Monthly Archives: November 2021

Around Idaho: Economic Activity in October 2021

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

Shoshone County

  • The state of Idaho has taken ownership of the Central Treatment Plant in Kellogg under the direction of the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The plant has been responsible for cleaning up mine pollution in the Coeur d’Alene Basin since it began operations 50 years ago. Under new ownership, the plant is expected to overcome the facility’s former water capacity restrictions and lower the amount of heavy metals from the nearby mine before it flows into the South Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River. Source: Shoshone News-Press

Kootenai County

  • Lanzce G. Douglass Inc. has started work on a $73.3 million housing project in the Spokane-Coeur d’Alene area. The River’s Edge Apartments in Coeur d’Alene will account for $45.2 million of the total project. With 12 apartment buildings and 384 residential units, River’s Edge will be one of the largest multifamily complexes in the region. The apartments will be located in the Atlas District, part of Coeur d’Alene’s urban renewal district along the north side of the Spokane River, in west Coeur d’Alene. Source: Spokane Journal of Business

Bonner County

  • The Priest Lake wetland is set to be subdivided for land development and housing construction. Local residents have expressed concerns about the permanent loss of several ecosystem functions and their benefits to humans such as flood control, water filtration and aquifer recharge. Source: Spokesman-Review

Business updates

  • Amazon Air has launched daily flights from a 30,750-square-foot cargo facility at the Spokane Airport. The $5.4 million facility will transport packages from the airport to the Amazon Fulfillment Center, located a few miles southwest of the new Amazon Air station at 10010 W. Geiger Blvd. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
  • Corwin Automotive Group purchased Gus Johnson Ford in Spokane Valley and plans to work with Mike White Ford of Coeur d’Alene to grow its presence in the area. Corwin Auto is based in North Dakota. Source: The Spokesman-Review

Rajshri Suresh@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 332-3570 ext. 3201

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Machine Operator Apprenticeship opens Doors for Four Magic Valley Students

Program leads to full-time jobs with livable wages

Sabastian Juarez and three classmates – Tanner Pratt, Jonathon Lizardi and Andres Gutierrez  –  have taken control of their futures and are ready for full-time careers with solid livable wages.

The four high school students recently completed a multi-year registered apprenticeship for machine operators that included 150 hours of early-morning classroom work and 2,000 hours of on-the-job training.

Sabastian Juarez at work at High Desert Milk in Burley. Photo courtesy High Desert Milk.

Juarez is now 21 years old with a full-time job at High Desert Milk in Burley, making $25 an hour as an assistant shift supervisor.

“Sabastian, he’s phenomenal,” said Tory Bailey, human resources manager at High Desert Milk and classroom instructor for the machine operator apprenticeship. “He can run anything in the plant. He’s very driven and a quick-learner.”

The Idaho Department of Labor spent five years building the machine operator apprenticeship  from scratch at the request of local manufacturing companies like McCain Foods, High Desert Milk and Fabri-Kal.

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Idaho Labor Seeks Youth in Need of Employment, Career, Education Support

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: Nov. 22, 2021
Media Contact: Georgia Smith, georgia.smith@labor.idaho.gov

Out-of-school youth between ages 16 and 24 now have numerous opportunities to learn new skills and increase their earnings through apprenticeships, on-the-job and vocational training and much more thanks to a federal program managed by the Idaho Department of Labor.

“Qualified individuals have so many options with this program,” said Keith Whiting, career planner.

We can open doors to new skills, job opportunities and better pay!Hundreds of young people are already benefitting from the program, with more than 1,000 served during the past two years. The state of Idaho receives annual funding – around $2.8 million in 2021 – in Idaho Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funds to offer these services.

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Idaho’s October Unemployment Rate Drops to 2.8%

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: Nov. 19, 2021
Media Contact: Craig Shaul, Craig.Shaul@labor.idaho.gov or Karen Jarboe Singletary, Karen.JarboeSingletary@labor.idaho.gov

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 2.8% in October, down 0.1 percentage points from September.

The state’s labor force grew by 1,470 (0.2%) people to 907,622 – the second largest over-the-month increase this year. The labor force participation rate remained at 62.4%.

Total employment grew by 2,270 to 882,543, up 0.3%, while total unemployment dropped 3.2% (-800) to 25,079.

Idaho’s nonfarm payroll jobs were 1,300 below seasonal expectations at 785,700 in October, down 0.2% from 787,000 in September. Industries with fewer jobs than expected included information (-3.8%); accommodation and food services (-2.5%); transportation, warehouse and utilities (-1.1%); federal government (-0.8%); professional and business services (-0.4%); retail trade (-0.2%); and financial activities (-0.2%). Continue reading

National Apprenticeship Week Nov. 15-21, 2021 logo

Governor Little Proclaims Apprenticeship Month 2021

On Nov. 15, 2021, Idaho Gov. Brad Little held a press conference at the Boys and Girls Club of Ada County in Garden City to sign a proclamation declaring November as Idaho Apprenticeship Month, coinciding with National Apprenticeship Week, which is Nov. 15-21. Read the proclamation here.

Photo-Gov. Brad Little

Gov. Brad Little signs the proclamation designating Nov. 15-18 National Apprenticeship Week in Idaho.

Additionally, the mayors of Caldwell, Idaho Falls, Nampa, Meridian and Pocatello have proclaimed Nov. 15-21 as Apprenticeship Week in their municipalities.

The 7th annual National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) taking place Nov. 15 – 21, 2021, is a nationwide celebration where industry, labor, equity, workforce, education and government leaders host events to showcase the successes and value of Registered Apprenticeship for re-building our economy and supporting underserved communities. NAW is an opportunity to highlight how Registered Apprenticeship, a proven and industry-driven training model, provides a critical talent pipeline that can help address some of our nation’s pressing workforce challenges such as responding to critical supply chain demands and supporting a clean energy workforce, modernizing our cybersecurity response, addressing public health issues and rebuilding our country’s infrastructure.

For more information about statewide activities, visit the Apprenticeship.gov website.

To learn more about Registered Apprenticeship in Idaho, visit apprenticeshipidaho.gov

 

Idaho Volunteers Recognized with Governor Andrus Volunteer of the Year Award

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: Nov. 12, 2021
Media Contact: Renee Bade, renee.bade@labor.idaho.gov

Three outstanding volunteers were recognized for their contributions to Idaho during the annual Idaho Philanthropy Day Awards held earlier this week.

Georgianne Jessen, Karma Fitzgerald and Laura Wallis all received the Governor Cecil D. Andrus Volunteer of the Year award in the ceremony presented by the Idaho Nonprofit Center in partnership with Serve Idaho, the Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism. Danielle Trujillo, executive director of the Andrus Center for Public Policy, presented the awards during the virtual ceremony. Continue reading

OPINION: Apprenticeships help solve Idaho’s labor challenges

Friday November 12, 2021

By Governor Brad Little

The “Now Hiring” and “Help Wanted” job postings are everywhere.

Idaho’s economy is booming, and jobs are readily available, but some employers still cannot fill jobs with the skilled workers they need.

The labor market challenges are multifaceted, but employers across the state have one thing in common – they need a pipeline of workers with industry-specific training and hands-on experience.

The good news is that through apprenticeships – a proven career pathway Idaho is strongly pursuing to build our pool of skilled workers – employers can create a sustainable talent pipeline with employees that receive extensive education and training in one of more than 1,200 occupations in Idaho.

Next week is National Apprenticeship Week. Apprenticeships offer a win-win for employees and employers.

Employees get on-the-job training and classroom instruction specifically designed for the career they choose, along with opportunities to advance. Apprentices learn while they earn a certification, gain practical experience, start working immediately, and receive built-in mentoring and support.

Employers get an immediate employee more likely to stay in the job, reducing turnover costs and improving employee retention and productivity. It is an excellent return on investment.

Idaho jumped on new resources that connect employers to apprentices.

One new program will align apprenticeship with degree programs at Idaho’s postsecondary and workforce training institutions, benefitting up to 2,000 new workers.

Another new program will connect employers with 400 Idaho youth between ages 16 and 24 in high school and career technical education programs.

Through another effort, we are expanding the number of employers enrolling in registered apprenticeships throughout the state in the health care, information technology, advanced manufacturing, and energy sectors.

We have nearly tripled the number of Idaho businesses sponsoring apprenticeships in the span of three years. Hundreds of Idaho employers have almost doubled the number of apprenticeship opportunities since just last year.

In short, all our efforts have created a pool of Idahoans who want to hone their skills to meet Idaho employers’ needs.

It’s a tight labor market right now. We will continue to do all we can to get more skilled workers into the satisfying, rewarding careers and help employers who, like all of us, want to see Idaho’s economic trajectory continue to strengthen.

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Labor Seeks Out-of-School Youth for Employment, Training Programs

Idahoans who are out of school and between ages 16 and 24 can learn new skills, discover more job opportunities and earn better pay through two federal programs managed by the Idaho Department of Labor.

Each program has unique characteristics, qualifications and offers on-the-job and vocational training, apprenticeships and advanced education to low-income youth.

Workforce consultants meet with the job seekers to identify interests, goals and develop an individual career plan. Sometimes the plan involves finishing high school or earning a GED. Other times it means skills testing, advanced training and education and paid work experience. Continue reading

Idaho Average Wage Rises as Employment Composition Changed

Idaho recorded a sharp increase in the statewide average wage in 2020. Nominal wages grew by 7.7% and real wages grew by 6.4%, outpacing wage growth over the past decade. Annual average wages for the state are shown in Figure 2-1.

Wages are expressed in both nominal terms and real wages, with real wages adjusted for inflation using the consumer price index. Following a precipitous drop in 2008, Idaho’s average real wage remained largely flat with an average growth rate of about 0.1%. Growth picked up in 2014 and remained steady, keeping up with inflation through 2020. Continue reading