BLACKFOOT–Premier Technology is one of the largest employers in Southeast Idaho. They currently employ over 300 people, and with strong wages, healthcare plans, retirement opportunities, advancement opportunities, and on the job trainings, they are a boon to anyone who works for them. The College of Eastern Idaho brings certified welding instructors to train new employees and update the skills of their current employees. This helps employees advance into long-term careers.
Premier Technology has seen an expansion of their projects, machinery, and warehouse from the use of New Markets Tax Credit Program. This program has had the long support of Congressman Simpson and he was able to come and see how it has come to fruition in Blackfoot. The upgrades to the Premier facility included laser equipment, a state of the art storage system, and an overall 65,000 square-foot addition to the company. Instead of a manufacturing business, it is now a manufacturing plant.
Premier Technology made its debut in 1996 with three employees. The family-owned business continued to grow through manufacturing for government and commercial clients. They specialize in engineering, custom manufacturing, and project management services. Contracts through the US Department of Energy and the Department of Defense, prove that Premier Technology is an important part of Southeast Idaho's economics.
New Markets Tax Credit Program was enacted in the year 2000 as an effort to support private investment and economic growth in rural and urban areas that are considered low income. These credits are awarded annually through a competitive process. Through the help of MoFi, a nonprofit community development lender, they have created thousands of jobs, brought in hundreds of millions of dollars to the region and provided financing for Golden Valley Natural beef jerky in Shelley, Western States Caterpillar (Pocatello) and Fresca Mexican Foods and Capitol Distributing, INC (Caldwell). Overall these programs have helped hundreds of families all over Southeast Idaho.
August 14 the expansion of Premier Technology was opened to the public to see what types of things they have done. The heavy plate equipment in house, is one of the only heavy plate systems in North America. Premier Technology has some of the tallest equipment as well. The automation of the systems help improve their contract rates as well as keeping products organized they use consistently for manufacturing. The New Markets Tax Credit program has made the Premier expansion possible. According to Mike Simpson, "The New Markets Tax Credit program is scheduled to expire in 2019, it's scheduled to but it won't be. I will put it on our budget, we are going to extend it, that is my job." Simpson's declaration was met with clapping by the audience. After his remarks the machinery was turned on and people were allowed to see some of the machines in action. This remarkable plant helps numerous families in the community and will continue to do so for many years to come.