Wednesday, December 18, 2013

GSI Spokane on the Hunt For Next CEO

Greater Spokane Incorporated has hired Waverly Partners to conduct an executive search for its next CEO.

The Cleveland-based firm will work with search committee members to identify the person who will replace Rich Hadley, who is leaving after 20 years as CEO. Hadley has said he’ll depart in May.

GSI is the Spokane area’s largest economic development agency, uniting the former Spokane Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Spokane Area Economic Development Council.

Board members Linda Elkin of U.S. Bank and Scott Morris of Avista will chair a 17-member search committee.

Hadley said the amount spent on the search will depend on how many candidates are reviewed and how many are brought in for visits. “Our committee has developed a profile with the experience and leadership characteristics of our preferred candidate,” Elkin said in a news release. “We are open to executives with backgrounds in economic development, chambers of commerce, business associations, other kinds of nonprofits, private sector or related experience with a commitment to our mission of business advocacy in this region,” she said.

Pulled from Spokesman Review Release: GSI Hunt for CEO

Saturday, December 7, 2013

SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers to double production at Moses Lake Facility #INWRegion

SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers to double production at Moses Lake Facility

Posted on Nov 19, 2013
SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers has started construction on phase 2

The Washington State Department of Commerce issued a press release today announcing that SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers, a joint venture with German luxury automaker BMW, has been designated a project of statewide significance.

SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers is investing $100 million to add two new production lines at its Moses Lake plant Commerce Director Brian Bonlender announced today. The company will double production capacity of its current operation, opened in 2012, in order to supply all of the raw carbon fiber used in BMW’s new electric vehicles.

The project of statewide significance designation is prescribed in state law to provide for coordinated efforts such as streamlined permitting in support of industrial development with broad and lasting economic benefits. Partners in the project include Grant County Economic Development, the City of Moses Lake, and the Port of Moses Lake.

“When we began working with SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers in 2009 they had plans for multiple production lines,” said Jonathan Smith, Executive Director of the Grant County EDC. “It is terrific to see them continuing to grow and be successful in our community.”

"I'm happy to congratulate SGL on their plant expansion," said Bill Ecret, Mayor of the City of Moses Lake. "SGL continues to play a major role in the City of Moses Lake, Grant County and Washington State's economy. The City of Moses Lake will continue working with its partners to support SGL's long term growth in our region," .

“This designation by the State will accelerate SGL’s expansion to meet market demand for a great new BMW automobile, one built with the least-cost and greenest industrial power in the U.S., right here in Moses Lake,” said Patrick Jones, Executive Director of the Port of Moses Lake. The SGL plant is located in the ASPI Technology Park near the Port’s airport industrial area.

“This expansion represents another exciting milestone for SGL and our state. Washington is a perfect match for companies dedicated to sustainable, innovative and high-quality industrial production, and I couldn’t be more pleased to participate in the development of this sector that is so important to the economic future of our entire state,” said Governor Jay Inslee.

SGL has been in discussions with Governor Inslee, Bonlender and local economic development leaders working to expand this ongoing partnership.  Inslee traveled to New York for the public rollout of the BMW i3 earlier this year to discuss the Moses Lake expansion and speak alongside the president of BMW.

“The SGL project aligns perfectly with Washington’s economic development comprehensive plan -- it is an ideal example of the cutting edge industries that we must compete for in order to secure our state’s long-term prosperity in the global innovation economy,” said Commerce Director Brian Bonlender.

Washington State’s reputation as one of the world’s premier locations for carbon fiber production and other advanced manufacturing activities is becoming more powerful every day, added Bonlender, who is returning this week from a trade mission to Japan and China with Governor Inslee and some 100 business, education and government leaders from our state.

A combination of abundant, inexpensive hydroelectric power, commitment to sustainable industrial development, and the world’s largest and most highly-skilled workforce built over 100 years of aerospace leadership, place Washington state in a unique position to capture future advanced manufacturing operations and jobs. Boeing 777x wing assembly and aircraft production in Snohomish County was the first ever proposal to receive the statewide significance designation from Commerce.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Lincoln County Organizations Awarded a Tech Planning Team Grant

LINCOLN COUNTY, Wash. – Lincoln County Commissioners and the Lincoln County Economic Development Council have been awarded one of five Local Technology Planning Team (LTPT) grants from the Washington State Broadband Office. LTPT grants fund broadband planning. Lincoln County will use its grant to address economic development opportunities and educational challenges through increased broadband access and use. The one-year planning process, which began in July, follows on the heels of a $5 million ARRA investment in broadband fiber in Lincoln County. To learn more, visit

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Cattle Producers of Washington Livestock Processing Cooperative Association

ODESSA, Wash. – The Cattle Producers of Washington Livestock Processing Cooperative Association held a grand opening for their new USDA-inspected livestock processing facility on Aug. 29, 2013. The facility is located in the Odessa Industrial Park and will serve ranchers within a 200-mile radius. The project is a partnership between the Odessa Public Development Authority and the cooperative and was funded with a Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) loan; a grant from USDA; and private investment from the cooperative’s producer members. For more information, visit

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Outotec Energy Products Adding Fabrication Facility in Coeur d'Alene #cdaid

Outotec Energy Products recently announced a major expansion, adding a new fabrication facility in Coeur d’Alene. The new manufacturing facility will support Outotec in delivering renewable energy systems worldwide. For more information visit or

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Coeur d’Alene is expanding


The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Coeur d’Alene is expanding. The $1.15 million expansion will add 2,700 sq. ft. of new fitness space to the west end of the building. Construction is expected to be complete in January 2014. 

Visit to learn more. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Gonzaga University has Two Major Construction Projects Underway

Gonzaga University has two major construction projects underway. On July 11, 2013, the university broke ground on its new University Center. The $60 million building, which is scheduled to be complete in summer 2015, will be three stories and more than 167,000 square feet of space. The university is also constructing a new tennis and golf facility. The $6 million, 72,000-square foot facility is expected to open this fall. To learn more about Gonzaga's projects,

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Odom Corp. Building 200,000 square foot Warehouse

Odom Corp., wholesale beverage distributor, is building a 200,000-square-foot distribution warehouse near its current West Plains building. The estimated cost for the expanded warehouse is around $20 million. Read the Spokesman-Review article to learn more

Monday, September 23, 2013

West Corp. Adding 200 Employees Spokane WA

West Corp., a leading provider of technology-driven communication services, is adding 200 employees to its downtown Spokane call center, bringing the total number of local employees to 1,000. Headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, West Corp. serves Fortune 1000 companies and other clients in a variety of industries, and has sales and operations in the United States, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Latin America. To learn more about West Corp.,

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Spokane, Wash. - URM Stores, Inc

Spokane, Wash. - URM Stores, Inc., grocery distribution cooperative and one of the largest privately owned companies in the Pacific Northwest, is expanding its North Spokane distribution center. The $4 million expansion will add 75,000 square feet to the center for frozen and refrigerated product storage. For more information about URM, visit

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Microalgae Based Biotechnological Manufacturing Plant in Moses Lake WA

Grant County, WA- Fuji Chemical Industry, AstaReal Technologies Inc., Grant County, and the City of Moses Lake jointly announced recently that AstaReal Technologies Inc. will build a microalgae based biotechnological manufacturing plant for the production of natural astaxanthin in Moses Lake, WA. During the construction phase, $30 million will be invested and 45 permanent jobs will be created. Fuji established its manufacturing subsidiary, AstaReal Technologies, Inc. in order to expand its astaxanthin business in the United States.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Underground Force in Post Falls is Expanding

Underground Force, manufacturer of mine support equipment, is expanding in Post Falls. Two new buildings are planned to be built, the first of which will be a new 8,200 square foot building to house the company's corporate offices. The second building will be a new 45,000 manufacturing facility to be built next to the current Underground Force building. With the new expansion the company says they will hire 100 or more new employees. For more information, visit

Friday, September 13, 2013

Post Falls, Idaho - Rehabilitation Hospital of the Northwest

Post Falls, Idaho - Rehabilitation Hospital of the Northwest, a new 30-bed freestanding facility that will provide intensive physical rehabilitation services to patients recovering from strokes, brain and spinal cord injuries, and other impairments as a result of injury or illness, is nearing completion of construction of its 38,000-square-foot facility and will begin accepting patients in December. The hospital will create more than 120 news jobs in the area.

For more information, visit

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Post Falls-based Ground Force expands overseas

Mining truck outfitter's foreign growth said fueling jobs here
By Mike McLean
Of the Journal of Business

Ground Force Worldwide started production recently at its new facility near Lima, Peru, pictured above.
Ground Force Worldwide started production recently at its new facility near Lima, Peru, pictured above.
—Photo courtesy of Ground force Worldwide
Ground Force Worldwide LLC, the Post Falls-based parent company of Ground Force Manufacturing LLC and Underground Force LLC, has launched manufacturing operations on two other continents and is looking to expand to a fourth, says Ron Nilson, the company's president and CEO.

Most recently, Ground Force has begun production in South America at a plant near Lima, Peru, and, in coming months, it plans to begin production in Australia, Nilson says.

Ground Force Worldwide's first foreign expansion was in 2011 in the United Kingdom, where the company is producing water tankers and fuel lube trucks at the Caterpillar plant in the northern England town of Peterlee. Those trucks are then sold in European and Russian markets.

Altogether, Ground Force Worldwide has 50 workers in its foreign facilities, including contract employees, and expects that number to grow to 100 within a year, Nilson says.

The foreign production also creates jobs in nearby North Idaho, Nilson says, where many vital components are still manufactured for all of Ground Force's products, safeguarding the company's patents and trademarks.

The company employs more than 200 workers in North Idaho at its Ground Force and Underground Force facilities in Post Falls and Plummer.

Ground Force is an original equipment manufacturer for Peoria, Ill.-based Caterpillar Inc.'s mining and construction equipment division. The company fabricates and installs specialized equipment for some of the world's largest support vehicles, including fuel and lube trucks, water tankers, explosive-delivery trucks, and mechanic-service trucks.

Its sister company, Underground Force, outfits similar trucks that are scaled smaller to support underground mining operations.

"We're continuing to grow domestically and internationally," Nilson says. The company's annual revenues have soared a lofty 75 percent in each of the last three years, charting sales in more than 45 countries, he asserts.

Domestically, the company's two Post Falls plants, located at 5650 and 6001 E. Seltice Way, occupy a total of 150,000 square feet of floor space in nine buildings.

It also has leased a 55,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Plummer formerly occupied by Echelon LLC.

Nilson founded Ground Force in 2000, when he bought the assets of Aresco Inc., another Post Falls mining equipment manufacturer. Ground Force Worldwide was formed as the parent company in 2011, when Nilson launched Underground Force.

Read entire story here: Journal of Business

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Silver Valley Economic Development Corporation: Broadband for Rural Development

Posted: 22 Aug 2013 12:21 PM PDT
Over the past several months we have all been talking about broadband and what it means to rural development.  In particular, we have been talking about what broadband is available in the Silver Valley, where there are areas of improvement needed, and how can we move forward to improve services.

The day you have all been waiting for is finally here. Bill Gillis of Vision 360, the consulting firm for the LinkIdaho project will be presenting the results from the Broadband Survey at the Idaho Department of Labor in Kellogg.   If you have not received a copy of the analyzed survey please contact me at your convenience.  Bill will address survey results and his thoughts on Next Steps. 

If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact the Silver Valley Economic Development Corporation director, Vince Rinaldi via email or phone (208) 752-5511.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Be sure and check out the SVEDC calendar to stay up to date with upcoming events.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Berg Co. awarded $13.5 million Pentagon contract

Berg Co. awarded $13.5 million Pentagon contract

Valley company to build efficient combat shelters

By Jim Camden,(509)879-7461

A Spokane Valley company will receive a $13.5 million Pentagon contract to produce energy-efficient “combat outposts” to use in Afghanistan and other remote places U.S. troops are sent.

The Berg Co., which has been producing tents for some 130 years, is making lightweight shelters,kitchens and hygiene centers that cut energy use by up to 50 percent and water use by more than 70 percent.

The contract comes from the Defense Department’s Rapid Innovation Fund, which was set up in 2011 to buy and deploy more efficient shelters to combat forces in Afghanistan, Africa and Turkey.

Read more here: 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Silver Valley Economic Development Update: LinkIDAHO

LinkIDAHO is happy to announce the launch of the Idaho Mobile Broadband Test Project.  For this project we are partnering with Mobile Pulse, a mobile connectivity analytics company, to ensure the most accurate measurement and mapping of state mobile broadband networks across the state.  The results of the data collected from this project will give state planners the information needed to help execute cost-effective and productive mobile broadband strategies for our state. 

This project offers two levels of opportunity for participation.  
1.       LinkIDAHO Test App – available for download from the Apple Store or Google Play store.  Once loaded to a device this app will run periodic performance tests in the background and send the results to a secure site for analysis. This information, which is collected in a manner that ensures that the privacy of the user and device, will be used to help validate the speed and connection capabilities of mobile broadband vendors while also giving state planners insight into a wide range of operational issues.  Users get the added bonus of being able to check their speed and connectivity on the fly.

2.       ID Advance Test App - available in a limited quantity for download by invitation from the LinkIDAHO test coordinator.  This app will be used for more targeted testing and offers the user an opportunity to become more actively involved in the project.  To find out more about this option contact Paul Reyes at 

You can learn more about this project and other broadband work being done in Idaho at  Be part of this important project by downloading the free LinkIDAHO Test app from your app store today!

For more information, please contact:
Paul E. Reyes
TIM Framework Coordinator
Idaho Geospatial Office
Idaho Department of Administration

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Aerospace Training Program Starts at North Idaho College

North Idaho College is assembling the components it needs to launch aerospace manufacturing and maintenance programs starting next month under a $3 million federal grant, says Kassie Silvas, NIC's director of aerospace and outreach.

The goal of the Coeur d'Alene-based community college is to enroll a total of at least 520 students in the program during the three-year grant period and to qualify them for high-wage jobs in the regional aerospace industry, Silvas says.

"I can't think of another program like this that will recruit, mentor, and help students get jobs," she asserts.

The grant will pay for course development, instructors, supplies, and program administration and support staff, Silvas says. The school has secured an ideal site near the Coeur d'Alene Airport and has hired the initial staff for the first phase of the programs, she says.

The aerospace programs will be based in a 12,000-square-foot facility, which NIC recently leased and has dubbed its Aerospace Center of Excellence, at 1845 W. Dakota, in Hayden.

Original Press Release on Sept. 19th 2012:

North Idaho College has been awarded a $2.97 million grant intended to create an aerospace center to meet the workforce demands of the aerospace industry in North Idaho and help veterans and displaced workers in need of retraining.

The grant is expected to create 520 new jobs by 2015, according to grant application projections. It will have a $28.8 million annual impact to the local economy with average job salary estimates of $43,500, according to the Idaho Department of Labor.
Tim Komberec, CEO and president of Empire Airlines, said he considers the grant announcement a “watershed event.”

“This is something where we are going to look back in a few years and see the jobs and opportunities created by this grant and know that this was the catalyst for all of that,” Komberec said.

NIC is the only college in Idaho to receive grant funding from the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training initiative, which was designed to promote skills development and employment opportunities. The U.S. Department of Labor is implementing the $500 million program in coordination with the U.S. Department of Education.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for NIC to work with the emerging aerospace industry in North Idaho,” said NIC President Joe Dunlap. “This grant demonstrates NIC’s commitment to supporting the needs of business and industries as well as supporting economic initiatives in North Idaho.”

Plans for the grant funding include the creation of an aerospace center of excellence in North Idaho, which is intended to provide credit and non-credit training to individuals in aerospace related fields. The core curriculum will be in the areas of general aviation, airframe composites and non-destructive testing, as well expanding NIC’s current machining program. The proposal will target Trade Adjustment Assistance workers, displaced workers needing retraining, veterans and the general student population.

The three-year grant period begins on Oct. 1. NIC will begin planning immediately and anticipates offering courses by fall 2013. NIC is partnering with the Idaho Aerospace Alliance – a newly formed nonprofit based in Hayden, Lewis-Clark State College and the Idaho Department of Labor.

Learn more about the grant program at

For More Information

NIC Grants Coordinator Sara Fladeland, (208) 769-7750 or

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

About the Inland Northwest Economic Alliance (INEA)

About the Inland Northwest Economic Alliance (INEA) The Inland Northwest Economic Alliance (INEA) is an alliance of 11 regional economic development agencies representing 15 counties in Northern Idaho and Eastern Washington. The collaborative effort is aimed at building economic growth through enhancing the brand recognition of the Inland Northwest and its communities and showcasing its business value. To learn more,

Friday, July 19, 2013

Lewiston, Idaho/Clarkston, Wash. – The Snake River Boat Builders

Lewiston, Idaho/Clarkston, Wash. – The Snake River Boat Builders continued their export outreach efforts with recent trade missions to Sweden and Norway. The Snake River Boat Builders Export Program aims to develop viable foreign markets for the welded-­‐aluminum jet boat manufacturers and suppliers located in the greater Lewiston, Idaho/Clarkston, Washington region. The Snake River Boat Builders Export Program is a great example of successful collaboration between members of a dynamic manufacturing cluster and the economic development community of the Lewiston/Clarkston region. More details are available at

Monday, July 15, 2013

Spokane, Wash. – The Washington Health Benefit Exchange

Spokane, Wash. – The Washington Health Benefit Exchange will open a call center in September 2013 for Washington Healthplanfinder, the state’s new online health insurance marketplace launching this fall. The call center will create 60 jobs and will be operated by Faneuil, Inc., a recognized leader in multi-­‐ channel customer care services. More information can be found at

AstaReal Technologies and Fuji Chemical Industry announce a new manufacturing facility in Moses Lake, WA

Embargo: July 15th, 2013
AstaReal Technologies and Fuji Chemical Industry announce a new manufacturing facility in Moses Lake, WA
(Moses Lake, July 15th, 2013) Fuji Chemical Industry, AstaReal Technologies Inc., Grant County, and the City of Moses Lake jointly announced today that AstaReal Technologies Inc. will build a microalgae based biotechnological manufacturing plant for the production of natural astaxanthin in Moses Lake, Washington.
During the initial construction phase, $30 million will be invested and 45 permanent local jobs will be created. Fuji established its manufacturing subsidiary, AstaReal Technologies, Inc., in order to expand its astaxanthin business in the United States.
In line with its philosophy to contribute to the health of people all over the world, Fuji decided to build the astaxanthin factory in the City of Moses Lake in Grant County primarily because of the abundant water resource and competitive costs of renewable hydropower energy. A skilled labor force, an open culture welcoming to Japanese companies, and supportive local and state governments were also contributing factors for the decision to locate in Moses Lake.
“Astaxanthin is an effective anti-inflammatory agent for living organisms. We want to make people healthier and happier by delivering astaxanthin raw materials for health foods to people across the world.” said Mitsunori Nishida, President and CEO of Fuji Chemical Industry. “We see the 21st century as the era of anti-aging. We believe that preventive medicine will play an even greater role in future of healthcare as advances in anti-aging and lifestyle disease research drive improvements both in the treatment and prevention of disease and illness. To that end, we have succeeded in realizing the world's first industrial production of natural astaxanthin which is both safe and high in antioxidant potency. We have devoted more efforts than any other research organization in advancing astaxanthin research.”
Grant County, the City and Port of Moses Lake, the Grant County Economic Development Council, and the Washington State Department of Commerce worked cooperatively with Fuji over the past year to help this visionary manufacturing facility become a reality.
“We are pleased that Fuji and AstaReal have decided to make Moses Lake and Grant County the home of this one-of-a-kind manufacturing process,” said Moses Lake Mayor Bill Ecret.
AstaReal Technologies will produce natural astaxanthin using state of the art photo-bioreactors to cultivate microalgae. AstaReal has been developing its technology for astaxanthin since the 1990s. This technology is the key to manage the environment of microalgae in order to realize a stable production of high quality natural astaxanthin. The natural astaxanthin produced in Moses Lake will be marketed in the United States and worldwide through Fuji’s various subsidiaries.
The manufacturing plant is anticipated to be completed and start operation in the third quarter of 2014. AstaReal Technologies plans to hire 45 skilled people as manufacturing operators, quality control, facilities maintenance and administration. Most employees will be hired locally in mid-2014.
President Nishida said “We are honored to be a community member of Grant County and the City of Moses Lake. We believe that this community will experience significant grow and want to contribute to this future development. This 30 million dollar investment shows our strong commitment to the future of this community.”
About Fuji Chemical Industry and AstaReal
Fuji Chemical Industry, established in 1946, is a Japanese pharmaceutical company whose businesses are the production and sales of pharmaceutical products, contract manufacturing of pharmaceutical and bulk pharmaceutical products, and the production and sales of food additives. Currently Fuji Chemical and its subsidiary companies sell their products in more than 20 countries. AstaReal is the global brand name of Fuji’s astaxanthin business.

Important note: This press release contains statements on future developments that are based on currently available information and that involve risks and uncertainties that could lead to actual results deviating from these forward-looking statements. The statements on future developments are not to be understood as guarantees. The future developments and events are dependent on a number of factors; they include various risks and unanticipated circumstances and are based on assumptions that may not be correct. These risks and uncertainties include, for example, unforeseeable changes in political, economic and business conditions, particularly in the area of the competitive situation, interest rate and currency developments, technological developments and other risks and unanticipated circumstances. It is not intended to update these forward-looking statements.

AstaReal Technologies, Inc. | 210 E. Third Avenue, Suite C, Moses Lake, Moses Lake, WA 98837 USA T: +1-509-855-4370 | F: +1-509-765-9073

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Clearwater County, Idaho – The National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program

Clearwater County, Idaho – The National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program is coming to North Idaho thanks to a combined effort between private businesses, grant-­‐making organizations and the Idaho Legislature. The program will be located at the former Pierce Elementary School campus and will initially add 24 full-­‐time positions with the potential of adding up to 23 more. The program includes a 22-­‐week residential phase that focuses on education and life skills training for Idaho high school dropouts, followed by a yearlong mentoring phase. The first class is expected to begin in January 2014. For more information about the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program, visit

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Spokane, Wash. – Hospice of Spokane

Spokane, Wash. – Hospice of Spokane recently broke ground on its second Hospice House. The 13,000-­‐ square-­‐foot home will have 12 private bedrooms, space for visiting family members, a dining room, great room and a children’s play area. Construction is scheduled to be complete in spring 2014. More information about Hospice of Spokane is available at

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Lewiston, Idaho – Howell Machine

Lewiston, Idaho – Howell Machine, a full service machine shop for the ammunition industry, has added more than 200 employees since 2010, with a total workforce of more than 250 and growing. This growth can be attributed, in part, to improved infrastructure to the south side of the Lewiston-­‐Nez Perce County Regional Airport, which as made possible by grants through CEDA and Valley Vision from the EDA, USDA and Idaho Department of Commerce. The City of Lewiston, Nez Perce County and Airport Authority provided matching funds. For more information, visit

Monday, July 1, 2013

Pullman, Wash. – Construction of the Palouse Business Center has begun.

Pullman, Wash. – Construction of the Palouse Business Center has begun. The 43-­‐acre business park is designed with sustainability and green initiatives to provide unique development opportunities for businesses. The park will consist of 21 large, medium and small commercial lots and is expected to be complete in late fall 2013. For more information, visit

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho – SQM Group

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho – SQM Group, a call center industry research firm, has expanded its operation with the opening of a new state-­‐of-­‐the-­‐art research call center in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, with the capacity for up to 200 workstations. SQM is a leading North American call center industry Voice of the Customer research firm expert for measuring and improving organizations’ first call resolution (FCR) and customer satisfaction. SQM clients are Fortune 500 companies such as Blue Cross and Blue Shield, U.S. Bank, Office Max, Capital One and Marriott. To learn more, visit

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Four IGEM Innovation Grants to the University of Idaho

Moscow, Idaho – The Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission (IGEM) Council awarded four IGEM Innovation Grants to the University of Idaho  IGEM Grant funds leverage private-­‐industry guidance and the talent and expertise of Idaho’s research universities to commercialize innovative and viable technologies that will strengthen Idaho’s economy. The following projects at the University of Idaho were chosen by the IGEM Council to receive funding:

 • Microbial Induced Calcite Precipitation (MICP) -­‐ “Bio-­‐Concrete,” $114,864 – Commercial viability of MICP “bio-­‐concrete” to strengthen soils around existing structures
 • Commercializing Aquatic Animal Health Products, $124,021 – Addressing critical regulatory requirements for commercialization of two aquatic animal health products
 • Pesticide Application Technology, $46,164 – Innovative new spraying system designed to increase the efficiency of pesticide applications (in collaboration with GenZ Technology)
 • High Speed Digital Package Measurement and Modeling for Next Generation Memory Modules, $150,000 – Infrastructure improvements at the University of Idaho for the purpose of measuring, modeling and developing techniques that enable rapid development the next generation of high speed memory products and packages
 • Determine Viability of Automated Quantitative Detection of E. coli O157:H7 at a Beef Processing Facility, $78,076 – Method that will combine quantitative PCR to rapidly screen for O157 coupled with confirmatory bacterial colony growth and identification on differential medium using imaging and unique recognition software.

More details about these projects and IGEM Grants are available at

Monday, June 24, 2013

Idaho Ranked No. 7 Out of 10 Most Entrepreneurial States

According to an article in CNN Money Idaho has been ranked No. 7 out of 10 Most Entrepreneurial States here is what the article said: 
2012 startup rate: 410 per 100,000 adults
Don't be fooled by the calm mountains and rivers of Idaho's picturesque Boise Valley. Nestled in their midst is a burgeoning hub for technology and science startups.

Big names like Micron Technology and Microsoft already operate in the state, and are inspiring a new breed of tech companies hoping to follow their lead.

Idaho's national laboratory is spurring innovation in technology, nuclear science and engineering, said Clark Krause, executive director of the Boise Valley Economic Partnership. Meanwhile, colleges in the state offer specialized business courses for budding entrepreneurs, he said.

New firms can take advantage of unique initiatives like the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce's "B Launched" competition, which awards promising young entrepreneurs funding to build their ideas into startups. Growing businesses can get tax credits for adding new jobs and expanding facilities.

While high personal income and business taxes can be a turnoff, overall living costs are low and Idaho is a strong hydropower state so entrepreneurs can save on electricity bills. 

To see the other 9 states go here: 10 Most Entrepreneurial States

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Lewiston Idaho: Frozen MOTO

The Lewiston snow-bike company continues to make strides in Idaho’s rec-tech industry

Frozen MOTO, a start-up company from Lewiston, is quickly gaining international attention and recognition for its groundbreaking snow bikes.  Earlier this year, the company entertained a group of Russian buyers, demonstrated the snow bikes and showed how well the snow bikes performed on various terrains. 

The Frozen MOTO Industries first generation snow bike was created in 2010 by Randy Gentry.  Over the next year Dan Shanahan became involved with Frozen MOTO and together, Gentry and Shanahan produced the next generation system, model year 2012, that incorporated elements of the first system with additional refinement – resulting in the SMX and SMR systems.  Shanahan took over the business from Gentry in the summer of 2012 and moved the company to Lewiston while continuing to work on improving both the technology and process for producing the newest system on the market for 2013. 

“I think that snow biking has a potential to be one of those things that explodes on the international scene prior to exploding in the U.S.,” Shanahan said. 

That’s why showcasing the snow bikes in ideal conditions to the Russian buyers was so important; Shanahan wanted to demonstrate that the equipment and technology had wide-reaching recreational advantages. The Frozen MOTO team guided their visitors up through the state from Boise to Lewiston and took the opportunity to test the snow bikes in different locations.  Now the buyers have returned to Russia and are in the process of negotiating orders and distribution contracts with the Frozen MOTO team, as well as working on dealer development in Russia. Being located in Lewiston has significant advantages, as the city has Idaho’s only seaport, giving the company unique benefits when it comes to shipping and production needs.  Frozen MOTO also has developed excellent relationships with top companies within sister industries  in the area – such as snowmobiling and motocross – since the Frozen MOTO snow bikes are essentially a hybrid of the two.  These relationships provide insight that allows the team to address components from different perspectives while creating and refining the best product possible. 

Frozen MOTO was chosen to be a State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) Grant recipient, a grant program distributed by Idaho Commerce.  The company is planning to use the grant funds to travel to Russia in November for three weeks to continue developing dealers and driving export sales.  Shanahan believes Frozen MOTO’s marketing efforts are better suited driving sales internationally, even though it may cost a little more to begin with.  Additionally, Shanahan has some new leads in Japan and will be hosting a Japanese group in mid-June. 

To learn more about Frozen MOTO or to order a custom snow bike, visit

Friday, June 21, 2013

Spokane, Wash. – Garco/ALSC/LMN

Spokane, Wash. – Garco/ALSC/LMN (Garco Construction, ALSC Architects and LMN Architects) has been selected by The Spokane Public Facilities District for the Spokane Convention Center Completion Project. The estimated $50 million convention center and shoreline improvement project will provide more than 700 new jobs for the region as well as bring in thousands of additional visitors and their dollars. More information is available at

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Lewiston, Idaho – The Port of Lewiston

Lewiston, Idaho – The Port of Lewiston, the most inland seaport on the West Coast, is doubling the size of its container loading dock. The $2.23 million expansion will add some 150 feet to the port’s 125-­‐foot dock. The project is expected to take 95 days and be finished by the end of the summer.

Additionally, the Port of Lewiston’s Harry Wall Industrial Park is getting a new tenant. FedEx Ground is constructing a package distribution center at the park. The company based its site choice on the land’s proximity to major highways, customers’ distribution centers and potential employees. The 37,000-­‐ square-­‐foot center will be ready in the summer of 2013. To learn more about the Port of Lewiston, visit

Monday, June 17, 2013

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

National Small Business Week June 17-21 2013

Hang Out with SBA and Industry Experts

As part of National Small Business Week, SBA will host a series of Google+ Hangouts which will be streamed live at,, and All Hangouts will start at 4pm ET. Topics and panelists include:

June 17 - Getting Started with Social Media
Panelists from Twitter, Constant Contact, W20 Group and Google will hang out. Bill Murphy Jr., author and columnist for will moderate the Hangout.

June 18- Managing Your Business’ Online Reputation
Panelists from Yelp, LinkedIn, OpenSky, Dun and Bradstreet Credibility Corp., Google and Manta will hang out. Rieva Lesonsky, CEO of GrowBiz Media will moderate the Hangout.

June 19- How a Mentor Can Help Your Business
Panelists from the SBA's Office of Entrepreneurial Development, America's Small Business Development Centers, and Women’s Business Centers will hang out. Fran Tarkenton, NFL legend and entrepreneur will moderate the Hangout.

June 20- How to Get a Business Loan
Panelists from Wells Fargo, SCORE, SBA Office of Capital Access, and SBA loan recipient Ninkasi Brewing Company will hang out. Calvin Goings, SBA regional administrator will moderate the Hangout.

How can you get Involved?

You can still register for events in St. Louis, and Washington, DC. If you can't travel, you can still take part by joining live streaming webcasts of all events and Hangouts as they happen (keep an eye on the event website and follow SBA on Twitter and Facebook for more details as the event approaches). If you are tweeting, the official hashtag is #SBW2013.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Utah firm expands to Liberty Lake - The Spokesman-Review

Utah firm expands to Liberty Lake
New office to create 400 jobs, says Vivint Inc.

By Tom Sowa,(509)459-5492
Vivint Inc., a fast-growing provider of home automation products including energy management and surveillance, expects to create 400 jobs after opening an office in Liberty Lake this summer.

Based in Provo, Utah, privately owned Vivint said the company’s expansion is part of a broad plan of adding more customers acrossNorth America.

It’s leasing about 25,000 square feet in the former ISC-Getronics building at 22425 E. Appleway.
The company’s decision followed an initial contact from Greater Spokane Incorporated, which identified Vivint as a potential company suited to the workforce and business locations available here, said Eric Patrick, a company vice president based in Utah.

Read the rest of the article here:
Utah firm expands to Liberty Lake - The Spokesman-Review

Exceeding expectations - The Spokesman-Review

Exceeding expectations

By Tom Sowa,(509)459-5492

Spokane’s Riverpoint campus on the eastern edge of downtown is generating $350 million in annual economic impact, the head of a national consulting company told a group of Spokane officials Thursday.

Paul Umbach, president and CEO of Tripp Umbach, a health care and higher-education consulting firm, detailed how Riverpoint has grown faster than he predicted four years ago.

In 2009 businesses belonging to Greater Spokane Incorporated underwrote a $50,000 study by Umbach that projected the jobs and economic impact Riverpoint and its collection of classrooms, labs and bioscience businesses would have on the community.

Read the rest of the article here:
Exceeding expectations - The Spokesman-Review

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Silver Valley Economic Development Corp. New Board Members Announced

Congratulations to the new board of directors for the Silver Valley Economic Development Corporation.

Marlene Martin - President
James McMillan
Mark Absec
Bob Beitz
Cheryl Morgan
Jon Cantamessa
David Bargmann
Becky Powers
Shirley George
Dale Lavigne
Duane Little
Margie Todd
Heather Bailey
Jeff Colburn
Gary Moore
Anne Powell
Kathy Zanetti

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Spokane New Economy Summit

The Spokane New Economy Summit

April 5th and 6th

Friday- Gonzaga University Jepson Center

Saturday- EWU Phase 1 Building

Hello Spokane Entrepreneurs,

I wanted to tell you all about an event that is happening this weekend.

The Spokane New Economy Summit seeks to promote ideas and strategies for a stronger and more sustainable regional economy and to catalyze support for action.

The Inland Northwest is as an idyllic place to live and work. This reality is being slowly discovered by those outside the area, and we find ourselves on the verge of an economic revitalization. The time is now to prioritize a triple bottom line of profit, people and planet in order to ensure that future development will be lasting and equitable. Many in our community already recognize the value of these key concepts and are putting them into practice. We seek to bring together students, small business owners, farmers, and community members to discuss new ways of thinking about and participating in our economy.  We hope to facilitate discussions on topics ranging from sustainable agriculture to community banking to economics education; and to create space for networking, collaborating, and building momentum towards a more prosperous, inclusive, and resilient Spokane.
Join us on April 5th and 6th to take part in shaping the future! For more information and to register, go to

On Saturday afternoon at 2pm, I will be hosting a pitch contest with Cash Prizes.

We will be giving:
$1000 for 1st place
$500 for 2nd place
$250 for 3rd place

The Rules of the Game

• Each pitch shall be a maximum of 5 minutes long. The time keeper will cut each pitcher off at exactly 5 minutes.
• There shall be a maximum of 10 minutes for the pitcher and the audience to discuss the idea after the pitch is complete. The time keeper shall allow the pitcher enough time to comfortably answer the last question when the time is finished.

Judging criteria:
• Sustainability: The business idea will be judge on its sustainability
• Community Development: The business idea will be based on the good it would do for the community around it.
• Based in Place: The business idea will be judged on how well it leverages the current assets
available in the target community.
• Triple Bottom Line Profit Standard. The business idea will be judged based on its profit potential. Profits will be defined by the “Triple Bottom Line” philosophy: societal profit, environmental profit, and financial profit.

The pitcher shall use no electronic media devices.

If you have any questions, contact Reed Jessen

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Wiggett's Antique Marketplace in Coeur d'Alene Has Been Purchased

Tom and Patricia Power own The Cellar in downtown Coeur d'Alene, Sunshine Minting Inc., which has operations in the Lake City, along with Nevada and China, Power Audio Video, which specializes in home theater and integrated home systems, a real estate holdings company, and now have purchased the former home of Wiggett's Antique Marketplace at Fourth and Lakeside. The 27,000-square-foot building has been sitting empty for about five years. Nothing has been announced about their plans for the building.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Lighthouse For the Blind Inc. Expanding Spokane Location

Seattle-based Lighthouse for the Blind Inc., which provides jobs for blind people and others with disabilities, plans to expand its Inland Northwest Lighthouse manufacturing facility, located on Spokane's North Side, and boost its employment here. Melanie Wimmenauer, a Seattle-based spokeswoman for Lighthouse, says the organization plans to add 41,000 square feet of combined office and manufacturing space to the 52,000-square-foot facility, located in an old Tidyman's supermarket. Read from the source Journal of Business:

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Does Idaho Have a Software Labor Shortage: Point and Counterpoint

There was a really interesting couple of articles in the Idaho Business Review today that I think bring up some really good points.

Here is the first by Scott Ki:  For months, I’ve studied the debate on whether there’s a shortage of software developers in Idaho. I’ve decided there is a gap, but there’s also a broader issue of concern. I’ll explain.To research the labor market, I dived into academic papers, studied arguments for and against visa programs for skilled foreign workers, read dry economic formulas with regression analyses, and tracked international, national and regional statistics. But I’m not going to descend into the rabbit hole of tracking all the different arguments, because that type of analysis would be pages long. I’m going to try to keep it clean and simple.

Read more:

The second by Jake Alger brings up the fact that a lot of collaboration happens that supports growth and educational opportunities: Economic growth doesn’t occur in a vacuum. Support in the critical areas of health, education and financial independence serves as a springboard to success ― not only for individuals, but throughout our valley’s economic landscape.Businesses are uniting with nonprofits and government entities to turn shared vision — based on hearty evidence — into collaborative change.This community impact model for change saves time and talent, and forges outside-the-box partnerships. These relationships stretch across sector boundaries, in fact.

Read more: