Bringing the people of Idaho together to create a better future for our children.
The Rural Idaho Outreach Program was created as a way for private businesses to stimulate economic growth in rural areas of Idaho. Douglas Sayer, owner and President of Premier Technology, Inc. in Blackfoot has been a prime mover in this effort. Being from rural Idaho himself, Doug is concerned about the lack of opportunities for good paying jobs with a future for rural Idaho Citizens forcing young people and families to leave their communities to find decent paying employment elsewhere. Salmon was chosen as the starting point for this endeavor. Several meetings have been held and from these came the establishment of the Rural Idaho Outreach Partners.
The players to date have included regional businesses (Premier Technology, Inc.) local businesses (Commander Chassis, Steel and Ranch, and Swanson Machine), School District 291, Idaho Department of Labor, INL, Salmon Valley Business and Innovation Center, Lemhi County, Lemhi County 4-H, and several concerned individuals/citizens. Efforts are being made to identify retirees with knowledge and the skill sets that would be willing to participate in this effort.
Credits and Accomplishments to date:
Some local businesses have toured the Premier facility in Blackfoot and representatives from Premier have visited Salmon business facilities to determine the present capabilities and potential for subcontracting work to these businesses. One Salmon based company (Commander Chassis) has since performed nuclear quality level machining work for Premier. Premier also provided funding to promote the recently passed school supplemental levy. The importance of the levy is making it possible to continue agricultural programs within the school. We have hosted 3 Career Explo events that gave students from all the surrounding areas the opportunity to explore potential work opprtunities in local business, the military and medical fields, and as well as the educational opportunities that are available to them after they graduate high school.
This program started in 2008 where the RIOP invited serveral businesses, colleges, and agricultural and military personnel to set up a booth and showcase their job opportunities and what educational avenues need to be persued in order to get a job of this caliber. Schools in all the surrounding districts within a 250 mile radius were invited to bring students from grades 7-12 to the Salmon Expo and visit and learn about all the opportunities that exist. Each year the number of businesses involved has doubled and tripled and so has the number of school and students that participate.
Douglas Sayer has stated that when the ability exists in Salmon to perform work to his clients' quality levels that he is prepared to route in excess of $1 million dollars worth of work per year to Salmon businesses. Comparatively, it should be noted that the Salmon Regional Office of Idaho Fish and Game and the Salmon Bureau of Land Management each employ approximately 30 permanent personnel and each has an annual payroll for these employees of $1.5 million dollars. The type of work envisioned to be routed to Salmon businesses is high technology, high value added work that is non-polluting, commonly referred to as clean technology.
Advantages to the Community:
Enhancing existing businesses and providing the impetus for new business creation would increase the tax base of Lemhi County, thus reducing the tax burden of all County taxpayers. Creating new jobs or increasing the skill level of existing Lemhi county workers will increase their earning capacity and the economic ripple effect would be felt though out the community.
Where we are headed next:
The 4th annual career exploration fair is scheduled to be held on Wednesday, September 21st, 2011. This event will expose students to career opportunities that they likely aren't aware of and this interaction will provide input on further refining the organization's goals. Several entities have committed to provide exhibits. Salmon Valley Business and Innovation Center presently has continuing education classes available and commercial computer related capabilities. Phase 2 of SVBIC's master plan includes a 12,000 square foot structure that would provide a transition from classroom education to actual production capability. Funding sources are being researched.
If you would like to attend the Fourth Annual Career Expo, Please fill out the attachment (below): RSVP and send the completed form to the email address below.