February 4, 1995 in Nation/World

Micron Search Team Schedules Local Visit Public Meeting Planned To Help Gauge Reaction To Prize Project

Eric Torbenson Staff writer
 

Officials from Micron Semiconductor Inc. in two weeks will gauge residents’ reactions to the prospect of its $1.3 billion expansion locating in Post Falls.

Seven members of the Micron search team will hold a public meeting at 6 p.m. Feb. 16 at Templin’s Resort in Post Falls. The team will answer questions the public has about the company and the project, said Julie Nash, spokeswoman for Boise-based Micron.

If Micron chooses the Post Falls site over a dozen others across the nation, nearly 10,000 people could move to Spokane and Kootenai counties within three or four years.

The Micron delegation will spend Feb. 15-17 touring the Spokane-Coeur d’Alene area, said Bob Cooper, head of the Spokane Area Economic Development Council.

In Spokane the group will visit with the Micron Education Consortium, made up of officials from Gonzaga University, Washington State University and the University of Idaho, and Eastern Washington University. Local community colleges will also participate in the meeting, Cooper said.

The education consortium will try to answer Micron’s questions about the need for engineering and other job training for the plant.

The availability of quality engineering education has become a primary consideration for Micron. The Idaho State Board of Education last week denied Boise State University its own engineering school, damaging Boise’s bid to keep Micron’s expansion at home.

“No one educational facility here can handle all of Micron’s needs, but together they can begin to ramp up their programs to meet the demand,” Cooper said.

Micron remains silent as to how many areas are still under consideration. Cooper said he was under the impression that Micron teams would visit the remaining dozen sites as well.

Micron still intends to pick a site before the end of February, said Julie Nash, spokeswoman for Micron in Boise.

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