Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Inland Northwest Partners Awarded Contract to Manage Startup Washington 365 Program for Whitman and Asotin Counties, Seeks Program Manager

The Inland Northwest Partners (INP), a community, economic development and educational non-profit focused on enhancing the long-term vitality of eastern Washington and northern Idaho, was awarded a two-year contract with the Washington Department of Commerce for the continuation and enhancement of the Startup Washington 365 Program for Whitman and Asotin Counties. The INP is looking to hire a program manager to serve as the champion for the Startup Washington 365 Center for Entrepreneurial Success (CES) in Whitman and Asotin Counties.

 The program manager will focus on connecting entrepreneurs with resources to further their development, act as a champion for entrepreneurship, establish and build the CES within these counties and promote the Startup Washington 365 Program throughout the region. Working collaboratively with Greater Spokane Incorporated’s Startup Spokane program manager and other like-minded organizations throughout the region will be fundamental to the success of the position. A track record suggestive of energetic and innovative experience in effectively interacting with community and industry leaders and elected and appointed public officials is also required.

“The Inland Northwest Partners believes in leveraging the knowledge and skills within the Inland Northwest entrepreneurial ecosystem and collaborating with others to share that knowledge and those skills, creating lasting economic prosperity together. This same collaboration is the secret to enabling innovation and driving economic solutions in our eastern Washington communities,” said Paul Kimmell, chairman of the Inland Northwest Partner Board of Directors.

The application deadline for the program manager position is Friday, Oct. 6. For details on how to apply, go to

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Port of Lewiston Continues Expansion of Fiber-optic Network

The Port of Lewiston continues to expand its fiber-optic network, upgrading telecommunications in more areas in Lewiston. The port plans to spend $375,000 on the network in the fiscal year that started July 1.

The new capacity will serve a medical professional park near the airport, downtown and along Bryden Avenue. The network, which cost the port $1.25 million over the past two years, already reaches many of the city’s largest employers, including Vista Outdoor, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories and Lewis-Clark State College.

To learn more, visit and read this post.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

SmaK Plastics Opens Hayden Facility

SmaK Plastics, Inc., manufacturer of rotationally molded plastic bins and bin liners, pallets, tanks, and hoppers, has opened a facility in Hayden, Idaho. The business, SmaK Products, Inc is the second facility operated by SmaK Plastics, Inc., creating about 45 new jobs in the area and approximately $10.2 million in wages over the next seven years.

Read SmaK Plastics’ blog or visit to learn more.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Idaho Transportation Hosts Hands-on Heavy Equipment Operator Course

The Idaho Transportation Department hosted a free three-week hands-on heavy equipment operator course at the Kootenai Technical Education Campus. The course aims to help fill the skilled labor employment gap in the booming construction industry and gives veterans, women and minorities a chance boost their careers.

Of the 700 applicants, 19 were chosen to participate. The course, which allows students to operate several pieces of equipment including an excavator, backhoe, grader, roller, forklift and dozer, is funded with a $198,000 Ladders of Opportunity grant through the U.S. Department of Transportation. Eight states were awarded the grants after 40 applied.

To learn more, read the Coeur d’Alene Press article.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Lookout Pass Ski & Recreation Area Expansion Approved

Lookout Pass Ski & Recreation Area has received approval from the U.S. Forest Service of the first phase of its expansion plan.

The expansion increases the special-use permit area by 458 acres (from 538 acres to a total of 1,023 acres) and includes two new chairlifts to the summit of Eagle Peak with a top elevation of 6,150'. The two new chairlifts will access 14 runs plus gladed areas on the north and east aspects of the new peak. Lookout's vertical drop will increase to 1,650'. An additional base lodge (14,000 square feet from a previous approval) and maintenance facilities are also included in the Phase I Master Development Plan plus 130 additional parking spaces.

To learn more, visit

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Renovation of Spokane's Ridpath Hotel Underway

Renovation of the Ridpath Hotel in downtown Spokane is underway. The renovation work is valued at $7.7 million, the permit shows. The developer, Ron Wells, had earlier estimated the total project cost at upwards of $20 million, including the hotel acquisition costs.

The Ridpath Club Apartments LLC project will convert former hotel rooms into 206 apartment units on the second through 11th floors of the 13-story Ridpath Tower and the attached four-story east annex. A restaurant and other first-floor commercial space are also envisioned for the project. The 12th and 13th floors are being developed separately into four luxury condominium units.

To learn more, read the Spokane Journal of Business article.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

$12 Million Complex Planned for Spokane's South Hill

A $12 million medical and professional office complex envisioned at the base of Spokane’s lower South Hill is in the early planning stages. Plans state that the project will include a six-story, 68,000-square-foot building and a five-level parking structure.

To learn more, read the article in the Spokane Journal of Business.