City of Coeur d’Alene
Viking Construction Inc., SFD with garage, 7119 N. Caracara Lane, value $225,618, issued Feb. 7
Viking Construction Inc., SFD with garage, 7193 N. Caracara Lane, value $228,504, issued Feb. 7
NP Depot, commercial demolition, 201 N. Third, contractor Johnson Construction, issued Feb. 9
Resort Property Management, commercial re-roof, 2008 N. 14th, value $5,980, contractor Custom Roofing L. L. C., issued Feb. 14
Jim & Avis Stafford, commercial demolition, 2060 S. Island Green Drive, contractor Dan Hamm Custom Builders, issued Feb. 14
Tom Powers, commercial demolition, 317 E. Sherman, contractor Meridian Construction Management, issued Feb. 15
Alterations Express, commercial-tenant improvement-alteration shop, 226 W. Ironwood Drive, value $2,000, issued Feb. 16
1038 Associates L. L. C., commercial demolition, 1038 Northwest Blvd., issued Feb. 16
Marvin & Pat Miller, commercial carport, 530 W. Harrison #A, value $8,577, contractor Kemmeyer Kompany Inc., issued Feb. 21
Marvin & Pat Miller, commercial carport, 530 W. Harrison #B, value $21.053, contractor Kemmeyer Kompany Inc., issued Feb. 21
Marvin & Pat Miller, commercial carport, 530 W. Harrison #C, value $6,557, contractor Kemmeyer Kompany Inc., issued Feb. 21
Deaconess Hospital-Rockwood Health, commercial-hospital out patient department, 980 W. Ironwood Drive, value $100,100, contractor Vandervert Construction, issued Feb. 21
Fannie Mae, commercial demolition, 1602 N. Seventh, contractor North Idaho Property Preservation, issued Feb. 21
Viking Construction Inc., SFD with garage, 3368 W. Ranero Drive, value $225,651, issued Feb. 21
Shawn Arneson, commercial tenant improvement-office partitions walls, 180 E. Neider, value $5,000, contractor Superior Building Systems, issued Feb. 22
Fred Meyer Inc., commercial shell-not for occupancy, 560 W. Kathleen, value $38,000, contractor Booco Construction, issued Feb. 23
Matt Yetter, commercial tenant improvement “Meltz”, 1735 W. Kathleen, value $10,000, issued Feb. 23
Sprint Wireless, commercial-build storage room, 560 W. Kathleen, value $8,000, contractor Richard Bynum, issued Feb. 24
Corey Stech, SFD, 954 N. Sixth, value $117,917, contractor Treo Development L. L. C., issued Feb. 27
Atlas Homes L. L. C., SFD with garage, 6827 N. Cornwall. value $140,336, issued Feb. 27
Janhansen Properties, SFD with garage, 1261 W. Grove Way, value $150,000, contractor Smalls Construction Company, issued Feb. 29
Janhansen Properties, SFD with garage, 1277 W. Grove Way, value $150,000, contractor Smalls Construction Company, issued Feb. 29
Coeur d’Alene Cellars, commercial-new storefront door, 3890 N. Schreiber Way, value $6,500, contractor Ginno Construction, issued Feb. 29
Clinton Hays, commercial-install espresso stand, 507 W. Kathleen, value $300, issued March 2
Hallmark Homes Inc., SFD with garage, 7300 N. Carrington Lane, value $94,045, issued March 2
Hallmark Homes Inc., SFD with garage, 7346 N. Carrington Lane, value $131,154, issued March 2
City of Post Falls
Monarch Development, SFR tract house, 1180 N. Harlequin Drive, value $249,198, issued Feb. 14
Lily & Friends L. L. C., commercial alteration, 1500 E. Seltice Way, value $200,000, issued March 1
Paras Homes L. L. C., SFR tract house, 3086 N. Wildfire, value $198,779, issued Feb. 29
Greg Mertens, SFR Tract house, 1353 E. Triumph, value $105,765, issued March 2
City of Rathdrum
Benway Quality Homes, single family residence, 14430 N. Cassia, value $117,693, issued Dec. 28, 2011
Benway Quality Homes, single family residence, 14450 N. Cassia, value $125,980, issued Dec. 28, 2011
Dairy Queen, commercial addition, 15570 N. Vera, contractor Gorringe Homes, issued Jan. 30
Norton Aero Ltd., commercial structure, 5386 E. Brunner Road, Athol, value $251,250, issued Feb. 6
Silverwood Inc., commercial structure, 27843 N. Highway 95, Athol, value $129,698, issued Feb. 6
William R. Daum, single family residence, 12617 N. Partridge Way, Hayden, value $377,496, issued Feb. 10
D & L Development L. L. C., single family residence, 23816 N. Rapalla Court, Athol, value $179,751, contractor North Idaho Builders, issued Feb. 17
Kootenai County, commercial alteration, 4056 N. Government Way, Coeur d’Alene, value $2,300, issued Feb. 23
B. Wells Lake House L. L. C., single family residence, 1235 E. Merganser Lane, Harrison, contractor J & H Contracting, issued Feb. 22
Richard D. Swanson, single family residence, 3250 W. Baywoods Road, Coeur d’Alene, value $526,524, contractor Rosenberger Construction, issued Feb. 22
David & Junell Fish, commercial addition, 9960 W. Bennion Road, Worley, value $500, issued March 2
Silverwood Inc., commercial structure, 27843 N. Highway 95, Athol, value $196,041, issued March 1
Robert Van Wie, single family residence, 1585 S. Grouse Meadow Drive, Coeur d’Alene, value $318,938, contractor Rainbow Mountain Development, issued Feb. 28
Joseph S. Perry, single family residence, 26379 N. Morgan Pine Trail, Athol, value $114,569, contractor Timbered Ridge Homes, issued Feb. 27
Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce
THURSDAY, APRIL 5
100-Minute Reception: Join the Chamber in celebrating 100 years of success with these first Thursdays of the month, 100-Minute Wine & Cheese Receptions. The Receptions will be held at the Chamber Building from 5-6:40 p.m. (100 minutes). Open to members in good standing only, the 100-Minute will be hosted by the Decade Sponsor with each month being a themed program. This month’s Decade Sponsor is Time Warner Cable and will celebrate the ’60s decade theme. There will be fine wine and food, good company and a fun 1960’s trivia contest with prizes and giveaways. Information: Marilee, (208) 415-0111.
TUESDAY, APRIL April 10
Upbeat Breakfast: The Chamber’s Education Committee presents April’s Upbeat Breakfast, Tuesday, April 10. Alison Granier, M.D., from North Idaho Eye Institute will be the featured speaker. Upbeat Breakfast occurs the second Tuesday of every month at The Coeur d’Alene Resort. On average, about 150 members attend making it one of the most popular networking events in our community. Trade tables allow members to display their business and speak briefly about it to the group. The program features a different speaker each month, highlighting various topics of interest. With a reservation, the cost is $14 and includes breakfast and coffee. Reservations are due at noon the Friday before the breakfast. Information: Brenda Young, (208) 415-0110
SATURDAY, APRIL 14
Aw$um Auction: Come join the fun, food and flashbacks as the Chamber holds its annual Aw$um Auction. As part of the Chamber Centennial Celebration, this year’s theme is “Pick a Decade” which covers the early 1900s to today. The auction gives you the chance to bid and win fantastic products and services, which in the past, have included everything from cargo trailers, barbecues and puppies to cruises, lamps and oil changes. So — dust off that poodle skirt, dig out the disco bell bottoms and join us! Information: Diane, (208) 292-1635
THURSDAY, APRIL 26
Business After Hours: Join us for April’s Business After Hours from 5-6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 26, at North Idaho Physical Therapy, 1917 Lakewood Drive, Coeur d’Alene. Prizes, food and beverages will be provided. Information: Brenda Young, (208) 415-0110
FRIDAY, APRIL 13
2nd Friday ArtWalk: The first ArtWalk is on Friday, April 13! Mark your calendar! Every second Friday from April to December, stroll through beautiful Downtown Coeur d’Alene and enjoy local and nationally acclaimed artists. Visit supporting galleries, shops, restaurants and businesses with your friends and family. Come and join us! 5-8 p.m. just follow the yellow balloons! Information: Cheryl, (208) 292-1629
Post Falls Chamber of Commerce
FRIDAY, MARCH 30
Shooting for Success: 6:30 p.m. at Center Target Sports, 3295 E. Mullan Ave., Post Falls. $10 general admission. Tickets can be purchased at the Post Falls Chamber or Center Target Sports. Enjoy shooting game competitions with more than $2,000 in cash and prizes.
FRIDAY, APRIL 13
Post Falls Community Food Drive to benefit the Post Falls Food Bank: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. — Trading Company Stores parking lot.
TUESDAY, APRIL 17
Post Falls Chamber Takin’ Care of Business Luncheon: Doors open at 11:15 a.m. at Red Lion Templin’s. Featured speaker will be Jeff Sayer of Idaho Department of Commerce. Register online at www.postfallschamber.com. Cost is $14 per person.
THURSDAY, APRIL 19
Post Falls Chamber Community Business Fair: 5-7 p.m. — Greyhound Park & Event Center. Free parking and admission. More than 90 businesses displaying their goods and services all under one roof.
I wanted to write this month about a group that has been a vibrant part of our Chamber of Commerce and provide great visibility and recognition to the businesses of the Hayden chamber. They are the Hayden Chamber Rangers!
You may have seen the Chamber Rangers at one of many recent ribbon cuttings celebrating chamber members. Some of their cuttings have been at The Copa, America West Bank, Cunningham Chiropractic and others. The Rangers do cuttings if you are a new member, a new business or you have a big change or remodel and would like to promote it. It is a great opportunity and benefit for you business. I am sure you will come to recognize their distinct green vests and cheerful smiles around town and in the newspaper. The Chamber Rangers also meet monthly at a different local restaurant/coffee shop to plan the month ahead!
Besides celebrating and opening up businesses around the community our Chamber Rangers can be seen marching at local parades such as the recent St. Patrick’s Day Parade in downtown Coeur d’Alene. Look for them at our next local parade. If you would like to be a part of this great group, or you are a business who would like to hold a ribbon cutting, please contact Kandi Johnson at email@example.com. I am very proud of this group of individuals and the work that they are doing in our community.
Remember our monthly breakfast is at Daanen’s Delicatessen at 7 a.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month and the “After 5” is the second Thursday of each month. We would love to see you there for some great networking opportunities. You can find more information at www.haydenchamber.org.
I want to start out by thanking our local state representatives for their service these past months in Boise. The Post Falls chamber weighed in on a number of issues concerning business, including personal property tax, Primacy and Dry Port legislation. We are pleased to partner with the Coeur d’Alene chamber each week with a conference call to the capital, allowing us to stay current regarding committee work and pending bills. The Governmental Affairs Committee is always looking for business professionals to participate in this important work of the chamber, so please consider this your invitation.
We host and support a variety of events and programs throughout the year but one of my favorites is the Reverse Job Fair at Real Life Ministries. The Post Falls Chamber, Idaho Department of Labor and the Post Falls School District partner with more than 200 local professionals to interview more than 300 high school seniors in their career choices. This year our business and education community has provided $5,000 in scholarships and prizes. I am again grateful and in awe of what an amazing community we live in.
We are pleased to partner with our neighboring chambers and Department of Labor this month to host the Kootenai County Job Fair out at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds as well as the H4 Event (Hard Hats, Hammers and Hotdogs). For more information, just visit our website at www.postfallschamber.com.
Center Target Sports is generously donating their facility and staff for a fabulous evening of sporting games on March 30. Cabela’s and Buck Knives are also event sponsors providing fun, food and prizes. Tickets are available at the chamber for just $10.
The Post Falls chamber will host our 6th Annual Community and Business Fair on Thursday, April 19. The fair will provide a venue for 95-plus businesses and service organizations to show off their goods and services to our community under one roof (Greyhound Park and Event Center). Admission is free from 5-7 p.m., parking is free and dozens of prizes will be given away each hour on the hour. It’s a great evening, so don’t miss this opportunity to come out and meet your neighbors!
If you are new to our community, I want to extend an invitation to you to visit the community calendar on our website. Get engaged, meet new friends, make connections and then make a difference.
Editors note: The Kootenai County Job Fair has been canceled.
The Coeur d’Alene chamber has taken the attitudinal position that we will celebrate the positive components of our local economy. In doing so we have asked our Business Development Committee to write monthly features on businesses or industries that have worked diligently to remain financially solvent, create jobs and demonstrate passion and care for North Idaho. The group selected to focus this month’s feature on credit unions. The chamber has six credit unions that are actively contributing members, Global, Horizon, Icon, Numerica, Public Employees and the Chamber’s Diamond Member, STCU. In today’s interview, committee member Becky Monday interviewed Carla Altepeter, president and CEO, Numerica Credit Union.
1. Why do you think there is such a draw to Credit Unions lately?
Credit Unions are not for profit, financial cooperatives. We focus on serving the financial needs of our members and on helping them realize their dreams before focusing on making a profit. This is the foundation of our member relationships and it resonates with people. It is the idea of people helping people by pooling their resources, which has been our purpose since credit unions were first formed in the U.S. during the 1930s.
2. How healthy is the overall Credit Union industry right now?
Reports from our regulators indicate the overall health of credit unions has improved dramatically since the recession. Numerica is very healthy and weathered the recession extremely well. Last year we had very strong growth and earnings. We ended 2011 with more than $1.2 billion in assets, a 6.9 percent increase compared to year-end 2010. We funded more than $412 million in loans, a 22 percent increase compared to year-end 2010.
3. Are you hearing about people wanting to “hide money under their mattress?” What do you say when you hear things like this?
When I hear people wanting to hide their money under their mattress, I shudder. There are so many strong financial institutions to place money for safe keeping. Deposits at credit unions and banks are backed by the full faith of the U.S. government, up to $250,000 per account. Why would anyone want to risk their life savings by hiding it at home where it could be stolen or destroyed in a house fire?
4. Has there been an increase in job growth (in your industry) or a decrease? What is influencing these changes?
I can only speak for Numerica, and I am happy to say that we are currently hiring. We have departments and branches where staffing voids need filled in order to increase member service and allow our professionals to fully capitalize on the opportunities in our market now and plan for the years ahead. So far in 2012, we have hired 14 new employees, with six more pending this month. We have 30 new positions to fill by the third quarter.
5. It’s crystal ball time. Without veering into politics and keeping the perspective of financial professionals, are you optimistic, pessimistic or neutral for our financial future and why?
I am hopeful that the industry has learned from the past and will move us safely into the future. I believe credit unions as a whole have learned valuable lessons from the recession even though most were not responsible for the sub-prime mortgage lending that was, along with greed, at the root of the financial meltdown.
6. What are credit unions doing to remain competitive and what direction should they be going to keep it that way?
Credit Unions need to create and maintain products and services that are relevant to the market place and offer those products and services at fair prices. In addition, we need to provide convenient branching, ATM networks and electronic services such as home banking, electronic bill pay and mobile banking. Consumers are demanding fast, innovative access to their financials.
This article represents a new approach to our communication, let us know what you think; send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you happen to be a chamber member (and all businesses should be) watch for a detailed online survey soliciting your thoughts and ideas the week of April 10.
For many businesses it’s a challenging time. However we have clients who are thriving in virtually every industry sector.
How is it that some businesses are able to navigate through these challenges and continue to prosper while others seem to experience the brunt of the recession? What are the constraints that hold even well-established businesses back from reaching their potential? Is it lack of capital, lack of technology, lack of skilled employees, increased competition, changing market conditions… even recession? No business is immune to these challenges yet some still manage to overcome them and thrive.
When we look deeply at the differences between thriving and struggling businesses there are some common gaps. Thriving businesses possess greater clarity of vision and goals across the organization, more effective resource alignment, and a deeper drive for excellence. These traits are typical in extraordinary businesses. (I will discuss these elements in a future leadership discussion.)
Is it just a matter of focusing more on quality, service and excellence? Many businesses desire to deliver quality, service, even excellence but even as they attempt to focus on these virtues their efforts are buried in the myriad of daily fires, weekly challenges and regular crises. Yet thriving businesses seem to have found a way.
What single variable overrides all of the other business challenges, and constrains the business from reaching its potential?
That variable is that of the leader. Ultimately, the leader is the one that must provide organizational clarity, resource alignment and driving excellence.
We recognize this instinctively in a family. As the leader goes so goes family. As a leader goes, so goes a nation and certainly this is the case for a business. If the leader of a business is stuck everyone below him is stuck. I call this the organizational lid. One that keeps the organization stuck at an obsolete milestone.
How does a leader, especially an experienced leader hold back his own business? By living off the fumes of yesterday’s experience.
When he operates with a belief that what he had learned in years past, business operations he had established, and his leadership practices are adequate for the challenges of today and the future. So instead of embracing the challenges of pressing for fresh innovations, pain of driving excellence and transformation, it’s easy to live off the past successes. When we coast we all go in one direction… down. And the leader just fixed a lid on his organization’s future. If things are not going well it’s easy to point to the economy as the culprit when the cause may be a self-induced organizational lid.
The good news is that the lid can be moved up.
How? The leader can grow in his effectiveness by going on a leadership journey. If the leader will take steps to grow, the lid will move up with him.
How would one begin this journey? In addition to what was discussed in my previous leadership columns I would recommend 3 simple steps:
• Reality check — seek feedback on your leadership style, tendencies and blind spots from loved ones, your team and even peers in the community. Improve your self-awareness by utilizing the Joharis window model.
• Leadership excellence — set aside time weekly to work on your business and gain clarity on the long term vision, goals and plan for implementation. Meet with your team regularly for clarification, focus, accountability and to celebrate business successes.
• Be a learner — read at least 1 leadership book a month, and attend leadership or business conference/seminars regularly.
To advance it isn’t enough to read or to attend. True growth as a leader comes from the exercise of leadership. Apply the learning immediately. The good news is, when the leader grows the leadership quotient of the organization rises as those below him get a lift up.
Leaders, may you lead with all diligence!
Bill Jhung is the director of the Idaho Small Business Development Center at North Idaho College. Bill and his team provide leadership and business coaching, training and resources to business owners and leaders in North Idaho. He can be reached at (208) 769-3284 or at email@example.com.
While peace, family and freedom of religion rank high as concerns for most Americans, right now, our first concern is jobs.
Gallup’s World Poll has identified the leading desire of people everywhere as a “good job.” A good job is increasingly the measure of regional and national success.
In North Idaho, preparing citizens for good jobs and bringing good jobs to the region has long been a focal point of regional planning and development.
Thanks to Jobs Plus Inc., the Coeur d’Alene area has attracted and expanded manufacturing. Manufacturing is the wealth creation engine that will strengthen the number of “middle skill” jobs in North Idaho — jobs that have increasingly disappeared from many areas of the country as manufacturing has moved off-shore.
The Kootenai Technical Education Campus (KTEC) will increase the number of high school graduates able to obtain those middle skill jobs, and thereby feed themselves, earlier in life.
And if you are a high school student who is college bound? Perfect! Simply graduate from KTEC so you can earn a living while you pay your way through higher education, and graduate without debt.
The University of Idaho is proud to partner with KTEC to further assist North Idaho’s economic development by supporting the education and training of a skilled workforce. To that end, KTEC director Mark Cotner recently announced a cooperative relationship with the University of Idaho to provide courses in Coeur d’Alene for KTEC faculty seeking professional-technical teacher certification.
The need for trained professional-technical educators is great: The KTEC expected to serve about 280 students when it opens in fall of 2012. It already has received 900 student applications.
The teachers hired by KTEC bring with them a wealth of experience in the business and industry skills they will teach. Providing these seasoned professionals with effective teaching skills will be the role of the University of Idaho Coeur d’Alene Center. The University will provide vital courses such as teaching methods, assessment techniques and curriculum development, locally.
Beginning teachers can remain in the region to earn the Idaho Occupational Specialist Certificate needed for teaching PTE content area, and also can renew their certification locally. These certifications ensure quality instructors and meet Idaho teacher requirements.
KETC enrollment is now at 900 students, vastly exceeding enrollment capacity, so the need for certified instructors is there.
The University of Idaho is the leading university in the Pacific Northwest for career and technical teacher education, making it a great fit for this partnership. The University prepares teachers for the PTE content areas of agriculture and natural resources, business and marketing, engineering and technology, family and consumer sciences, health occupations and skilled and technical sciences.
This KTEC/UI agreement will serve as a model for public school and university cooperation in professional-technical education, and it is a wonderful opportunity for the University of Idaho to support the economic development of the region.
University of Idaho Instructor Robert Ketchum was recently hired to lead the teacher education program serving alternatively certified professional-technical education teachers in North Idaho.
In honor of Earth Day April 22, businesses across the country are promoting their efforts to go green. Customers react positively to marketing which shows attempts to conserve natural resources, produce cleaner energy, and recycle waste. But did you know a business can actually save money by reducing their environmental footprint?
Here are 10 ways to save a little green by going green:
1. Use T5 or Energy Star bulbs. T5 bulbs use 50 percent less energy than regular fluorescents. Energy Star rated light bulbs (at most stores) use two-thirds less energy and last longer, thus costing less over time. Turn off the light in meeting rooms or offices not in use.
2. Shrink packaging. General mills shaved 20 percent off the box of Hamburger Helper, without changing the amount of content. The savings extended beyond less packaging and into transportation and fuel; they now need hundreds fewer truckloads annually to ship the product.
3. Shut down, not hibernate. Unused computers waste $1 billion annually and faster wear costs businesses more in equipment replacement. Turn the computer, printer, and power strip off when you go home at night.
4. Copy smarter. Print or copy front and back for up to 50 percent savings on paper. This also saves space in the file cabinet. Many copiers have a setting which does this automatically (“duplex” or two-sided printing).
5. Consider a virtual office. Beside the fact that employees like the flexibility, consider Sun Microsystems. Its Open Work program gives 20,000 participants (56 percent of Sun’s workforce) the option to work from home. In 2006, Sun saved $67.8 million in real-estate costs, prevented tons of carbon emissions from the missed commutes, and increased worker productivity by 34 percent. Sun now consults to other companies who want to do the same.
6. Ditch the styrofoam. Better yet, keep and reuse your own dishware and utensils at work. For guests and parties, paper cups, plates, and to-go boxes work and generally cost half as much as styrofoam, which has non-recyclable plastic content.
7. Add plants. Live plants absorb indoor pollution, brighten the office, and are good for health. A Washington State University research team studied a workplace before and after plants were added. They found workers were 12 percent more productive, had lower blood pressure, and reported feeling less stressed and more attentive. Consider planting shady trees or shrubs outside windows facing the morning or afternoon sun.
8. Embrace climate change. Adjust the thermostat just three degrees more in summer and three less in winter. It’s rarely noticed, but you will save energy and money. Remember to check weather stripping and change the filter and keep it clean; dirty filters make the unit work harder and use more energy. At the end of workdays, be sure blinds and curtains are closed to better maintain temperature while the building is empty.
9. Recycle cell phones. If it still functions but is outdated, donate it to a charity; you get the tax deduction to boot. Same goes for functioning computers and schools, if they’re not entirely outdated.
10. Buy recycled paper. Copy paper and paper towels choices at most stores include partial recycled content options and may be cheaper anyway, although that varies by retailer. The North Idaho Business Journal is printed on partly recycled newsprint.
“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” — Native American Proverb
Recycling is big business
Few consider the financial impact. A landmark national study on the recycling industry put the economic impact of recycling in the U.S. at a hefty $236 billion in annual sales, 1.1 million jobs, and another 1.4 million jobs indirectly supported by the industry.
The “industry” includes more than curbside programs for aluminum, plastic, and newspaper. Other examples are steel mills, iron and steel foundries, paper manufacturers, computer and electronics demanufacturers, glass container and rubber product manufacturers, pavement producers, plastics reclaimers, and of course collection centers and recyclable materials wholesalers.
Add $12.9 billion generated in federal, state, and local taxes to the picture and you have a profitable argument for joining in.
The global economy is undergoing tremendous change. Natural resources are limited, and increased fuel prices are encouraging energy efficiency and the development of renewable energy.
The impact on society is through increased environmental regulations, government incentives, higher demand for environmentally friendly goods and services and for workers with skills that incorporate green practices.
About 3 percent of employment nationwide and in Idaho is green. But nearly 1 in 10 Idaho employers have at least one employee with a green job. On average, there are five employees working in green jobs per Idaho employer. Idaho and neighboring states have a similar composition. Although this seems like a small portion of Idaho’s total employment, it is expected to grow in size and importance as Idaho’s economy expands along with demand for additional expertise in clean energy and green technology.
A number of trends show that the green economy is growing and that consumer awareness of, and demand for, green products is on the rise. It is a favorable environment for those looking to start green businesses.
Emerging entrepreneurs can take advantage of the opportunities being offered in renewable energy alternatives, green collar job training, green business incubators or perhaps developing a business model that increases access to renewable energy technologies.
Additionally, starting a business that offers alternative transportation solutions can benefit both the environment and community health from something as simple as refurbishing old bikes or starting an electric bike and scooter dealership to green cab companies.
The demand for safe, effective, non-toxic products is also steadily growing. There are abundant opportunities for innovative entrepreneurs to meet this demand with home-based businesses by taking advantage of a growing market by selling goods online such as sustainable baby goods or green home and bath products. Moreover, the increasing demand for all-natural and biodegradable cleaning supplies for houses, offices and schools has redefined specific janitorial and housecleaning services.
Remaking goods is also becoming hip as entrepreneurs find ways to make fashion statements with recycled clothing and salvaged furniture.
A niche market is growing in the construction industry for used building materials. Contractors are becoming salvage experts by removing, selling and installing used building materials for a profit. Training opportunities are also available in this market.
As climate change awareness and mitigation strategies increase, it is likely industry will increasingly prioritize energy efficiency as a critical solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions while increasing returns on investment.
Savings from appliance standards alone created about 338,000 jobs nationwide in 2010. By 2020, that number is projected to grow by 15.4 percent to 390,000 jobs. And for every 100,000 net jobs created by energy efficiency gains, about 6,000 are in the broad manufacturing sector, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and Appliance Standards Awareness Project.
Those with backgrounds in construction, roofing, electrical engineering or architecture have a range of opportunities to start new businesses in the booming green building and energy efficiency fields. And those with little or no experience have the chance to gain skills and create their own career opportunities.
The Idaho Department of Labor has identified heating, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics and installers, construction laborers, plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters, roofers and electricians as high employment occupations in the field of energy efficiency in Idaho.
Emerging green enterprises hold great promise for creating green collar jobs on a large scale, for preserving the environment and for reinvigorating distressed economies.
Alivia Metts is Regional Economist with the Idaho Department of Labor.
CATALDO — Neither rain nor snow nor a rotten economy — heck, not even a disastrous fire — could keep a good lumber business down.
The saga of Whiteman Lumber Co., stretching back four generations and countless changes in the industry, marches forward as a success story in the North Idaho business world with few peers.
Never mind that the timber industry, once a stalwart with mining atop Idaho’s economic hierarchy, has fallen on hard times that have engraved RIP on the headstones of many of its businesses and suppliers.
Even after fire razed the mill on Jan. 5, 2009, the facility is up, running and grinding out fine wood products that look and smell an awful lot like money.
Owner Brad Corkill explained that mills producing wood products as commodities have to increase production almost daily to stay viable.
“The production level doesn’t change here; it’s the same every day,” he said during an NIBJ tour of the operation in late February. “Where we make our living is finding some new corner in the marketplace. And we’ve been pretty good at it.”
Corkill, 60, was walking past two highly efficient dehumidifying kilns as he said that. In those kilns were a couple truckloads of prime Douglas-fir timbers — some eventually headed for a new home in Kansas, and some for Gibbs Lumber in Hayden — enjoying some eight days of heat and humidity while Whiteman’s 12 full-time employees labored in 25-degree temperatures.
And nobody was complaining.
“This is more than a job — it’s a family,” said Terry Groth, the mill foreman and a fourth-generation Whiteman employee who started when Corkill bought the operation in 1988. “Everybody gets along because we have to. We’ve got to have low-key personalities and everyone has to want to work hard, and they do. I probably enjoy this crew more than any I’ve had here.”
Corkill takes good care of his mill family. New employees start at $12 an hour and can move into the $20 an hour range. But Corkill is particularly proud of Whiteman’s benefits. The company pays the entire health insurance premiums for its employees and offers a 401k program that fully vests employees on their first day of work, with 6 percent matching contributions from the company.
In retrospect, the blaze that leveled the mill proved to be a Phoenix. Rather than mourn his loss and do something else for a living, Corkill brought in modern new equipment and built a 16,000 square-foot roof over the operation.
“I can’t believe we made a living in that place,” he said of the pre-fire mill, which was down for about six and half months before rising anew. “Since it burned down and we built this one, this has got another three generations in it.”
Whiteman is thriving, Corkill says, by filling important niches in high demand.
One of those is the mining industry — like timber, one that slumped badly but has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years. A major Whiteman project now keeping two craftsmen fully occupied for two months is filling an order from Con-Sil Mine for 120 three-compartment shaft sets. But just a few yards away, the mill’s diversity is on display as a rare circle saw — frowned upon because the width of its cut is not considered efficient — rips through huge blocks of Douglas fir.
Corkill keeps the circle saw busy because customers love the rough, rustic look it gives. And despite its reputation for inefficiency, Corkill points out that the prolific sawdust pouring down from the cuts is never wasted. Some of it goes to a company that burns it to generate electricity, and some goes to a plant that uses it to make products like the one you’re holding in your hands right now.
“Everything gets used,” Corkill said.
Groth says he’s bullish on the business because of Corkill’s ingenuity and rugged persistence.
“I’m very optimistic,” Groth said. “We’ve been through it all, seen it all. When the mines weren’t there, he’d find another niche.”
The way he fills those niches is another secret to Corkill’s success.
“Here’s the difference in my mill: Every log that comes to the head rig is there for a specific product, a specific order,” Corkill said. “I’ve already sold everything before I make it. Other mills you make something and then you try to sell it.”
Quality of craftsmanship also counts.
“In most sawmills the machinery does all the work,” he said. “It’s all automated. By comparison, the production per person per hour here is small. But everybody in this operations is essential because we make so many different products.”
Corkill, a logging foreman and land buyer for Potlatch and then manager of a stud mill in St. Maries before buying Whiteman in 1988, says he still isn’t sure why he made that leap almost a quarter century ago and moved his family from St. Maries to Rose Lake.
“If my life had been about money I never would’ve bought this place,” he said. “But it’s worked out well. I could do this for another 20 years.”
Groth, who lives a couple miles down the road and also plans to stick around for a long, long time, feels the same way.
“If I left here,” he said, “it would be like leaving a piece of my home.”