with the self-described mission of representing “holistic professionals, practitioners, businesses and resource providers.” Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • Mainstream Electric, an electric, heating, cooling and plumbing company, is vacating its facility in Post Falls and moving its operations across the Washington border. The company, which employs 42 people, experienced 94 percent growth between 2015 and 2018, and has outgrown its space in northern Idaho. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press

Shoshone County

  • Hecla Mining Company and miners of the United Steelworkers Union 5114 have agreed to a new labor contract, ending a strike lasting 1,030 days. Hecla plans to bring workers back in phases and hopes to bring the Lucky Friday mine back up to full production this year. Source: Shoshone News-Press


    • Coeur Climbing in Coeur d’Alene.
    • Stillano Gelato in Coeur d’Alene.
    • Cock-A-Doodle Brew in Coeur d’Alene.
    • The Paint Buzz in Dalton Gardens., regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 457-8789 ext. 4451

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Idaho Job Corps Seeks Youth with Barriers to Education, Employment


For Immediate Release: Feb. 4, 2020
Information Contact: Tina Polishchuk, (208) 442-4500

Program expands to colleges in Twin Falls, Idaho Falls and Coeur d’Alene

Idaho Job Corps Center staff are looking for income-eligible candidates to fill 70 openings at the state-run facility in Nampa. Idahoans between the ages of 16–24 who are interested in the program, designed to help low-income youth obtain higher education and on-the-job training, should call the center or take a campus tour offered every Wednesday at 2 p.m.

Sixty-eight students are enrolled and receiving services. Some are earning their high school diploma or a GED. Others are enrolled as college students at College of Western Idaho and working toward careers in high-growth industries such as nurses, pharmacy techs, welders, information technology specialists, carpenters, HVAC technicians, electricians, engineers and more.

“We’re looking for young Idahoans who are facing barriers to education and employment,” said Idaho Department of Labor Director Jani Revier. “Our goal is to remove those barriers, put people on a solid career path, find them technical training and make sure they have a job and an hourly living wage of at least $16 by the time they graduate.”

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State-run Idaho Job Corps Sets Students Up for Success

student cutting board

Hunter, a Job Corps student, cuts a board to be used for a bed built during a community service project.

Ben wanted to pursue a college education, but couldn’t afford the tuition. That all changed when he enrolled in a state-run Idaho Job Corps program which focuses on helping low-income youth obtain higher education or on-the-job training.

“I’ve always been interested in chemistry and I never would have been able to afford college if I hadn’t come here,” Ben said. “I’m going for a chemistry degree at the College of Western Idaho, and I’m going to finish my degree at Boise State or BYU.

Ben enrolled in Idaho’s new state-run Job Corps program thanks to a three-year, $17.7 million U.S. Department of Labor grant to the Idaho Department of Labor, which restructured the program and now manages the Nampa facility.

“Our goal is to provide every student with a job and an hourly living wage of at least $16 by the time they graduate,” said Labor Director Jani Revier. “Depending on individual needs, students can enroll in the program for anywhere between three to 24 months.”

Joining Ben are 44 more students who are currently enrolled in the program. Twenty-six more will start Wednesday, Feb. 5. Idaho Job Corps Manager Tina Polishchuk, Ed.D., expects enrollment to reach 150 students by the end of 2020. 

Idaho Job Corps staff are recruiting students by contacting high school counselors, social service agencies, through word of mouth, social media and by offering free campus tours on Wednesdays. Plans are for the pilot program to expand during years two and three by engaging in partnerships with community colleges in Twin Falls, Idaho Falls and Coeur d’Alene.

“We plan to serve an additional 50 students at each remote location, starting with the College of Southern Idaho and North Idaho College,” said Polishchuk. “Our goal is to have finalized agreements by the end of February.” Continue reading