The Inspire Idaho Experience Tour coming to Blackfoot

Julie Buck of the University of Idaho Extension office for Bingham County with an Inspire Idaho flyer.
Catie Clark

On Wednesday, March 28, the Inspire Idaho Experience Tour is offering a free hands-on introduction to learning a high-tech job skill and the opportunity to gain job training at little to no cost for Idaho residents. The Experience Tour will hold two sessions in Blackfoot at 3 and 5 p.m., at the Bingham Memorial Hospital Medical Office Building, 98 Poplar St.
The Inspire Idaho program is a joint effort of the University of Idaho Extension and an industry group called the Innovation Collective. The Experience Tour stops are appropriate for all ages. They are designed to show how Idahoans can become part of the growing tech industry. After the tour program, participants will have the chance to join a team to receive training as app developers. No previous programming experience or education is required. The training on how to develop apps is free for Idaho residents.
"We are fortunate that Blackfoot was chosen as one of the Experience Tour stops," said Julie Buck, a University of Idaho Extension educator and a contact person for the Inspire Idaho program for Bingham County. "This is a great chance to provide people with a hands-on experience in learning programming skills that can improve their employability and job readiness in Idaho's future high-tech businesses."
The training program introduced by the Experience Tour is based on Apple, Inc.'s "Everyone Can Code" curriculum using Apple's Swift programing language. Participants who complete the training will have the skills to design, develop and write their own professional iOS apps.
The Experience Tour is intended to kickoff the Inspire Idaho program. Swift programming experts will visit 20 Idaho cities to demonstrate the power of coding apps, explain the different career opportunities in this field, and introduce the training opportunities available to all interested Idaho residents. Blackfoot is one of the 20 stops. The Tours will also be in Rexburg on March 27, in Idaho Falls on the 27th and 28th, and in Pocatello on the 29th. A complete list of times and locations is available at
The intent of the Inspire Idaho program is to address access, equity and workforce readiness for all citizens of Idaho. It aims to achieve these goals by providing an opportunity to learn app programming and development. Those who want to learn can do so at no cost through teachers and computers brought in through the University of Idaho extension offices. Participants in the program will be supported by the University of Idaho and Innovation Collective.
The intention of Inspire Idaho is to leverage the statewide reach of the Extension offices to promote the creation of app development teams in every one of Idaho’s 44 counties. Experts and mentors in the community will also provide guidance and support. Upon completion of the 180-hour curriculum, each team will generate its own fully developed app.
There is a computer requirement to participate in the program. Participants will need a MacBook capable of running macOS 10.12.6 or later, with WiFi capabilities, a web browser, and ability to watch videos. For those who do not already own their own MacBook or can't afford to purchase one, InspireID will have a laptop lending program. Approved participants will be able to borrow a MacBook Air for the duration of the program training.
“In Idaho, we are one of the lowest average wage states and the shrinking need for humans in certain industries makes a case for us to attempt to connect as many citizens as possible to rapidly growing economies like app development. Old mining and logging towns alongside the reservations across the state will make this an exciting project for all. This program is designed to help you make more money, be a part of a new growing economy, and unlock the fullness of your potential.” Said, Nick Smoot, the founder of the Innovation Collective.
The application development field is the first to be targeted by the Inspire Idaho project. It currently generates $1.3 trillion
in revenue and is expected to grow to $6.3 trillion by 2021.