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Companies Get Grants, Stiff Idaho

Last month, Transform Solar announced that it was closing and laying off about 250 people at its facility in Nampa. As StateImpact reported, the manufacturer of high-tech solar cells, had received $1.68 million in workforce training grants from the state of Idaho — money that the company will not have to pay back. It’s not the first time that’s happened. Eleven companies that have received more than $5.3 million in training grants from the Idaho Department of Labor since 1996 no longer exist in the state.  That’s according to data from the department and StateImpact’s analysis. The 11 companies are a combination of out-of-state businesses that no longer operate here and local companies that shut down a piece of their businesses/Emilie Ritter Saunders, StateImpact. More here.


Madsen Wants To Cut Jobless Bennies

Roger Madsen, director of the Idaho Department of Labor (IDOL), on Tuesday echoed statements made in late October by two GOP legislators to reduce the number of unemployment weeks. Madsen, in a letter made public by the department, advises lawmakers to reject federal funds for extended unemployment benefits. His view echoes comments made to IdahoReporter.com by Reps. Steve Thayn and Lynn Luker, who said reducing the amount of unemployment benefits is a must for the Gem State. Idaho is one of a handful of states allowing up to 99 weeks of unemployment benefits/Mitch Coffman, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Should Idaho reduce its number of weeks for unemployment benefits?

Lake City Area Joblessness Hits 10%

The state’s second largest metropolitan area, Coeur d’Alene, broke a three-month run of single-digit rates, edging up a third of a point to 10 percent. The rate was in double digits from August through March.  The rate in Canyon County, the second most populous county and part of the Boise metro area, dropped slightly from June but remained at 11.1 percent – the 15th straight month of double digits.  Overall, a dozen counties had July rates over 10 percent, two more than in June when declining rates in a majority of the counties drove the statewide rate down two-tenths to 8.8 percent. Eight counties had double-digit rates in July 2009.  Shoshone County had the highest rate in July at 12.6 percent. Teton County was the lowest at 4.7 percent, the only county under 5 percent in July/Idaho Labor Department. Idaho Reporter story here

Question: Do you know of people who have recently been laid off? Or who are still struggling to find work after a long time looking for it?

Extension Could Help 10,000 Idahoans

Item: Unemployment extension could benefit 10,000 jobless Idahoans/Brad Iverson-Long, Idaho Reporter

More Info: Congress is on the verge of extending federal unemployment payments to out-of-work Americans, which could benefit up to 10,000 Idahoans whose benefits have expired in the past six weeks.  The extended federal benefits ran out at the end of May, and the Idaho Department of Labor’s Bob Fick said those people could see payments from those past six weeks within the next month, if they still haven’t found work.

Question: Do you know anyone who is on the verge of running out of unemployment benefits?