Northern Idaho has a fast-growing aerospace industry that supplies parts to airplane manufacturers like Boeing. Lewiston is the hub for advanced manufacturing for the timber industry, utility industry and gun parts and ammunition companies. The Treasure Valley has a rapidly-growing technology sector. The Magic Valley is adding value to Idaho’s agriculture commodities through food processing, and Eastern Idaho has a growing energy sector supporting the Idaho National Laboratory, a premier nuclear research facility that is also expanding its cybersecurity research.
Last week I was honored to lead a team to the SelectUSA Summit — an annual opportunity that facilitates job creation through investment by inviting foreign companies to meet with state leaders. The 27 members of Team Idaho, consisting of mayors and economic developers, showcased opportunities to invest in Idaho. I spoke on a panel about the great opportunities in rural Idaho. We engaged with high-profile international companies, all interested in investing capital and creating better jobs in Idaho. This is an invaluable opportunity for our state, and local economic teams.
This was Idaho’s fourth year at SelectUSA and every year we get even more noticed and attract great interest. It’s because of our ability to “Move at the Speed of Business.” We have the lightest possible hand of government which ensures that free markets determine the next opportunity. Our tax system is fair, simple, predictable and competitive.
We already have businesses creating great jobs here from Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, and Australia.
Our business sectors continue to develop and we are one of the nation’s leaders in agribusiness, plastics, science, research and manufacturing. It was just a couple of months ago that the expansion of McCain Foods announced the creation of over 150 jobs, after the company decided to grow in Idaho and increase the demand for Idaho agricultural products.
We are working hard, but there is still more to be done. I am pleased with Team Idaho’s efforts this past week and look forward to opportunities on the horizon.
Together, we are putting Idaho on a global scale — and that means great opportunities for Idaho citizens.
Brad Little is the lieutenant governor of Idaho. He can be reached at 208-334-2200 or via email at lgo.idaho.gov/contact.html.