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Although the results aren't visible just yet, representatives of various companies have shown an interest in bringing them and jobs to Bingham County.
"Economic development is just like a good courtship," county commissioner Ladd Carter said during a recruitment luncheon on Wednesday.
Roger Chase, who is a consultant to the Bingham Economic Development Council (BEDC), noted that representatives of five companies have made site visits to possible locations in the county.
One has made five visits to Aberdeen where BEDC hopes to replace the Simplot plant and its jobs when it closes in 2013. Another, which will bring 3-5 jobs into the area, has already bought land in Shelley.
While Chase said he and the other people on the BEDC are working to bring new jobs to the area, he said, "the first place we've got to work is our existing businesses. That's the No. 1 place where job growth comes from. It's important to grow what we've got."
Dan Cravens, a regional economist with the Idaho Department of Labor who serves as vice-chair of the BEDC, said that the quality of our workforce and our location are positives that bring company executives to consider bringing their businesses to our area.
"Never underestimate the benefits of our natural beauty on those seeking places to locate," he said.
Chase told those at the meeting that BYU-Idaho and Idaho State University are also good to help businesses with their training needs. He also noted that the University of Idaho's agriculture research center in Aberdeen is an important element in enticing companies in that industry to come.
The Idaho National Laboratory also has programs that can help bring companies to the region. The lab's mission is to develop products related to nuclear energy, national and homeland security and energy and the environment.
"We like to put business here in Idaho," said Suzanne Cook, the program manager of Technology Development at the INL.
While much of the funding for BEDC comes from government agencies, local companies of all sizes are invited to help support its efforts. Mickelsen Construction and Premier Technology, as well as Idaho Power and Intermountain Gas, are among those who have provided money to keep BEDC going.
Donations ranging from $100 on up are welcome. Click on www.DevelopBingham.com for more information. You can also contact director Butch Hulse at firstname.lastname@example.org.