by Idaho Department of Labor Director Melinda S. Smyser
Not too long ago, St. Mary’s Hospital in Cottonwood found itself in need of a medical lab scientist. After searching eight months for a qualified applicant, hospital officials worked with their local Idaho Department of Labor office to develop a registered apprenticeship program. Today the program is working so well St. Mary’s plans to set up a second apprenticeship for the same skill set.
As I meet with Idaho employers, they tell me they all have one thing in common with St. Mary’s Hospital. They need a pipeline of skilled workers with industry-specific training and hands-on experience.
Registered apprenticeships are a proven strategy for successfully building that pipeline and benefits both businesses and job seekers. Most employers see reduced turnover costs, greater employee retention, increased productivity and an average of $1.05 returned for every dollar they invest in their employees.
Apprentices benefit by on-the-job training and earn while they learn, reducing student debt. They see increased opportunities for promotion and higher wages over the course of their careers. Nationally, nine out of 10 find themselves gainfully employed at an average starting salary of $60,000 per year, and over the course of their careers, earn $300,000 more than their non-apprenticed peers.
The city of Coeur d’Alene is moving forward with a bike share program. The city council reached an agreement with Zagster, a Massachusetts-based company that has created more than 140 bike share programs around the country. City officials stressed the focus of the program is on commuters and is not designed to compete with companies that rent bicycles to tourists. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
The landmark Dingle Building in the heart of downtown Coeur d’Alene is under new ownership, and the new owners have proposed to turn the property into a boutique hotel. This plan would include retail and restaurant space on the ground floor of the building with and an added fourth story to provide additional hotel occupancy. The plans have been submitted to the city and now await approval. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
North Idaho College has asked the state legislature for $594,900 to provide two free courses at NIC for Idaho residents during the summer quarter of 2017. NIC officials expressed hopes that providing free courses during the summer will raise their fall enrollment numbers. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
Information provided in this article has been gathered from various sources throughout the state, including professional sources, news releases, weekly and daily newspapers, television and other media.
According to a new report from the Idaho Housing and Finance Association, homelessness in the five northern counties increased by 5 percent from 2015, including a 35 percent increase in the number of homeless people without access to shelter. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
Millennials began to enter the workforce in 2006, just a year before the last recession began to bite into the economy. Nine years later, during the first quarter of this year, millennials have surpassed the baby boomers – people born approximately between 1946 and 1964 – as the largest generation in the workforce.
Millennials – individuals born approximately between 1982 and 2004 – bring with them a different outlook and view of the workplace than previous generations. Due to their size, and the uniqueness they bring, it helps for employers to understand some key differences in this group. In general, they 1.) place a greater emphasis on work-life balance; 2.) focus on the community in which they live to the degree that it takes precedence over job considerations and 3.) desire to work for companies motivated by more than just baseline profit.
Nearly 7,000 new businesses established in Idaho through the worst years since the Great Depression still existed in 2013. These companies represent 13 percent of all employers and employed 49,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Business Employment Dynamics program.
Small businesses – those with fewer than 50 employees – make up 96.7 percent of all Idaho businesses. They employ over 280,000 people, more than half of all workers in the state. Continue reading →
Beginning in mid-June 2015, the Idaho Department of Labor is launching a new IdahoWorks, the free online system businesses use to post jobs and recruit workers. As the launch date nears, more information will be added to this list, so please check back often.
In order to launch the new system, the job search, job posting and the unemployment insurance systems will be temporarily unavailable starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 10 until 7 a.m. Monday, June 15.
Q. What is the new IdahoWorks?
A. It is a user-friendly Web-based workforce development system that connects job seekers to jobs, employers to qualified talent and workforce professionals to tools that improve efficiency and employment outcomes. It is powered by the America’s Job Link Alliance. Continue reading →
Electricians install and maintain electrical systems in homes, businesses and factories and play an integral role in the economy. Almost every building or house has an electrical system that is installed during construction and maintained after that.
Electricians held approximately 2,780 jobs in 2011 throughout Idaho, of which 57 percent were employed in the electrical contractors and other wiring installation contractors industry, but more than 5 percent of manufacturing jobs in Idaho are filled by electricians.
Electricians learn their trade through a formal apprenticeship or a technical school. Most states license them, and in Idaho, a licensed journeyman electrician requires four years – a minimum of 8,000 hours – of
work experience as an apprentice electrician making electrical installations under the constant supervision of a qualified journeyman electrician and four years – a minimum of 576 hours – of approved electrical
apprenticeship classroom instruction.
The median hourly wage of electricians is $23.10 in Idaho. The starting pay for apprentices usually is between 30 percent and 50 percent of what fully trained electricians make and receive pay increases as they gain more skill. Continue reading →
We often hear from Idaho businesses that are unsure what they are required to do for job seekers or employees with disabilities.
What many don’t know is any Idaho business with five or more employees must provide the same employment opportunities to qualified applicants and employees with disabilities that are available to those without disabilities, and they must provide any reasonable accommodations necessary for successful employment, except where such accommodation would cause undue hardship.
What’s the Definition of a Disability?
A disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities or when someone is regarded as having or has a record (or past history) of such impairment. Continue reading →