Around Idaho: Economic Activity in March 2022

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

  • Work is nearly complete on a new water tower in Hayden, which will store 2 million gallons of water. This will increase the city’s water pumping capacity 26 times over, not only meeting higher demand from the area’s rapid population growth, but also meeting the next 20 years of projected water demand growth. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • Work is underway on a mixed-use development located on the former Idaho Veneer mill site in Post Falls. The new development will include more than 120 residential units in a mix of multifamily and townhomes, as well as a dual brand hotel. Source: Journal of Business

Coeur d’Alene

  • Anchored Coffee
  • Align Yoga Studio
  • Lakeside Integrative Headache Center
  • Runway Salon
  • CenterWell Home Health
  • Memory Lane Gems
  • Manna
  • Lakeside Lox
  • European Wax Center
  • Local Market at Atlas
  • Heirloom Bridal


  • Metro Express Car Wash, Post Falls
  • Post Falls RV Campground, Post Falls
  • Heart of Hope Health, Hayden
  • Dollar General, Athol
  • Ultimate Concrete Coatings, Rathdrum, regional economist
(208) 457-8789 ext. 4451

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

As a base for comparison, 100 represents the average cost of living across the U.S. An index of less than 100 indicates the region has a lower cost of living than the average. An index of more than 100 indicates the region has a higher cost of living than the average.

cost of living table for north central Idaho countiesNez Perce County

  • Nez Perce County Airport is accepting bids for the construction of new south taxilanes through March 31, 2022. Work is likely to consist of construction of a new taxilane system including drainage improvements, edge drains, excavation, utility modifications, domestic water, sanitary sewer, subbase course, base course, bituminous pavement, pavement markings, topsoil, seeding and other miscellaneous items. Source: Lewiston-Nez Perce County Airport
  • The Nez Perce Tribe received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development toward construction of a new adult detention and reentry center. Grant funds will be used to provide increased safety for tribal inmates by providing expanded capacity to provide social distancing and addressing high-risk overcrowded and unsafe conditions. The new facility will serve as an alternative to state custody for inmates where COVID-19 risks have been high. Source: Lewiston Tribune

Latah County

  • Palouse Ice Rink in Moscow is asking the Moscow City Council to reaffirm its 2017 commitment of $1 million from the Hamilton Fund and is seeking additional fund donations of $1.25 million to pay for the new ice rink currently under construction. Estimated construction costs have increased by more than $1 million since the project was started and Phase 1 — full-size sheet of ice installation, reengineered roof, new parking lot, & interior improvements — now totals $4.4 million. Phase 2 will cost approximately $500,000 for offices, locker rooms, event room, bleachers and concession area. If all financing can be reached, the $7 million Palouse Ice Rink may be complete by October 2022. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News

Idaho County

  • Riggins Ambulance Service is extremely short on volunteers and struggles to fully staff its ambulances, threatening local emergency response availability. As a solution, it is proposing to form the Salmon River Ambulance District to have taxing authority and provide ambulance services within the proposed boundaries of the ambulance district and the city limits of Riggins. If voters approve the plan during the May 17 election, the district will assess taxpayers a .04% levy on their property taxes to provide compensation for first responders. The Salmon River Ambulance District would be the first in Idaho County and the second one within north central Idaho, along with the Clearwater County Ambulance District. Source: Idaho County Free Press, City of Riggins, Idaho State Tax Commission
  • John Bosco Academy in Cottonwood is beginning construction of the Angelus Center, a 26,000-square-foot multi-purpose gym/theater complex that will accommodate gym seating for 600+ people and nearly 300 in the theater. Arnzen Construction and HGC of Grangeville are constructing the steel building. Building construction is expected to begin in mid-April 2022 and be completed for the 2022-2023 basketball season. Source: Idaho County Free Press

Clearwater County

  • The city of Orofino has been awarded two planning grants totaling $110,000 by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The grants include $65,000 for wastewater planning and $45,000 for drinking water planning to prepare studies and environmental reviews evaluating the current systems and developing options for any necessary improvements. The city will match these grants with additional funding of $110,000. Source: Idaho County Free Press, Idaho DEQ

Lewis County

  • The Lewis County Fair livestock building will be demolished after collapsing under a load of heavy snow in January. Removal should be completed by May 1, with hopes a new building will be erected by October. It most likely will not be ready for the 2022 Lewis County Fair, so the fair is scheduled to take place at the Idaho County Fairgrounds in Cottonwood Sept. 29 to Oct. 2. Source: Lewiston Tribune, Idaho County Free Press


  • DG Beauty Studio, specializing in lashes, hair and nails opened in Grangeville. Source: Idaho County Free Press
  • Cellar Door Cooking in Moscow will begin its first full year of subscription-based food box service running from April-November, and many of the ingredients are locally sourced when possible. Farm dinner kit subscriptions are delivered twice per month. Each box includes a three-course dinner kit for one person. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News
  • White Bird General Store to reopen March 1 under new ownership, after closing in January. Source: Idaho County Free Press
  • A second Zip’s Drive-In will open in Lewiston in August or September. The new location will house a drive-through window, indoor seating and a separately operated coffee shop. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • Idaho Central Credit Union is opening its 45th branch and first one in Lewiston in early March. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • First Bank of Pizza and Pastry to open in Juliaetta this spring under new ownership. Source: Kendrick Juliaetta and the 7 Ridges March/April 2022 Newsletter


  • Animal Ark animal rescue organization in Harpster is closing March 31. For 35 years, the organization has rehomed and located foster care for unwanted and injured animals and assisted with spay and neuter procedures. All future inquiries will be forwarded to the Animal Rescue Foundation in Grangeville. Source: Idaho County Free Press, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 799-5000 ext. 3849

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


March 8 school district voting results:

  • Adams County: Council School District’s $170,000, two-year supplemental levy passed with 76% support. Source: Idaho Education News
  • Boise County: Voters approved Garden Valley School District’s $1 million, two-year supplemental levy with 55% support. Source: Idaho Education News
  • Canyon County
      • Nampa School District’s $16 million two-year supplemental levy passed with 53% approval and 47% against the measure. Funding will cover a plethora of budgetary items including teacher and staffing needs, technology, curriculum, building security, transportation, early childhood programs, playground equipment and maintenance.
      • Caldwell School District’s $8.2 million, two-year supplemental levy passed with 55% of voter approval.
      • Vallivue School District’s $55 million bond for two new elementary schools failed. It received 64.4% support but needed 2/3 supermajority vote.
      • Middleton’s $3 million, two-year plant facilities level passed with 63% of the vote.

Source: Idaho Education News

  • Elmore County: Mountain Home School District’s $5.4 million, two-year supplemental levy passed with 65% support. Source: Idaho Education News
  • Owyhee County: The Homedale portion of the Canyon Owyhee School Service Agency levy not to exceed .1% of $100,000 of taxable value passed with 62% support. The levy funds the multi-county career technical school. Source: Idaho Education News
  • Valley County: The McCall-Donnelly School District planned to build a new $2 million office building. The plans were abandoned when bids came in at $800,000 over the approved mark. New plans for a remodel of the existing offices should be completed by summer. Source: McCall Star News
  • Valley School District’s $600,000, two-year supplemental levy passed with 89% support. Source: Idaho Education News

Ada County

  • The city of Boise dropped its mask and physical distancing requirements for its buildings and for large events. This could change if there is another variant surge. The Boise Airport continues to require masks based on federal guidelines. Source: Idaho News 6
  • Avelo Airlines announced a new nonstop commercial flight between Boise and the Hollywood Burbank Airport starting May 24. Source: Idaho News 6
  • Spirit Airlines announced it is launching a nonstop daily flight between Boise and Las Vegas. The flight will start Aug. 5.  Source:  KTVB News
  • The Meridian City Council approved the Ada County Highway District’s plan to build a new maintenance complex near Meridian’s wastewater resource and recovery plant. This will provide a venue on the western side of the county, taking pressure off the two existing complexes in Boise and Garden City.  Source: Idaho Statesman
  • In-N-Out Burger applied for a building permit near the Village in Meridian. The popular franchise has long been on the wish list of consumers in the Treasure Valley. The high traffic count in the area and long traffic lines historically associated with new In-N-Out restaurants will be taken into consideration before it is approved. Source: CBS2 News
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center for two violations that occurred as the hospital entered the crisis standards of care in September 2021. Saint Alphonsus did not conduct an assessment to identify workplace hazards and exposed 40 employees to COVID-19. The second violation covered additional training needed when job duties shifted and put them at risk of contracting COVID-19. The hospital paid a reduced penalty of $11,704 and the two violations were not considered serious during the settlement process. Source: Idaho Capital Sun
  • ATTOM, a real estate and property data provider firm, released its fourth quarter 2021 ranking of equity rich areas. Boise was slated as the second highest equity rich metropolitan statistical area in the U.S., with a population greater than 500,000. In the Boise metro area, 67.3% of properties carried a loan balance less than 50% of the estimated market value — the definition of equity rich. Austin, Texas, had the highest ratio with 70.6% of its properties carrying loan balances less than 50% of market value. Close contenders were San Jose (66.1%), Spokane (64.1%) and Salt Lake City (64%). Source: Idaho Statesman

Adams County

  • Adams County Commissioners approved Brundage Mountain Resort’s plan to build out  Brundage Mountain Village. Initially, 88 homes will be developed initially, eventually growing to 1,200 homes, town homes and hotel rooms. The infrastructure for Phase 1, called Northwoods, is estimated to take two years and will cover 37.5 acres near the base of the resort, allowing ski-in / ski-out access to the ski hill. Phase 2 will be filed later this summer and includes 60 to 80 hotel rooms and another 50 homes and townhomes. The resort operates under a permit from the Payette National Forest. In 2020, it extended the permit through the year 2060. Source: McCall Star News
  • Three Treasure Valley chefs and a baker are nominated for James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards — an industry recognition of creative and outstanding work.
      • Salvador Alamilla was nominated for his work at his Mexican-inspired Caldwell restaurant, Amano. He previously managed the kitchen at Whole Foods and Eureka.
      • Dan Ansotegui was nominated for his traditional Basque cuisine at his most recent endeavor, Ansots in downtown Boise. He previously founded Bar Gernika and the Basque Market.
      • Kris Komori of Kin located in downtown Boise. Komori has been a James Beard finalist three times before.
      • Khatera Shams of Boise’s Afghani Sunshine Spice Bakery & Café is nominated for Outstanding Baker.

Source: Idaho Statesman

  • Kraft Heinz Co. and the Simplot Food Group have signed a long-term agreement to supply Ore-Idaho’s potato products through a transfer-in-ownership of its potato production plant in Ontario, Oregon. The Simplot Food Group will integrate technology and enhance the bottom line while supplying the raw product beginning in 2023-2024. The branding of Ore-Ida products will continue. All 600 employees will become Simplot employees with similar pay and benefits as workers at the other Simplot plants in Caldwell, Moses Lake and Othello, Washington; and Grand Forks, North Dakota. Ore-Ida’s corporate headquarters were based in Boise until 1999 when Heinz absorbed the Ore-Ida division. Source: Capital Press

Canyon County

  • The Stow Company is building a plant in Nampa that eventually will employ 236 workers. The company, based in Holland, Michigan, manufactures custom closet organizers and home organization systems. The cost of the new plant is estimated at $143 million and is being built at Nampa’s new 194-acre Adler Industrial’s new industrial park. The plant should be completed by May 2023 and will be the company’s third manufacturing site in the U.S. with 550,000-square-feet of production space. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Caldwell High School students toured the French-owned Lactalis American cheese plant observing the production jobs in action. The students are part of an introduction to livestock industry class that includes field trips for that hands-on experience. They left the Nampa plant with an array of career options to consider, along with cheeses to share with their families. The company reports making 300 million pounds of cheese annually using more than 80% of the milk produced by Treasure Valley dairies. The Nampa plant is the largest of 10 Lactalis plants in the nation. Source: Idaho Press
  • The city of Nampa broke ground on its second dog park with plans to open in 2023. Nampa’s first dog park opened in 2009. The price tag is $2.3 million, and the city is soliciting ideas for park names. Source: Idaho Press
  • A new partnership – Amazon’s Career Choice Program – has been forged between Amazon and the College of Western Idaho. Amazon will pay for tuition, books and fees for its employees to take most classes offered at CWI. To qualify, employees must be on an hourly wage, have been on the job for at least 90 days and be free of any disciplinary action on their record. The program has been successful in other areas and schools having provided education for more than 50,000 employees nationally since 2012. Source: KTVB News


  • El Faro Mexican Food opened in Boise replacing Taqueria El Torito. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Biscuit & Hogs announced it will open two new restaurants in 2022 — one in downtown Caldwell and a second Meridian location. Its premier restaurant opened in Meridian during the pandemic and offers creative breakfast and lunch items, as well as two happy hours daily. Source: CBS2 News
  • Noodles & Company opened a new restaurant in Nampa — its first in Canyon County. This will make the third Treasure Valley location after a Boise location shuttered in 2018. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Lemon Tree Co., an artisan sandwich shop opened its second restaurant in Boise sharing space with the STIL, a local ice cream store chain. The new location offers weekend breakfasts. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Meridian High School opened its new Performing Arts Center. The auditorium was started in spring of 2020 and offers new space for the band program and all performing arts events. Source: Idaho Statesman


  • Vertical Equity, a Meridian development company, broke ground on Greenhurst Meadows, an apartment complex planned for central Nampa. The 60 units will provide one-, two- and three-bedroom layouts in three 3-story buildings on three acres. Source: Idaho Statesman


  • Alexander Davis, an icon in downtown Boise, announced the April 30 closure of its men’s clothing shop. The upscale store has served the Treasure Valley for 131 years. Its owner is retiring. Source: Idaho Press
  • Eastside Tavern in Boise is closing after 27 years. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Crooked Fence Brewery closed its brewery and tap room in Garden City after a decade of brewing and the opening of two restaurants in Garden City and Eagle. Source: Idaho Statesman, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 735-2500 ext. 3639

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


  • Voters approved several school levies in the Magic Valley in the March 8 election. Seven supplemental levies were approved for two-year terms, and one plant facility levy was approved for a five-year term. In many districts the supplemental levies are used to pay for certified teachers and paraprofessionals to support classroom learning and all-day kindergarten. The approved levies ranged from $200,000 in the Richfield School District to $2.2 million in the Cassia Joint School District.

Blaine County

  • Hailey-based Power Engineers recently joined several other companies in investing in Buzz Solutions, a start-up that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and drone technology to identify problems in electrical transmission and distribution lines that could lead to wildfires. – Source: Idaho Mountain Express


  • The Dugout Sports Bar, Twin Falls
  • Boomerang Coffee, Twin Falls


  • Pandora’s Legacy restaurant in Twin Falls is closing its doors April 16 after four years in business. – Source: KMVT, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 788-3526 ext. 3820

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

Southeastern Region Developments, March 2022


  • There were an estimated 984 job postings in southeastern Idaho between Feb. 20 and March 21 this year according to Burning Glass data from the Conference Board. Of these postings, 705 were in Bannock County, 155 in Bingham County, 53 in Power County, 35 in Caribou County, 15 in Franklin County, 12 in Bear Lake County and nine in Oneida County. The top 10 most common occupations by job posting include computer and information science professionals, drivers and stockers, nurses and construction laborers.

Table of Top 10 job postings in southeastern IdahoHealth care and social assistance continue to top the list of local industries by job postings, and while manufacturing came in second, the top industries by job posting are skewed towards services.

Burning Glass’s data from the Conference Board indicates the hardest to fill jobs are concentrated in education and training occupations as well as in health care and law, compliance and public safety.

Table - Top 10 hardest of fill jobs in southeastern Idaho

  • Leaders of the Shoshone-Bannock tribe, together with leaders of other tribes and local government representatives, held a public forum to take testimonies on reservation health care deficiencies. Similar forums are planned later this year to focus on issues in Tribal justice and law enforcement as well as land issues affecting tribes. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • The Idaho State University’s College of Business announced plans for its Walter P. Brown Center for Sales Excellence. Funded by an alumnus gift, the center will provide students and community members opportunities to expand their sales skills with salesforce terminals as well as a monthly radio show to be recorded in the space featuring successful salespersons talking about strategies. The center is expected to open this fall. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • The Idaho Joint Finance-Appropriates Committee approved $900,000 in funding for the proposed East Idaho Forensic Pathology Center. Bannock County commissioners expect to invest up to $2 million of federal funds in the project. Currently, the only facility in the state capable of handling forensic autopsies is in Ada County. Once completed, the new facility will provide the eastern counties of the state a closer alternative as well as relieve the Ada County facility of the growing demand. The measure must be signed by Idaho Gov. Brad Little. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • The Idaho Transportation Department removed restrictions on several trucking routes in the southeastern region of the state to improve commerce and mobility and thereby create greater economic opportunities for commercial carriers. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • Idaho State University saw its first year-to-year undergraduate enrollment increase in almost a decade this past fall, and another increase this spring. Graduate student enrollment has increased the past four years, and dual enrollment increased by more than 3 percent this year. Source: Idaho State Journal

Bannock County

  • The Loaves and Fishes Warming Shelter, located inside the gymnasium of the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Pocatello, re-opened after briefly suspending operations in early February. The shelter is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Organizers are asking for volunteers in addition to donations of hand warmers, socks, hats and other cold-weather supplies. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • Local towing business Hendrickson’s Towing and Recovery in Pocatello was recognized by nationally syndicated Tow Times magazine, receiving the publication’s 2021 Shine n’ Star Heavy Duty Award. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • Pocatello business SIXES, LLC, located in the historic downtown, was badly damaged in a fire that also caused minor smoke damage to neighboring Murphy’s Charcuterie and Hot Hair. No injuries were reported. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • Sticks & Scones Food Trolley plans to open its kabobs-and-scones-themed food truck by April and operate around Pocatello throughout the summer season. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • Cakes & Shakes reopened in its new East Benton Street location after a two-year hiatus. The shop specializes in milkshakes topped with a variety of baked goods. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • The city of Chubbuck’s Land Use and Development Commission hosted a public meeting on a proposed municipal comprehensive plan amendment that would guide development within a new downtown area. The new downtown area will be bounded by Yellowstone Avenue to the railroad tracks and Interstate 15 to Chubbuck Road and will call for wide sidewalks, walking paths, angled parking, accessibility ramps and encourage sidewalk dining. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • The small resort town of Lava Hot Springs has begun to see a recovery in attendance after dipping during past coronavirus surges, with 2021 seeing nearly 440,000 visitors (on par with 2019’s level) compared with 2020, which recorded seeing about 290,000. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • Veteran-owned Idaho Coffee Company is expanding to Chubbuck with a location on East Chubbuck Road. The business offers a ‘Hells Canyon’ free coffee special every Monday to veterans and first responders, as well as discounts for veterans every day of the week. Source: KPVI Channel 6
  • Portneuf Urgent Care on Vista Drive in Pocatello had its grand opening. The clinic reopened after an ownership change, having previously been Primary Care Specialists Priority Care. It will offer patients urgent care and a range of other services including physical and wellness checks, treatment for seasonal colds and flu, vaccinations, x-rays, in-house lab testing, EKGs as well as occupational medicine, and it will take walk-ins and appointment. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • Elected officials from Bannock County, Pocatello and Inkom consider a $10 million project to extend existing water and sewer infrastructure in Pocatello to the growing town of Inkom about 13 miles to its southeast. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • The Boys & Girls Club of Portneuf Valley announce a new director of strategic development, Kayla Roth Phillips. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • A local high school wrestling coach and his wife opened a new co-ed youth sports league in the Pocatello region and are accepting registrations for spring soccer and T-ball. Gate City Youth Sports will offer non-competitive team sporting opportunities for children of preschool ages up to those in sixth grade. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • The Pocatello-Chubbuck Chamber of Commerce’s 11th Annual Gate City Brewfest was held in Pocatello over St. Patrick’s Day weekend. More than 30 breweries from around the country, including four local ones, served up about 80 different craft beers. Source: Idaho State Journal, Local News 8
  • The city of Pocatello is considering an $800,000 subsidy to SkyWest to save the only round-trip daily flight service from the Pocatello Regional Airport to Salt Lake City. The provider is losing about $50,000 to $60,000 per month maintaining its service and expects to stop after this subsidy is exhausted unless it sees an increase in revenues. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • The Spring Fair at Idaho State University’s Holt Arena returned this season after a two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic. More than 200 vendors specializing in home, lawn, and garden were in attendance including many new participants. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • Longtime local Pocatello restaurant Mama Inez completed a major renovation of its dining room. The business has been operating in the Gate City since 1981, offering a variety of dishes based upon family recipes and sources all its chilis from a farm in New Mexico. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • The 14th Annual Chrome in the Dome car show was held at Idaho State University’s Holt Arena after a two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event serves as a primary fundraiser for students enrolled in two Idaho State University College of Technology programs, and this year it featured tribute cars to George Lucas’ coming-of-age film “American Graffiti” as well as special guest Candy Clark who starred in the film. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • A local resident has turned local felled Russian olive trees, an invasive non-native species, into furniture. Originally planted for wildlife habitat and erosion control, the trees are known to reduce streamflow and add excess nitrogen into waterways. The city of Pocatello used funds from the Idaho Department of Lands to remove them from the City Creek trailhead. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • KeyBank is closing its North Arthur Avenue branch in Pocatello this summer. Active accounts will be transferred to the Yellowstone Avenue branch in town, and branch staff will be relocated to other nearby branches. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • Construction of a new Olive Garden restaurant in Chubbuck is expected to begin later this month. The restaurant will be in a yet-to-be-constructed building where the former Red Lobster stood along Yellowstone Avenue just east of the Pine Ridge Mall. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • Connor Academy, a local charter school in Chubbuck serving more than 500 students in kindergarten through eighth grade, seeks approval from the city’s Land Use and Development Commission to accommodate construction of a planned middle school building. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • A 280,00-square-foot cold storage facility planned for the Pocatello Regional Airport is now on hold after the building failed to materialize within the agreed-upon timeline. The city of Pocatello informed Texas-based company FrigiTek that the company has defaulted on its lease agreement with the city after recent negotiations to extend the terms failed. Source: Idaho State Journal

Franklin County

  • A two-year, $1,488,800 two-year supplemental levy put forward by Preston School District #201 passed. The levy will fund needed student programs and staffing resources that are currently not funded or are significantly underfunded. Such programs and resources include student interventions, curriculum and student assessments, classified staff wages, certified math coaching, professional development, English language support and special education. Source: Preston Citizen, Idaho Press.
  • The Preston High School Jazz Band held its “Jazz Dinner Dance” fundraiser after a hiatus due to COVID-19. About 50 people attended, with the school jazz band providing music. Money raised will help fund a band trip to California in addition to replacing instruments. Source: Preston Citizen
  • A Shoshone-Bannock tribe elder gave a keynote address at an annual banquet of the Preston Area Chamber of Commerce where he discussed the planned 8,000-square-foot Boa Ogoi (Big River) Cultural Center for the Northwest Band of the Shoshone Nation just north of Preston. Once completed, the center is expected to draw thousands of visitors and generate economic opportunities for the local community. Source: Preston Citizen
  • A representative of the Southeast Idaho Council of Government held a public forum to discuss the ongoing Franklin drinking water project. Phase one, involving repairs to and sealing of existing holding tanks, has been completed. Phase two will involve the construction of a new 500,000-gallon tank by the filtration plant, while Phase three will be an upgrade of the filtration system. Source: Preston Citizen

Caribou County

  • A local Bancroft resident plans to open a restaurant, Airbnb and trading post in a historic building on Main Street. The Bancroft Trading Post, Cowboy Eatery & Bunkhouse will source much of its food supplies from area farms and ranches and will stock homemade products supplied by locals such as quilts and soaps. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • Voters in Soda Springs approved a $698,000 one-year supplemental levy for local schools. Source: Idaho Press

Power County

  • The Power County Planning and Zoning Commission approved a special-use permit for a planned 300 megawatt, 6,500-acre solar farm near American Falls, which will be the largest in the state. The Florida-based applicant, Nextera Energy Resources, said the completed project will represent a $500 million investment and hopes to start operations by 2024. Source: Idaho State Journal, Power County Press
  • Local broadband provider Direct Communications, based in Rockland, purchased Maine-based telecommunications company UniTel. Source: Idaho Press

Bingham County

  • Voters in Aberdeen approved a $1.916,000 two-year supplemental levy for local schools. Source: Idaho Press

Bear Lake County

  • The Utah Legislature approved funding for a $60 million expansion for the Bear Lake Marina in Garden City, just across the state line from Bear Lake County in Idaho. The marina will be doubled in size with up to 12 lanes of entry and will be made deeper to help in low water years. Source: Idaho State Journal


  • A local restauranteur expects to open a Japanese-style eatery in the location of the former Chipotle in Chubbuck. Shabushi will offer shabu-shabu, a Japanese hotpot dish consisting of thinly sliced meat and vegetables that are boiled in broth and served with dipping sauces. Source: Idaho State Journal, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 236-6710 ext. 4249

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


  • There were an estimated 1,611 job postings in the eastern Region between Feb. 20 and March 21 of this year, according to Burning Glass data from the Conference Board. Of these postings, 1,267 were in Bonneville County, 148 in Madison County, 55 each in Jefferson and Lemhi counties, 32 in Fremont County, 22 in Teton County, 14 in Custer County, 10 in Clark County and eight in Butte County. The top 10 most common occupations by job posting include health care professionals, drivers and stockers, and sales- and customer service-related workers.

Table - Top 10 job openings eastern Idaho

Health care and social assistance continue to top the list of local industries by job postings, followed by a host of service-producing sectors, although manufacturing came in fourth.

Table - Top 10 Industries with Jobs eastern IdhaoBurning Glass’s data from the Conference Board indicates the hardest-to-fill jobs are spread across such occupational groups as construction, extraction and architecture as well as design, media and writing.

Top 10 Hardest to fill jobs in eastern Idaho

  • Officials with Yellowstone National Park captured 37 bison migrating outside the park as part of their annual culling program, with the aim to remove up to 900 of the park’s approximately 5,000 bison this winter through slaughter, relocations and hunting. The goal is to keep the herds from growing too large and preventing the spread of the disease brucellosis to cattle in neighboring Montana. Source: Idaho State Journal

Idaho National Laboratory (INL)

  • The IINL’s Sample Preparation Laboratory is nearing completion. When operational, the laboratory will be the most modern structural materials testing and analysis facility in the world, supporting the deployment of new nuclear innovations, life extension and long-term operation of the U.S.’s existing fleet of nuclear reactors and new reactor concepts. It will additionally enable industry and university collaboration by providing access to state-of-the-art mechanical testing and failure analysis characterization tools, as well as support to local businesses. Source: INL Communications and Outreach, Post Register
  • The INL and the University of Utah announced a five-year agreement on research collaborations among students, faculty and laboratory researchers, effectively formalizing what had been individual agreements between the institutions.
  • The INL announced plans to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2031 through a combination of reducing and offsetting emissions. Source: Idaho Business Press

Bonneville County

  • Year-round, nonstop flights between Idaho Falls and Los Angeles will resume in May. The new Allegiant Air route will operate on Wednesdays and Saturdays between Idaho Falls Regional Airport and John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • Idaho Falls School District #91 announced a new partnership with Battelle Energy Alliance and the INL to create the INL Future Corps program. The program will provide students with pathways to high-demand job opportunities at INL. The program has funding through a $20,000 grant to the district for equipment, training materials and supplies. Source: KPVI Channel 6

Lemhi County

  • Officials from Lemhi County are mulling over how to spend $780,000 of COVID-19 relief funds awarded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Recovery funds can be used to support public health response, address negative economic impacts, replace public sector revenue loss, provide premium pay for essential workers and for water, sewer and broadband infrastructure. Sources: Idaho State Journal; National Association of Counties
  • The NA “Nep” & Mary Ellen Lynch Center in Salmon opened to the community after receiving its certificate of occupancy. The center includes a gymnasium for local youth to use and will host sporting events including basketball and volleyball games as well as wrestling matches. It also contains a weight room and cardio room for athlete training. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • Voters in Salmon approved a $1 million, two-year supplemental levy for local schools. Source: Idaho Press

Custer County

  • Officials from Custer County are considering how to spend $419,000 of COVID-19 relief funds awarded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Recovery funds can be used to support public health response, address negative economic impacts, replace public sector revenue loss, provide premium pay for essential workers and for water, sewer and broadband infrastructure. Sources: Idaho State Journal: National Association of Counties
  • A federal judge has rejected a request from local landowners to stop construction of a public trail that would connect Redfish Lake and Stanley, but a dispute between a contractor and federal officials over payment has stalled the construction. Source: Idaho Press

Teton County

  • The Teton School District #401 Board of Trustees plans to ask voters to approve a two-year supplemental levy of $4.932 million to help support staffing and salary needs. Source: Teton Valley News
  • The French Press Coffeehouse opened for business in Victor’s Togwotee Center, featuring many Idaho-based producers and serving coffee from Boise-based Iron Mule. Source: Teton Valley News
  • Driggs-based Teatonic Kombucha continues to grow and expand into neighboring states. Source: Teton Valley News

Madison County

  • Voters in Madison County passed a $25 million bond for a new middle school and other upgrades. Source: Idaho Press, KIFI Local News 8

Jefferson County

  • Voters in Jefferson County rejected an $80 million bond issue for new school facilities. Source: Idaho Press

Clark County

  • Local conservation groups filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service over its approval of Excellon Resources’ plan to expand mining in the nearby Centennial Mountains. Source: KTVB Channel 7, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 236-6710 ext. 4249