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Posts published in “Day: January 16, 2014”

Price on unifying economic developmnt

mendiola MARK
MENDIOLA

 
Reports

Bank of Idaho President and CEO Park Price strongly encourages eastern Idaho’s three economic development organizations - Bannock Development Corp., Bingham Economic Development Corp. and Grow Idaho Falls Inc. - to effectively flex their collective clout by merging into a single regional force.

Speaking at a recent Rotary Club of Pocatello luncheon, Price noted the three organizations have been discussing the possibility of consolidating into a single entity, which he said would pay dividends for years to come throughout the region.

The Idaho Falls bank executive - who holds an economics degree from Dartmouth, ran a successful Pocatello car dealership for many years and has been engaged in economic development for more than 30 years - noted the Pocatello/Idaho Falls region boasts a population of 250,000 and a work force of nearly 130,000, the second largest in Idaho behind Boise.

Price praised successful economic development efforts in the Magic Valley where communities and counties in the Twin Falls area cooperate as a cohesive unit. The Southern Idaho Economic Development Organization (SIEDO) has wracked up several impressive achievements, including $800 million in industrial projects built or announced since November 2012, creating more than 1,200 jobs.

Those projects include Chobani’s massive $100 million yogurt plant near Twin Falls, Glanbia’s $15 million cheese innovation center, Frulact Group’s $40 million fruit processing plant in Rupert adding 100 jobs, a new $160 million Clif Bar plant employing 250, McCain Foods’ expansion adding 150 jobs in Burley, Monsanto’s Wheat Technology Innovation Center in Filer with 30 jobs, Gossner Cheese’s $20 million investment in a Mini-Cassia plant, etc., etc.

“Major private investors in Bannock Development and Grow Idaho Falls with whom I’ve spoken are in favor of a regional approach,” Price said, noting the Salt Lake Valley and areas around Bozeman, Billings and Missoula, Mont., pose the greatest competition to eastern Idaho for jobs that pay living wages. “The competition is no longer other communities in Idaho.”

Price warned the trend of companies incorporating technology in all their processes and emphasizing automation to remain competitive does not bode well for low- or semi-skilled workers, whom he said are part of the long term unemployed.

He mentioned that in September he toured the J.R. Simplot Co.’s new 380,000 square foot plant in Caldwell, which has brought about the closure of Simplot plants in Aberdeen, Caldwell and Nampa.

“The three older plants employed about 1200. The new plant will employ just 265. The plant is a fine example of technological efficiency,” Price said, adding there are not fork lift operators, sorters or other laborers employed there, only employees who operate computers or maintain equipment. (more…)

What made the front page

news

Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

Bergdahl video appears from Afghanistan (Boise Statesman, Nampa Press Tribune, Moscow News)
Battle over Shakespeare Festival land (Boise Statesman)
Counties resist additional medical costs (Lewiston Tribune)
Dog control in Lapwai may increase (Lewiston Tribune)
WSU tuition might drop with legislation (Moscow News)
Activism about megaloads through Moscow (Moscow News)
Luna okays Common Core testing scaldown (Nampa Press Tribune)
Nampa library project finances uncertain (Nampa Press Tribune)
Common Core at legislature (Pocatello Journal)
Pocatello senior center closes over asbestos (Pocatello Journal)
Blackfoot state of the city talk (Pocatello Journal)
Carrie Logan sworn as new Sandpoint mayor (Sandpoint Bee)
Bonner assessor seeks re-election (Sandpoint Bee)
Critics blast wolf killings (TF Times News)
Fish & Game panel appointees questioned (TF Times News)

Highway 99 cam at Junction City for trucks (Eugene Register Guard)
YMCA increased offer for Civic Stadium (Eugene Register Guard)
Dispute over Klamath County charter (KF Herald & News)
Meeting on gase grouse rules, rancher impact (KF Heralf & News)
Splitting strategies among Jefferson advocates (Ashland Tidings)
Petition to limit guns in Ashland (Ashland Tidings)
Pendleton urban renewal weakening (Pendleton East Oregonian)
Two Umatilla commissioner seek to reup (Pendleton East Oregonian)
Pendleton prison official demoted (Pendleton East Oregonian)
Legislators mull liquor system (Portland Oregonian, Salem Statesman Journal)
Legislator calls for ending Cover Oregon (Portland Oregonian, Salem Statesman Journal)
Racial equity report card on legislators (Salem Statesman Journal)
Private forest owners wnat replanting help (Salem Statesman Journal)

Hanford reach exhibit gets $100k donation (Kennewick Herald)
Krush Ultra Lounge at Seqium closes (Port Angeles News)
Sequim reviews city hall options (Port Angeles News)
More problems with Bertha (Seattle Times)
Catholic organizations filing gays who marry (Seattle Times)
State points to Spokane for Boeing development (Spokane Spokesman)
New owner for Spokane Shock football (Spokane Spokesman)
More state aid to Boeing? (Vancouver Columbian)
Two Clark credit uninions merge (Vancouver Columbian)
Pot ban at Yakima progresses (Yakima Herald Republic)
Clinic for farm workers shifts affiliation (Yakima Herald Republic)