Category Archives: Employers

Find the Right Employees by Improving Your Job Posting

Finding the right employee can sometimes seem like a puzzle

One of the most important aspects of the job as a manager is hiring new employees. Taking the time to find someone who is not just capable of doing the job well, but who is also a good fit for the company is important.

Finding the right person for the job also will save time and money down the road but ensuring your job posting is done correctly can be a bit puzzling. Following a few simple steps in the hiring process will help ensure a great fit.

Write better job titles

“A good job title is essential,” said Darren Rux, a senior workforce consultant in the Department of Labor Boise office. The job title should be specific and reflect what the job actually does rather than a generic job title. Don’t use cutesy job titles and avoid clichés. Make sure the job title is not confusing or misleading or prospective employees may pass on applying.  When hiring for a position above entry level, try to include the level of seniority the position requires.

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Idaho Receives $1.4 Million Federal Grant to Increase Registered Apprenticeships

Idaho is one of 37 recipients that will use a $1.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to expand registered apprenticeships throughout the state in health care, information technology, advanced manufacturing and energy.

Earlier this year the state received a $200,000 planning grant to develop a strategy.for-apprenticeship-blog

“Idaho businesses are calling for a pipeline of skilled workers with industry-specific training and hands-on experience,” said Idaho Department of Labor Director Kenneth D. Edmunds. “This grant will allow us to help meet those needs and increase the number of registered apprenticeships throughout the state.” Continue reading

Jerome’s Hilex Poly Co. Receives $157,500 to Train 45 Employees

Hilex Poly Co. will use $157,500 in Idaho Workforce Development Training funds from the Department of Labor to hire and train 45 new employees in equipment operations, mechanics, quality assurance, safety, training and materials handling.

Wages for the 45 new positions will range from $22.50 to no less than $12 per hour and will average $15.48 per hour with employer-assisted medical benefits.

Hilex Poly expects all the new employees will be hired by Sept. 30, 2017.

Read the full news release for more details.

Alliance Data to Use $87K to Create 364 Jobs

Alliance Data will create 364 permanent full-time positions at its Coeur d’Alene customer support facility and provide training using $87,310.60 from the Idaho Department of Labor’s Workforce Development Training Fund.

The new workers will bring the total of employees at the Coeur d’Alene location to 810 by Feb. 28, 2018. Wages will range from $20.74 per hour to no less than $12 per hour. Structured on-the-job training will include negotiation skills, fraud detection, customer interaction/motivation and debt collection regulatory and legal requirements.

Read the full news release for more details.


Idaho Receives $2.5 Million to Help Youth with Disabilities Find Jobs

Improving employment opportunities for people with disabilities ages 14-24 will be the focus of a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to the state of Idaho.

The grant funds will be used to provide more training opportunities, build community partnerships and help youth transition from school to employment.

Idaho was one of six states to receive part of nearly $15 million.

Read the full news release from the U.S. Department of Labor.

August Unemployment Rate Holds Steady at 3.8%

Idaho ‘s Over-the-Year Job Growth is Nation’s Fastest

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.8 percent in August. Nationally unemployment held steady at 4.9 percent.

For the sixth time this year, Idaho was No. 1 in the nation for over-the-year job growth in August. An additional 22,000 jobs – a 3.3 percent increase – was driven by across-the-board gains in all industries. Construction grew the fastest with a 9.2 percent increase followed by growth in financial activities, other services and information.

Month-to-month, growth in the state’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm payrolls remained steady between July and August, adding only 100 jobs.

For more information, read the full news release.

Investigations, Recovery Rates of 124% Discourage Unemployment Insurance Fraud

Investigators at the Idaho Department of Labor say they hear every excuse in the book – from ridiculous to outright outrageous – when it comes to claimants who commit unemployment insurance fraud.

  • A claimant suggests a power surge is causing her computer to answer questions incorrectly on her unemployment insurance reports.
  • One claimant simply says he forgot he even has a job. And since he doesn’t remember his job he thinks the next logical step is to file for unemployment.
  • Another claimant suggests he lost his job due to drug use and that drug use is responsible for the errors the Department of Labor found when he filed a claim.

And while these examples may seem silly on the surface, the Idaho Department of Labor takes fraud seriously.

“We actively look for and we do a pretty good job of discovering instances of unemployment insurance fraud,” said Larry Ingram, bureau chief for the Idaho Department of Labor.

Last November, an Eagle man learned the hard way. Jesse David Aldape, 39, received a felony conviction after it was discovered he illegally obtained nearly $9,000 in unemployment insurance benefits. Aldape’s sentence included 45 days in a county jail, 100 days of community service and restitution in the amount of $8,903 to the Idaho Department of Labor.

Another example illustrates just how devastating unemployment insurance fraud can be: Once it was discovered a recent claimant and new employee continued to file for unemployment benefits after starting a new job, the employer terminated the new employee because he didn’t want an untrustworthy worker in his shop. The claimant then tried to file for unemployment, but was denied benefits for at least 52 weeks as a result of committing unemployment fraud.

“Too often, people need the money and think they will just pay us back,” said Josh McKenna, benefits bureau chief at the Idaho Department of Labor. “But it’s not that simple. We charge penalties and interest on top of the fraud. Plus, we deny them benefits for one year and until they pay us the overpayment, penalties and interest.”

That’s why McKenna emphasizes unemployment fraud is a significant issue – and the issues surrounding it are commonly misunderstood.                                                              

“We often hear people say they are entitled to unemployment benefits because they pay into it,” McKenna said. “But unemployment insurance taxes are not deducted from employee paychecks. Those taxes are actually paid by employers.”

Meanwhile, the department continues to vigorously use all of its resources to uncover fraud.

“There’s always plenty of work to do,” Ingram said. “Are we getting better with our data-mining activities? Yes, we are. We have a very aggressive and successful program for identifying fraud and recovering benefit overpayments,” he added. “We also have a high recovery rate.

Between July of 2015 and June of 2016 nearly $4.1 million of the $119 million paid in unemployment insurance benefits were improperly collected by claimants due to fraud and overpayments. Of that, Ingram’s team recovered 124 percent – or nearly $5.13 million, which includes some receivables from prior years.

Ingram emphasizes employers can play a key role in helping to reduce fraud.

“One of the biggest ways employers can help is by notifying the Labor Department in a timely manner whenever they hire someone new,” he said.

Jennifer Souza, a fraud investigator with Idaho Department of Labor, agrees.

“Our computer runs a cross-match against people who are claiming benefits,” Souza said. “It’s pretty hard not to get caught.”

At the same time, she said fraud is easy to prevent, and honesty is the best policy for people filing for unemployment insurance.

“From the time someone opens a claim to each week they file, they receive warnings and are asked very specific, simple and straightforward questions.”

McKenna agrees: “The best thing someone can do if they don’t know the answer or how to report correctly is to ask. Asking for help can prevent large overpayments and penalties that must be paid back to the department.”

Claim specialists can be reached at (208) 332-8942, by using a Click to Chat feature or by emailing. More information, including answers to frequently asked questions can be found at

The bottom line? Fraud is a preventable offense – and it benefits the whole state of Idaho when it doesn’t happen in the first place.

“It’s an important message,” Ingram said. “I’d much rather see prevention as opposed to punishment.”

Learn more about preventing or avoiding unemployment insurance fraud at

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The Future of Reality Comes to the Think Big Festival in Coeur d’Alene

Devyn Miller reacts to the elephant coming toward her in the virtual African adventure using the Oculus Rift head mounted display at the Think Big Festival in Coeur d'Alene in August 2016.

Devyn Miller reacts to the elephant coming toward her in the virtual African adventure using the Oculus Rift head mounted display at the Think Big Festival in Coeur d’Alene in August 2016.

The 3rd Annual Think Big Festival was very visible in Coeur d’Alene on August 26-27. This high tech festival brings young and old, techie and novice together to get a glimpse of the future.

Tesla gave free rides in its fleet of electric and autonomous cars. Robots and delivery robots were in town and people enjoyed the wonders of virtual and augmented reality.

Event coordinators, the local Innovation Collective, brought in speakers, for the Saturday panels to talk about health, investment, transportation and reality. These technical, finance and education gurus came together to look into the future that isn’t very far away.

Along with the speakers were a variety of different demonstrations and interactive displays. The clear winner of this group was the virtual reality booth according to the length of the line to experience the device. In Saturday’s speakers’ forum, Ross Finman from MIT discussed the three areas that will see significant enhancement because of virtual reality: instruction, visualization and entertainment.

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Paylocity Receives $1.2 Million to Train New Employees

Paylocity Corporation (NASDAQ: PCTY) has contracted with the Idaho Department of Labor to use $1.2 million in Idaho Workforce Development Training Funds to equip its new employees with the skills necessary to operate its new Idaho facility.

The positions will pay an average hourly wage of $21 plus employer-assisted medical benefits.

Read more details in the full news release.

Micro-Grant to Fund Training for Manufacturing Workers in Mini-Cassia Area

The Minidoka County School District will use a $25,000 micro-grant from the Idaho Department of Labor to provide skilled workers for manufacturing companies in Minidoka and Cassia counties.

Training will be offered as a two-year program to high school juniors and seniors at Minico High School and will include basic knowledge of welding, electrical wiring, centrifugal and positive displacement pumps, using basic hand and power tools, reading blueprints, safety procedures and soft skills. The classroom setting will be supplemented by lab and worksite training at partner companies.

Read more details in the full news release.