Around Idaho: October 2017 Economic Activity

Information provided in this article 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

Kootenai County

  • The Parks and Recreation Committee in Coeur d’Alene voted to ban offshore businesses in the city’s water corridor on Lake Coeur d’Alene. The decision will affect enterprises like the Hooligan Island jungle gym barge and boats that sell food. The committee sited the danger of motorized boat traffic near the beach, in water that is generally full of kayakers, paddle-boarders and swimmers in the summer. Source: Coeur D’Alene Press
  • Developers Philip Wirth and Rick Robinson have announced plans to create a 233-acre technology park on Highway 41 in Post Falls. The complex is being designed with technology and aerospace manufactures in mind, and the developers have specifically cited proximity to North Idaho College’s technical schools in Rathdrum as a draw to the location. Source: Coeur D’Alene Press

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Around Idaho: September 2017 Economic Activity

Information provided in this article 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

Kootenai County

  • Alliance Data – citing strong growth in its Card Services division – announced plans to add 140 workers in Kootenai County by the end of 2017. This would raise the total employment at the company’s Coeur d’Alene complex to 750 employees, from 610 currently. A company spokesman said that Alliance anticipates a further expansion to between 800 and 850 employees in 2018. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
  • Viking Construction has begun work on the third and final phase of the Fieldstone Apartments project in Post Falls. This phase will add 64 units to the complex. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
  • Cascade Team Real Estate – a brokerage based in Issaquah, Washington – announced it plans to open a new office in Coeur d’Alene. Cascade Team focuses on residential real estate and does not provide commercial listings or property management services. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
  • SPi CRM, a Philippines-based call center, is remodeling the former Sports Authority space in the Silver Lake Mall in Coeur d’Alene to use as a new customer-service call center. SPi’s spokesman noted that the company anticipates total staffing of around 240 employees. Source: Spokane Journal of Business

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A Little Help from Labor Makes a Big Difference in Life of Ex-Offender

Marcos Soto

A year ago Marcos Soto was working as a helper/grinder in a welding shop. This low paying, labor intensive job was the only type of job he had ever held.

Soto, now 42 years old, was recently released from prison after eight-and-a-half years. He wanted to find a better job but knew his status as a felon wasn’t the only way his job possibilities were limited. He wanted to become a welder but without training, hands-on experience and enough practice, he would not be able to pass the exams so he could earn the required certifications.

As much as Soto wanted to get ahead, he simply was not able to do so on his own. His small salary made it too difficult to save up the $3,000 needed to enroll in the welder fabrication courses provided by Pro-Weld Welding School in Nampa.

Luckily, a friend referred Soto to the Idaho Department of Labor where he met with Michael LeDuc, a workforce consultant in the Boise office. LeDuc met with Soto and told him about the Workforce and Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) program and found Soto also qualified for job training assistance from Vocational Rehabilitation. Soto said he was thrilled to find out he qualified for a grant which covered the cost of the welding classes and paid for enough tools to get him started.

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Idaho After the Great American Eclipse

This article uses from the Idaho Department of Labor’s six regional economists, the Idaho Department of Transportation, CTR and news sources including Capitol Press, Idaho County Free Press, Idaho Mountain Express, Idaho State Journal, Local News 8, Idaho Statesman, KPVI, Post Register, Los Angeles Times, Spokesman-Review, Teton Valley News, The Atlantic and The Times-News.

The total solar eclipse of 2017 has faded into history, but its effects most likely will be discussed and dissected for some time.

On Monday, Aug. 21, the total solar eclipse occurred along a 70-mile-wide path across the continental United States where the moon completed blocked the sun for about two minutes. In Idaho, the path of totality entered the state from the west at Weiser, passed through the mountainous Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness and continued over Idaho Falls, Rexburg and Teton County.

Before the solar eclipse, southern Idaho communities along the path prepared for unknown numbers of visitors, gearing up to host them at inns, campgrounds and private homes; entice them into stores and restaurants; and protect them from potential problems. Estimates of potential visitors ranged from low to astronomical. No one was sure how many visitors would come, where they would locate and how much money or time they would spend.

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Soft Skills Are Important to Getting and Keeping Your Job

You graduated… so what?

Employers are identifying a trend in their newly graduated employees— lack of soft skills. In particular, personal attributes that allow an individual to interact effectively with other people (i.e. transitional, transferable and foundational skills). Experts have also found that individuals change careers five to seven times in their lifetime. Regardless of what degree, career, field, job, or industry you go into, employers value soft skills.

Throughout my research, I have circled and come back to the soft skills employers, professional business bloggers, and labor analysts say are valued the most:

  • Communication
  • Organization
  • Team work skills
  • Punctuality
  • Critical thinking
  • Social skills
  • Creativity
  • Interpersonal communication/ cultural sensitivity
  • Adaptability
  • Problem solving
  • Conflict resolution
  • Work ethic

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Around Idaho: August 2017 Economic Activity

Information provided in this article 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

Kootenai County

  • A lumber mill in Athol owned by Vaagen Brothers Lumber suffered significant damage in an Aug. 9 fire. Although more than 50 percent of the facility was consumed, none of the mill’s employees were injured. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • The Post Falls City Council approved a new budget with no increase to property taxes and a fee increase which will affect water and wastewater fees. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • North Idaho College hosted the annual Art on the Green event. The art fair, which featured more than 160 artists, drew an estimated 50,000 patrons in its three-day run from Aug. 4-6. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press

Bonner County

  • Sandpoint’s new fiber network has begun expanding to business, including Timberline Helicopters and Tamarack Aerospace. Fatbeam, the fiber provider, cited the projects as examples of how public/private partnerships can work, while Sandpoint city officials noted that the fiber will help companies in need of better connectivity to keep their headquarters in Sandpoint. Source: Bonner County Daily Bee

Sam.Wolkenhauer@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 457-8789 ext 4451

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$202,500 Grant Helps North Idaho College Provide Specialized Training to Certified Nursing Assistants in Northern Idaho

Rehabilitation nurse Anna Pjesky, left, teaches certified nursing assistants Myriah Wilson, certified nursing assistant, Valley Vista and William Redican, certified nursing assistant, Kootenai Health, how to therapeutically wrap an amputated limb.

Thanks to the collaborative efforts of Kootenai Health, Valley Vista and Northwest Hospital Alliance in northern Idaho, Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) can now receive additional training essential in meeting community needs. When the need to have CNAs with advanced training as mental health assistants, as restorative assistants and as patient care coordinators was identified, these health care providers partnered with North Idaho College (NIC) to create professional instruction in these three health care specialties.

North Idaho College was given a $202,500 industry sector grant from the Idaho Workforce Development Training Fund which included $50,625 in funds from private sector partners Kootenai Health, Valley Vista and Northwest Hospital Alliance. This grant, administered by the Idaho Department of Labor, has enabled NIC to develop and implement these three training programs as well as hire instructors for each course.

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