Gov. Butch Otter, in his monthly “Project 60” message today, touts optimism and attitude as keys to the state’s economic recovery. “One message came through loud and clear from my recent Business Summit with representatives of all kinds of companies from throughout Idaho: There’s a lot of optimism among business leaders that hard work, creativity and the quality of our people will enable us to emerge successfully from this economic slump,” the governor wrote, adding, “In my experience, attitude is a big part of recovery.” You can read his full message below; click “continue reading.”
OPTIMISM IS A BIG PART OF RECOVERY
C.L. “Butch” Otter
One message came through loud and clear from my recent Business Summit with representatives of all kinds of companies from throughout Idaho: There’s a lot of optimism among business leaders that hard work, creativity and the quality of our people will enable us to emerge successfully from this economic slump.
grateful for the time and effort of those who participated in the summit. Their
perspectives will provide important guideposts as we advance Project 60 –
the collaborative, coordinated statewide economic development effort in which
private sector partners are volunteering to help us attract new employers to
Idaho while we strengthen our existing businesses.
See the new Project 60 Web site at www.project60.idaho.gov to find out how you can help too.
60 is about growing the economy by creating jobs that become community-building
careers for Idahoans. That might seem optimistic while we continue struggling
economically. But in my experience, attitude is a big part of recovery. And
there is plenty of positive news about which to be optimistic.
For example, this summer Boise’s MotivePower received a contract for $44 million worth of locomotives, and the customer has an option to increase the order to more than $73 million. It’s the type of contract that provides job stability and career opportunities for Idahoans.
the Treasure Valley, three companies worked together on a mutually beneficial
deal: Krow Innovation brought in an international firearms distributor that
will manufacture shotguns at Meridian’s Advanced Precision Machining.
Employees there now will have more stable jobs and the company could double
employment over the next year with this contract. Part of the deal also
includes accessorizing the shotguns with products from Blackhawk Products in
In Plummer, Bluewater Technologies has received a federal contract to clean up phosphorus in the municipal wastewater. The Hayden-based company is using technology developed at the University of Idaho to solve a problem that was stalling Plummer’s growth. The project should generate more than $30 million in regional economic development.
innovative Idaho business is Boise’s CRI Advantage, which was recognized
as the U.S. Department of Energy’s small business of the year. CRI
Advantage provides cyber security and information technology services for the
Idaho National Laboratory.
Fourteen Idaho companies also landed on Inc. Magazine’s list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. Among them was Economic Modeling Specialists Inc. in Moscow, which grew more than 600 percent last year!
also is nice to see Idaho companies attracting investment, such as Balihoo in
Boise, which has received $7 million from a Boston venture capital group. And
COSSA, an education group in rural Canyon and Owyhee counties, has received a
matching $2.5 million federal grant for a regional vocational-technical facility
in Wilder. Besides creating four new permanent jobs, it will create immediate
construction jobs and help our students receive necessary workforce skills.
Speaking of workforce, there are trained staff in 25 Department of Labor offices around the state matching worker skills and talents with employer needs. We also have the Workforce Development Training Fund, which reimburses qualified businesses up to $3,000 per employee for the cost of training workers to meet their needs. The program has helped secure about 20,000 Idaho jobs over the last 13 years. Meanwhile, millions of dollars in federal Trade Adjustment Assistance has provided new skills to workers laid off because of economic changes or foreign competition.
kind of commitment creates opportunities even when we’re facing bad news.
It’s unfortunate anytime a business decision affects people, as with Dell
Computers announcing that it will shut down its Twin Falls call center. But
it’s clear to me that local economic development and community leaders
share my view that the great facility and well-trained workforce being left
behind offer attractive opportunities for other businesses to move in and for
careers to keep growing.
New opportunities also will be one of the themes on Thursday, September 24th, when I conduct an “Innovation Summit” in Boise. It will feature leaders from the high-tech manufacturing, energy and defense, higher education and research, software, entrepreneurial and small business sectors of Idaho’s economy providing insights on what State government should do to enable them to succeed. The public is encouraged to attend as panelists share their ideas on how to apply innovation and technology to growing Idaho’s economy with jobs that become careers – and whole new industries.
If that’s not cause for optimism, I don’t know what is.
Governor Otter will issue his Project 60 Update monthly, providing information about job growth and business expansion throughout Idaho.