June is a very busy month for the chamber. Our Marquee event of the year is the Ironman Triathlon, June 19-23, with race day being Sunday, June 23. For the past 10 years the Chamber of Commerce along with the city of Coeur d’Alene and Kootenai Health partnered to sponsor Ironman. The event brings well over 4,000 visitors to Coeur d’Alene spending an estimated $7 million to $8 million. The chamber fronts the sponsorship money, the city provides all necessary services for the venue and Kootenai Health provides all medical services and personnel.
This year, in an effort to help reduce the total upfront costs, the chamber was able to bring three new sponsors to the table, Numerica, The University of Idaho and the Spokane Regional Airport. These new Volunteer Sponsors join the chamber’s other sponsors: the Downtown Association, Hagadone Corp., the CVB, the State Tourism Division, Coeur d’Alene Lodging Partners and the Spokane Regional Sports Commission. Please join us in thanking this great team.
Each year an army of more than 2,900 volunteers man aid stations and crossings, joining the 400-person medical team to help assure a smooth and safe race. It truly does take a village to run the Ironman. Thank you all.
This years’ Women’s Conference is June 6 at the Best Western Coeur d’Alene Inn. This is the second year of a terrific conference that sold out last year and is sure to sell out again this year. Again, Numerica has stepped up to help sponsor this event. Conference highlights are, a generational panel, a discussion with Susan Nipp, the creator of We Sing and Mudgey & Millie, and a Conversation with Ellen Travolta. Plus a great, fun Speed Networking session. Register online at www.CdAChamber.com or call Marilee Wallace at (208) 415-0111.
The Fourth of July is just around the corner and that means a parade and fireworks. The Big celebration would not be possible if Coeur d’Alene’s business community and philanthropists did not step up and help pay for the fireworks, permits, sanitation and traffic control. The chamber needs your help. Once again the Coeur d’Alene Press will be acknowledging those business and individuals that make at least a $500 contribution. This years’ goal is to raise $30,000. To help keep this traditional Coeur d’Alene event alive, call Diane Higdem at (208) 292-1635.
The chambers usual event suspects are all also present this June. Join us for Business Showcase on June 6, Upbeat Breakfast June 11 and Business After Hours June 27.
Craving to play the Raven? (Circling Raven Golf Course that is.) Join the chamber for our first “Cravin’ to Play the Raven” Summer Golf event on June 20 at the Coeur d’Alene Casino’s Circling Raven Golf Course for only $80 including prizes, golf balls and snacks. Tee time is 2 p.m. Register online or call Brenda at (208) 415-0110.
Steve Wilson is president and CEO of the Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce.
June is the month that thousands of local students look forward to for years, the month that they will graduate. It may be from high school or college, but either one is a milestone like no other in our lifetime. Let me just say, congratulations, celebrate and be safe.
The Chamber of Commerce looks forward to June because it is the month we officially kick off the tourism season. The Post Falls Visitor Center assists more than 300 guests each week during the summer season, promoting local attractions such as Silverwood, The River Queen, Center Target Sports, Triple Play and Rock Climbing at Q’melin Park, just to name a few. Karen Ballard, with the Idaho Department of Commerce, will be our guest speaker this month at the TCB membership meeting on June 18, giving a presentation on the economic impact that tourism has in our state. Don’t miss it.
Speaking of tourism, we will have our annual golf tournament on June 21 at the Highlands Golf Course. We welcome golfers of every skill level to participate. Proceeds benefit local programs and projects that support economic development, tourism and business education. Join us for this fabulous event and a chance to win a brand new Chevy from Knudtsen Chevrolet.
The chamber continues to look for opportunities to provide quality workshops and continued education for our members by bringing you experts on topics such as Health Care Reform, Higher Education Economic Forums and Customer Service classes for front line employees. Be sure to check our website for locations and dates in the months to come.
We are currently accepting applications for the 2014 River City Leadership Academy. The academy is a two-part program designed for professionals to explore and discover Post Falls, Kootenai County and Idaho treasures. Participants learn about current issues, hot topics and opportunities that affect us as citizen and business leaders. In addition to the 80 hours of community exploration, the Post Falls chamber is proud to provide 16 hours of customized training led by a person development coach and certified facilitator. Application deadline is June 7. The program runs September 2013 to June 2014. Please request information at email@example.com.
Mark your calendar for July 11-14 for the Post Falls Festival. Dozens of events will be going on all over town including a carnival, car shows, concerts, marketplace, parade and much more. Registration forms are available online at www.postfallschamber.com.
The chamber will host a Tapas Contest for local Chefs in September, at our “Tapas and Tailgating” party. More than $3,000 in prize money is up for grabs! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for an invitation to participate.
Happy Fathers Day.
Pam Houser is president and CEO of the Post Falls Chamber of Commerce.
R.C. Worst & Company is celebrating 60 years of business in Coeur d’Alene this year.
“If R.C. Worst came strolling in here today, I think he would be really proud,” said R.C.’s grandson and part owner of the company, Ken Worst, who is in charge of the company’s accounting and technological development.
R.C. survived the Great Depression by fixing cars in Kellogg. Eventually he built himself an automotive business in Hayden.
In 1953, R.C. Worst bought Brown Construction from his father-in-law, Fred Brown, and named his business R.C. Worst & Company. In the early 1970s the general contracting business became a regionally reputable distributor of water and wastewater systems. R.C.’s wife of nearly 60 years, Geneva Brown, was the company’s accountant.
Together they raised a family and business simultaneously.
Today the business is a fourth-generation success with 18 employees as well as a sister store in Spokane.
The company is expanding its marketplace by selling its products throughout the Inland Northwest, the U.S., and now Canada. “Our inventory is the largest and most complete in the Inland Northwest,” said Ken Worst on the company’s website, www.rcworst.com.
“When Worst is your last name and your business name, you have to rise above that connotation to really do the job right the first time,” Ken Worst said. “That’s probably the biggest thing we do. It’s not just gouge them and go on to the next relationship.”
Allen Worst, Ken’s brother and grandson to R.C. Worst, is also an owner in the family business whose primary role is sales.
“We’d like to continue serving our customers in expanded areas that we see fit, but our goal is not to necessarily have branches all across the country and become the McDonald’s of pumps,” Allen Worst said.
“True,” agreed his brother. “We’re not owned by General Electric or something; we’re a local business.”
Allen and Ken Worst attribute the company’s prosperity to their predecessors.
The brothers remember their grandfather showing them how to hold a wrench and how to use leverage with tools. At times they recall him as “gruff” and “hard to please,” but he was always present and practical. They remember how their grandfather’s primary concern, despite the day and time, was to help a client. “He’d hop up and help anyone,” recalls Allen Worst. “He had a passion for helping people.”
Jim Worst, R.C.’s only son and father to Allen and Ken, started working for the company during his summers in between school years. After completing his engineering and business degrees from the University of Idaho, Jim returned to Coeur d’Alene to his apply his education to the family business. He excelled behind and beyond his desk, with handshakes and with details. “Our values are what have kept us in business so long. We’ve tried to have integrity with dealing with people and be fair with billing so we’re not burning bridges. We’re not willing to take advantage of people,” Allen Worst said.
The underpinnings of the business are extremely technical in nature.
“A real quick and dirty way to describe what we do is water and wastewater systems,” Allen Worst said. “That covers the mechanical and electrical sides.”
When a customer calls, the Worst brothers are confident in their experience and knowledge, as well as their highly trained staff. “The values of the company carry through the technical nature of product lines,” Ken Worst said. “We try to break things down technically. We pride ourselves on having more knowledge than anyone in the area.”
“We have the knowledge so we don’t guess,” added Allen Worst.
In the Worst tradition, a man acts upon his words.
“We have a high level of trust with each other. We know that we will do what we say. And we make decisions with the business in mind, and not ourselves. We have employees that rely on the business and we think of that when we make decisions.”
Customers come first, business and employees second, owners third. That’s the Worst way.
“It rings a bell and people remember us because we’re R.C. Worst on Best Avenue,” Ken Worst said. “Business is picking up. We’re not in it to get a ton of money out of people. We’re in it for them to get what they need, and they do.”
Which is the oldest form of advertising?
It may have changed its form and representation many times, but display advertising is one of the oldest forms of marketing. And despite the numerous debates that ramble on about its effectiveness as an advertising medium, it continues to be the most widely utilized advertising mechanism.
The battle for eyeballs has now shifted to the digital world. We personally experience that the virtual world is consuming more and more of our time. I’ve seen countless families in restaurants dining together, yet all looking down at their chosen digital devices. This makes it imperative that information about your business be made available through a medium that has become the primary source of information for consumers.
The Advantage of Digital
Unlike the traditional form of display advertising, which is static, and mainly text and image based, the digital world makes use of additional elements including audio and video. It may then be presented to the consumer in the form of a banner ad or rich media.
You can now also leverage the audio-visual medium in a cost-effective manner to provide information in far greater depth, which ultimately may be more effective in converting prospects into clients. Additionally, display advertising offers the advantage of being delivered to a targeted market segment. You can ensure that your ad is placed only on websites that are relevant to what you are selling. Once again, the potential conversion ratio is higher.
As mentioned earlier, display advertising can be used to create all types of ads. The biggest advantage however, is measurability. It provides the ability to closely monitor the performance and outcome of your ad campaign. The ability to measure the click-through ratio on your display ad impressions provides you with solid data and complete control. This enables you to manage your budget, and make investments in areas that provide maximum benefit.
If ensuring maximum eyeballs for your product or service is the key then you can opt for the impressions option, wherein you pay whenever your ad is displayed. This guarantees your ad will be seen by a specific number of people in a given time period. If your business is local in nature you could ensure that your ad is served only in that specific geography.
To have tighter control over your spend you can try a display based Pay-per-click campaign. This means you only pay when a likely prospect has clicked an ad and visited your website. You can set a daily budget limit and adjust as you please. Both impression based and click based campaigns are proactive since your ad is being displayed to customers who are searching for information related to your business.
Leverage Retargeting and Remarketing
Web technology now offers you the option of continuing to engage with customers who may have moved on to other sites after visiting your webpage. Powerful data gathering tools such as Google Analytics, gives you multiple chances at conversion. Retargeting and Remarketing are two key trends that may provide immense benefits.
Retargeting: Few users are likely to convert on their very first visit to your website. Some may continue searching other sites for more information. The retargeting method can be used to try to engage prospects who visited your website once but did make a purchase. Their visit to your website ensures that they know about your brand. Now you leverage that familiarity to continue serving display ads about your business on other sites they visit. This continuous exposure to your brand across multiple websites increases brand recognition and reinforces your credibility. Ensure a clear call to action in all your ads and try focusing a single product or service line through each ad.
Remarketing: This method goes a step further. With remarketing you take advantage of the first party information you have gathered about the visitors who clicked on your display ad, then you may use that data to conduct focused digital campaigns. You can leverage direct marketing such as email blasts to target customers who come to your website but leave without completing an action. Remarketing attempts to convert such prospects through the data compiled during the initial tracking.
The goal is to localize your campaigns and to win new customers in your area. The strategy for display advertising, whether in the traditional sense, or using the digital medium is the same. It must be consistent and highly visible. This will assure you a high brand recall by your prospects, improve brand credibility, and customer loyalty.
Jacob Myong is a WSI Internet Consultant with the Coeur d’Alene Press. He has worked in digital media for more than 15 years. Email Jacob@cdapress.com or call (208) 416-5173. www.cdainternetmarketing.com
I don’t own a business, but I have been on the boss’s side of hiring. Few things are as disappointing for a manager as getting a less-than-desired response in a pool of job candidates. Sometimes you just don’t see the characteristics you need to completely fit the bill, even in an employer’s bull market.
So it’s inefficient and counterproductive, as well as counterintuitive, to reduce the odds of finding that perfect fit by ignoring a whole segment of potential employees: those with disabilities. Yes, I said disabilities.
“We are seven times more likely to be unemployed than the general population,” said Patrick Blum of Disability Action Center Northwest (DAC) in Coeur d’Alene, a very intelligent and well-spoken man whose disability came later in life, after he was well-established in a teaching career.
Many who live with disabilities want to and can work, said Blum. He points out that addition to keeping people from independent living, unnecessary unemployment can also cost all taxpayers more in benefits and services, as well as deprives employers from potential workers.
The trend is getting worse. Society is apparently de-evolving in this area. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment rates for those with disabilities (a broad term which includes hundreds of very different conditions and characteristics) dropped from 24.6 percent in 1981 to a paltry 15.2 percent in 2011. This, at the same time science, technology, education, and ease of accommodation (if required; often, it’s not) have improved dramatically. That’s too many unnecessarily wasted resources.
“But wait,” employers might say; “Doesn’t disabled mean less able? Doesn’t that put a burden on me by having to accommodate under the ADA; won’t that cost me a lot of money, time, and productivity?”
Generally, no. Many accommodations, if required at all, are quite simple. The location of a desk; perhaps a different keyboard or chair. Increasing the font size on a computer or printed documents. Perhaps adjusting a schedule (e.g., if mornings or evenings are especially difficult; perhaps a specific lunch/meal time). In any case, there are free resources to help an employer both evaluate and address accessibility – before and after employment. DAC, one of more than 700 centers nationwide, is a good first step for free information and referral to other resources and agencies. They also provide some skills training. Federal grants exist to help with employment-related accessibility (Grants.gov). Tesh is a local nonprofit whose mission is to build sturdy, mutually beneficial bridges between those with disabilities and employers. Those are just a few examples.
Passing up workers with disabilities, failing to reach out to this market, suggests limited business vision. It’s also prejudicial. Think of what prejudice means: pre-judgment – making a conclusion in advance of knowing the facts, a common human tendency. Far, far too often, the facts of a condition and its effects on job or employer bear little or no relation to what is presumed.
True, a person who can’t walk seems a less able basketball coach than the guy without that disability. Then again, there are some coaches with wheelchairs or physical limitations; such a disability has no effect on one’s teaching talent or skill. Compare a partially paralyzed coach who was once a high-scorer for the Chicago Bulls to someone who walks, but played relatively unremarkable ball in school. That disparity in knowledge, experience, and skill can mean the difference between a passable and a championship team.
A Walgreen’s video showed an employee with Down syndrome, whose boss called him “the best employee I have.” This man never called in sick, was always on time, did all tasks given him with careful precision and with less supervision than other employees (without disabilities), and always wore a smile because he loved being at work.
Some disabilities are less obvious, e.g., certain mental health conditions. Someone with OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) may have the sort of detail-oriented brain ideal for jobs involving technical, highly specific tasks. Some with other mental differences do very well in jobs requiring empathy or compassion. The examples are endless, and very individual, so interviews are key. In other words, some disabilities may even enhance a job candidate’s suitability for particular job, rather than hamper it as is often assumed. A disability is a human characteristic like any other; diversity can be employed to improve economy.
Have questions or concerns about a candidate or employee with a disability? Contact DAC at (208) 664-9896 or email@example.com. No question will be judged, but simply answered and appreciated.
“A prudent question is one half of wisdom.”
— Francis Bacon
Sholeh Patrick, J.D., is a North Idaho Business Journal columnist who also writes regularly for the Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls Press.
In another time and place, I wrote a weekly column exalting the PB&J, scraped-knee-and-big-hugs, Calvin-and-Hobbes relationship between best buds in the whole world: Men and their sons. I called the column Dad & Sons, Inc., and the sketch that accompanied the column was drawn by my mother for even more of a familial touch.
Because June is the month that celebrates this enduring bond between dads and sons, I wanted to spotlight some of the blood-linked teams leading their businesses in our community.
Nowhere is there a more hilarious duo than Hawaiian-shirt and khaki-short pitch man Tom Addis and his fellow car-dealing lad, Jim. Their reservoir of jokes is limited only by how much time you have to listen to them and wipe the tears from your eyes, but don’t be fooled; their business acumen and decades of community involvement are without peer. These are two smart dudes.
Speaking of smart, Ryan Nipp is a chip off the old block. This Georgetown grad is very much his dad’s boy. Charlie Nipp has been a devoted public servant, having headed up the board of the region’s largest urban renewal agency for a decade, and Ryan, a huge help to the Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce, is deftly on his way to filling the ample business shoes his dad will one day discard in favor of flip-flops and basketball sneakers.
Charlie’s longtime business partner, Steve Meyer, also has plenty of proud papa-ness to portray. His son, Chris, is making a name for himself in the business and economic development community, with the father-son team earning rave reviews for overcoming clients’ most challenging corporate relocation and expansion hurdles in North Idaho.
Don “Pepper” Smock and his son, Duffy, inspire me not just because they’re so adept in the real estate world. I’ve heard Pepper say many times that Duffy is also his best friend. Watch Duffy around his old man for 9 seconds and you can tell, the feeling is mutual.
Under the Hagadone Corp. umbrella, thousands of families find shelter through good jobs. Two employers, Jerry Jaeger of Hagadone Hospitality and Jim Hail of the Hagadone Black Book, see their sons following in their footsteps. Jason Jaeger, with an undergrad degree from beloved University of Arizona and a master’s from WSU, and Jim Hail III, with some law-school stripes to his credit, both have the potential to surpass their pops’ greatest accomplishments.
And only a block away from my office, an 80-year-old genius without a lot of formal education has taught his son right. Before Duane Hagadone figuratively handed over the keys to his little newspaper kingdom, he required Brad to invest decades in learning all aspects of the business, working his way up from lowly staff photographer to president of Hagadone Newspapers, Inc. The view of the future looks picture-perfect from here.
To every dad and son team reading this, may those blessed bonds transcend all time, and when you do trip over your unlaced shoestrings, may you always bounce right back up.
COEUR d’ALENE — When the foul winds of recession howled still, uprooting real estate salespeople like dead plants in a hurricane’s path and flinging them like yesterday’s newspaper down abandoned streets, Tom Fisher was smiling.
No, the former restaurateur and native Coeur d’Alene kid isn’t heartless. He felt for those whose careers collapsed when the real estate bubble burst after 2007. He sympathized with those who were swept away more slowly, whose million-dollar dreams eroded rather than exploded in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011.
But when the economy stopped shaking itself like a miserable wet dog and a handful of survivors were still holding on, there was Tom, grinning like he was The Big Dawg himself, because in fact, he was.
“Last year was my best year ever,” said the 10-year real estate peddler. “I was in the right place with the right product.”
Tom’s secret, which he shared with NIBJ between frenetic meetings and showings and preparations for his new office looking out at Lake Coeur d’Alene, was condos.
“Ten years ago we didn’t really have many condos,” he said. “Now I do a little bit of everything, but the last couple of years? More condos.”
Lots more condos.
Fisher is selling in a price range that stretches from a very modest $150,000 or so to more than $3 million. For everything in between, business is brisk.
Many of the eager buyers, he said, are locals who find condos a perfect accommodation for the next phase in their lives.
“He’s the typical guy who says, ‘Hey, the kids are gone and we can come and go as we please,” Fisher said. There’s no yardwork to tend to. There’s parking. There’s security. There’s less living space, if that’s what you want, to have to clean and fuss over.
The condo craze, Fisher said, has generated momentum in recent years because residents discovered the comfort and convenience of condos elsewhere during vacations and other travels.
“A lot of people started going south over the winter,” heading to warmer climes like Arizona or Hawaii, he said. “They’d rent a condo somewhere and think, ‘This is pretty good.’ And then they’d buy one here.”
Fisher said a fairly recent phenomenon in the local condo market goes like this:
Ms. Ironman buys a condo in the Coeur d’Alene area and stays there for the week leading up to the big event in June. Maybe this upwardly mobile property owner sticks around longer; maybe she rents the place out the other 55 weeks of the year; or maybe it makes its way back to the market, where folks like Tom Fisher are eager to help find the next owner.
Mr. Nevada has visited Coeur d’Alene so of course, he loves it. He’d like to spend the summer here, but there’s a problem.
“You can’t rent because there’s no inventory,” Fisher said.
So Mr. Nevada, feeling a little more secure about the economy and thinking this might be a pretty good time to invest in a promising real estate market, looks up someone like Tom Fisher, who sets up Mr. Nevada quite nicely in a Coeur d’Alene-area condo. Mr. Nevada can now spend as much time as he wants here. He can rent it out or sell whenever the spirit moves him.
“They feel like they can buy great value in Coeur d’Alene, with costs and interest low,” Fisher said, “and they’re right.”
In an interesting side note, Fisher said locals’ perception of or reaction to “outsiders” buying real estate for second homes or investment have changed significantly since the last boom.
“I was here for all the ‘Don’t Californicate Idaho’ stuff,” he said, laughing. “I just don’t hear it anymore.”
Fisher points out that not only do these buyers contribute substantially to local infrastructure through their property taxes, but when they’re here, they spend on everything the rest of us spend money on — and then some.
“They’re coming for the summer or maybe for six months,” he said. “We’re seeing a lot more money for a longer time.”
Locals’ warmer welcome to these part-time North Idahoans has been forged in the same recessionary furnace that changed attitudes about a lot of benefits that weren’t necessarily seen that way 10 years ago.
“Everybody who got hurt and got slowed down, I think they’re appreciative of it now when maybe they weren’t before,” Fisher said.
(Oh, and make a living, too)
All you college grads with freshly minted history and anthropology degrees, bless your hearts. You’re almost certain to make the world a better place, yet we can’t help but wonder: Where in the heck are you going to work?
High school grads preparing to dive into the rapid waters of a stout liberal arts education, you will no doubt grow as human beings. But if you have no idea how you’re going to turn that knowledge into a living wage, aren’t you headed upstream without a paddle?
Idaho Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna has been beating the drum for years trying to rally parents and their kids to meet higher educational standards. Right now, 41 percent of our high school graduates are ill-prepared for college or for a job. Something clearly has to change. And just as clearly, intervention at the point of handing over a diploma is much too late.
So picking up where a popular TV program left off, we asked several important people we know, local people with wisdom and insight into education and employment, to see if they can help make fifth-graders smarter than, well, a fifth-grader.
A 10-year-old looks you in the eye and says, “When I grow up, I want to live and work right here. What should I study or what training should I get so I can have a good job here and raise a family?”
What advice would you give this child?
And here’s how they answered:
Take every opportunity to explore the world of work, and find activity that is enjoyable to you. Plan to become very good at what you enjoy. Think of business ideas as well as jobs. Think how to sell yourself in the marketplaces of skills.
Skills will define success in the future. Learn how to use the Internet to learn. Anyone can learn anything from anyone, anywhere, at any time. Focus on developing skill. Develop foundational skills like reading, writing and mathematics. Develop interpersonal and technical skills that cannot be easily provided by someone over the Internet. Be wary of work that is easily done by online competitors, or robotic systems.
Pursue credentials that business and industry want, at whatever level of learning that may be required. Be open to whatever source of learning may provide that education and training. Those sources of knowledge may be school-based, or employer provided — or available online. The ability to demonstrate skill will trump time spent in a classroom seat. Don’t waste time.
(Robert G. Ketchum, Ph.D., is Lecturer in Occupational Education, Career and Technical Education Program Department of Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education, University of Idaho. When he was 10, Robert wanted to be a ship’s captain when he grew up.)
I would tell a 10-year-old to focus their interests in the health science fields. With the upcoming medical needs of the aging baby boomers, the next 20 years will be full of opportunities in health care.
Kootenai Health is currently the largest employer in Kootenai County, and I am confident it will continue to grow and meet it’s current vision: By 2020, Kootenai Health will be a comprehensive regional medical center delivering superior, patient-focused care and will be recognized among the premier health-care organizations in the United States. There will be no shortage of good paying rewarding jobs right here, in health care.
At the end of the day, I would tell any 10-year-old to find something they are passionate about. We are no longer limited to jobs in natural resources. We live in a vibrant community that continues to evolve and grow, and with the continued development in technology, there will great jobs in all fields right here.
(Liese Razzeto is an executive with Wells Fargo Bank who oversees 44 offices. She’s also a trustee with the Kootenai Health Board of Directors. When she was 10, Liese wanted to be either a stewardess or a nurse. “I hate to admit it,” she confessed, “but it might have had something to do with the cute hats they got to wear.”)
Interesting question and the answer depends somewhat on the 10 year old’s ambition and interest. There is, and it will be growing, a need for trained medical personnel. Given the shortage of doctors, more responsibility will fall on the shoulders of nurse practitioners and I don’t see that changing, even if Obamacare moves forward. Good tradespeople will always be needed; plumbers and electricians for example. North Idaho has seen an increase in market share of aerospace jobs as well.
My best advice however is to become a critical thinker; it is much more important to learn how to think than skills in particular to a specific job. Most jobs in demand 20 years down the road haven’t even been conceived at this point in time. As technology changes how we do business, many jobs are not location reliant so location is becoming less of a factor in much of the business sector.
(Idaho Sen. John Goedde is a former business owner now serving as chairman of the Senate Education Committee. When John was 10, he wanted to be an electrical engineer.)
Dear 10-Year-Old…” In the next 10 years and beyond, Kootenai County will need people of excellence to be serving in all vocations and professions. Explore various paths as you grow up. Try things that might be hard…Do not be afraid to make mistakes or even to fail. It is so much better to try and try and try… than to fail and give up. We all make mistakes… do not let those mistakes get in the way of the wonderful successes that you will achieve. Be the best you can be…Be Honest…Be True…Be Kind…Be forgiving of yourself and others. Learn something “New” every day. Take hard classes in school. As you grow older, do not be afraid to change directions in your career path…We all make those changes. Take time to interact with others. Learn to be social and learn to listen with respect. Ask questions… Talk to those who might have differences than yourself and learn from them. Be friends with your Mother and Father and family. They will help you with every step of your journey in life. Smile often and be thankful! Gratitude is an amazingly powerful force. Whether you decide to be an engineer …a welder…a teacher…a salesperson…a husband or wife…a father or a mother…a policeman or woman…strive to be the Best you can possibly be. Set goals and “attain” them. Then set more goals..higher goals…loftier goals..And always remember the joy and satisfaction that comes from doing a great work… Whatever that work might be…”
(Steve Griffitts is president of Jobs Plus, Inc., the region’s economic development agency. When Steve was 10, he wanted to be a golf pro, just like his dad.)
There is and will be a shortage of educators as the baby boomers retire. We have 12 teachers retiring this year. This pattern has been going on for several years and it appears it will continue for many more years. We have approximately 300 teachers and we have retired over fifty teachers in the last four years. That does not take into account, the demand for more teachers caused by student growth. While student growth has slowed over the last couple of year to an average of 1-2 percent a year, we believe that percentage will start to grow again over the next few years. I hope this helps some.
(Jerry Keane is superintendent of the Post Falls School District. When he was 10, he wanted to be a trail guide when he grew up.)
I think the nation and the world will continue to shrink based on technology and the ability to communicate with so many and so quickly. The ability to work via remote locations will continue to expand. A person will need to have the ability and comfort to operate in a tech savy world so a thorough understanding of electronic communication skills will be essential.
Services that provide to our aging population, medical, financial, etc. will be growth industries over the next decade or two. Marketing/finance are always solid degrees and with technology, the world is potentially your customer base. I encourage kids to pursue advanced degrees in the math and sciences as we currently have 3 million job openings in this country that are going unfilled because workers are unable to fill the slots due to lack of education. I believe we would be at or very near statistical full employment if those 3 million spots were filled. Many of these jobs may be filled by someone in a very small satellite office/remote location.
I think local manufacturing will require families to be two-income earners but still can be an income that supports a family. Manufacturing will also require advanced degrees or certificates beyond a high school diploma.
I guess the common theme is for kids to take classes at an early age that challenge them and continue to extend themselves for as long as they can. I also hope the parents of the 10-year-old will promote and encourage their children to stay in school and take courses that will pay dividends for the rest of their lives. I believe many kids are not challenged enough and are capable of so much more than what we as a society expect from them.
(Dan Green is a Kootenai County commissioner who owned his own business before entering the public sector. When he was 10, Dan wanted to be a U.S. senator when he grew up.)
My first thought was that of a cranky 50-year-old man who despite having grown up on ACDC, Aerosmith, Boston and other rock bands, now finds himself saying to the carloads of youngsters at stop lights: “Turn it down! You damned kids will all be deaf by the time you’re 35!”
So I do believe audiology will be a growing field as part of a continuing tsunami of health care professions. Specialized nursing I think is going to start to gain prominence much like specialized doctors have seen over the past 25 years.
Here in North Idaho, I think we’re just on the front end of a substantial growth period for the aviation industry. Those jobs do and will include not only aircraft maintenance, refurbishing and light manufacturing but customization and pilot training. Tourism- specifically Rec-Tech — is another area I see as having a huge upside. We all talk about what a beautiful place we call home, and it is. Think of it this way: The current generation of 20-40-year-olds are not driven by the same set of social norms as those of us beyond those demographic parameters. We grew up with the Gibraltar-esque notion that we had to own a home, had to invest in real estate, had to have some sort of career plan — and all by the time we were 30.
Now, those millennials look at quality of life as a primary factor. And not so much their work quality of life but their own personal standards. How expansive are the mountain bike trails? Hiking, camping, adventuring, dirt biking, etc. They’re far more content to live in a rental home with just a “job” and have a high end Gary Fisher Mountain Bike that is worth more than their car.
The industry that can and will attract and keep those folks here and those who will just come here for vacations or extended visits is a sector of the tourism industry that has a huge growth potential, in my mind. I look at Moab, Utah for history. Thirty years ago, Moab was a — what’s the term I’m looking for — “a [bleep]-hole little southern Utah town in the middle of nowhere.” It’s still in the middle of nowhere but now it’s a destination in the middle of nowhere. And it’s not just mountain biking. It’s Jeeps, dirt bikers, rock crawlers, campers, photography buffs, road bikers and now I’m told — people watchers. Yes, people who vacation in places where there are interesting people to watch. I guess it’s not just for airports anymore.
Coeur d’Alene and North Idaho has this same potential. We need people, trained professionals who can cater to this sector of the tourism industry. It’s a different market than the folks who come over from the “west side” in their pressed khakis and sweaters and take dinner cruises on the Lake. That is and will remain a strong tourism market.
Additionally, and of course, this is selfish, but I really do believe that we (North Idaho) will continue to develop as an education and government service sector. The Ed Corridor is just the current phase of expansion but as NIC, UIdaho and LCSC continue to work towards building value in education attainment — our friends and neighbors will realize that not only are the opportunities here but they’ll look to us to respond to provide the programs and training needed to realize all of the new and emerging fields as well. Light manufacturing as well as the traditional industries will always have a presence here and should. But I do think our economic future is more solidly found in still to be realized areas.
As for the government service sectors, you’ll probably get shot if you publish that- but I do believe given our geographic location as a service hub for the five northern counties, both state and federal agencies will continue to have a strong presence here and should.
The one area that I see tying much of this together is work in the environmental sciences. We all make our livings in some way off of the beautiful scenery around us. We have to be better stewards and that requires knowledge and strong practices in environmental management; water and air quality, resource and mineral management and strong yet responsive municipal planning. Which to me says we have to quit trying to “manage” through ideological quips and sound bites and start doing the heavy lifting of actually managing and governing. That only happens with consensus building and an unyielding commitment to put the greater good of the whole above the wants of the one.
(Mark Browning is a vice president at North Idaho College and formerly was a journalist, then spokesman for the Idaho Department of Education. When Mark was 10, he wanted to be a play-by-play broadcaster when he grew up. And sometimes he actually does.)
Opportunities in health care will continue to grow and expand well into the coming decades, despite any economic downturns.
Older adults typically have a greater need for health care services. As the population ages, the demand for health care will increase. The baby-boom generation (those born between 1946 and 1964) is rapidly approaching retirement age. By 2014, baby boomers will be 50 to 68 years old.
While the demand for care is going to increase, the workforce is going to diminish as health care workers reach retirement age. This equates to a very strong job market in the health care industry for years to come.
In general, almost all health care professions will continue to grow rapidly over the next decade. Others will evolve as technology improves and new techniques, diagnostics, and treatments are developed and approved. Technological advances and scientific discoveries will bring about many more changes in the future. Many of tomorrow’s jobs don’t even exist today.
If you want to pursue a career in health care you should have a solid foundation in math and science. Other important characteristics include attention to detail, good communication skills (both written and oral), and a strong desire to help others.
Specific jobs that will be in most demand include:
• Health Record Technician
• Medical Billing Specialist
• Coding Specialist
• Radiologic Technician
• Physical Therapist
• Physical Therapist Assistant
• Physician Assistant
• Medical Technologist
• Laboratory Technician
(Daniel Klocko is vice president human resources for Kootenai Health. When Danny was 10, he wanted to be a pro baseball player when he grew up.)
You make the assignment sound so simple. I truly believe that the pursuit of one’s’ career needs to be deeply rooted in passion. Passion for what one gets up each morning to do, passion for the outcome at the end of the day, week and month. Finding and or creating that passion is not as simple as stepping into a box, loading in a little knowledge and skills and trotting of to work. That being said I think I would steer this child to consider the opportunities that will be presenting themselves in the Health care fields. The enormous Baby boomer generation will need services. Math, Science and Social Service skills will be necessary. Anatomy, Biology, Chemistry and Applied Math should be studied.
(Steve Wilson is president and CEO of the Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce. When Steve was 10, he wanted to be an attorney when he grew up.)
Honey, if you think about how most Americans spend most of the their time you’ll realize that it involves interacting with a machine. That includes a phone, TV, computer, even kitchen stove or refrigerator. In order for us to interact with a machine, it has to have software that allows it to respond to us. More and more that software is asking us to respond to it!
We have a wonderful software industry in the region that will grow and promises to bring many more good jobs with it. Our schools and University realize that all of us are going to need to know a lot more about software in the future so the training you will need will be available right here. By interacting with smart phones and tablets and computers, you already understand this computer language. You can learn how to write this computer language (to code) too, and that will open up lots of opportunities to work close to home.
The software industry is also a “clean” one. It doesn’t cause pollution and can even improve the environment. This can be by directing machines to be more efficient or to work with cleaner energy, or just because software engineers and computer programmers can work from anywhere so they don’t need to drive to work everyday!
(Charles Buck, Ph.D., is associate vice president/center executive officer in Northern Idaho for the University of Idaho. When he was 10, Charles wanted to be a doctor when he grew up.)
This is a little like “What do I want to be when I grow up?!” for me.
My first thought is, “Stay in school and go to school!” As a 10-year-old, aspire, even now, to greatness. Greatness lies down the pathway for success when you’re an adult. The one thing that drives me always is the desire to do more… better.
If you want to live here, then think of the Medical Corridor (has a huge impact in Kootenai County). Our daughter knew in the 10th grade — after taking a biology class — she wanted to get her Ph.D. and do medical research. Is 10 years too young to discover that? Maybe, but it isn’t too young to be interested.
Technology is dynamic and it is anywhere you are so why not here? Look no further than Ednetics in Post Falls for a very powerful technology company with much to offer the business world. (Ednetics was the December 2012 NIBJ cover story). They are very successfully competing around the Northwest. Why here? Well, why not here? …and they built it from the very beginning right here.
For me numbers and strategy have always been a place I’m happy. That definitely can be done right here. Be an outside-the-box thinker. Practice strategy now. At 10 years old specifically think about several different ways to accomplish the assigned task — whether in school or home. You’ll discover how much more you can do.
It isn’t silly to want to be a fireman or policeman. I’m completely “blown” away how much opportunity there is to practice technology in these areas, but there is always going to be advances that you may be the one to imagine.
When you’re done with school — get your hands “dirty” with experience.
It comes back to what I said at the top — “Go to school & stay in school” even if your dreams take 10 years at school. Be open to opportunity; be able to fail successfully. What I mean is use your non-success as a learning environment. I work in education as a businessman; I don’t think of myself as an educator. Be ready to reinvent yourself as your interests change.
Above all else, be intense about your success. Plan to be successful and you will be.
And finally, have fun doing this. Good things happen when you’re having fun.
(Wendell Wardell is chief operating officer for the Coeur d’Alene School District. When he was 10, he wanted to be a forest ranger when he grew up.)
You are living at a great time and in a great area. You can be whatever you want to be and do whatever you want to do. The magic key that will open every door for you is education. Yes, doing a good job in school is necessary for whatever you want to do as an adult. It will affect how much money you earn as an adult and how much satisfaction you get from your job.
You don’t have to be a straight-A student but you do have to know how to read and write and how to use basic arithmetic. Whether your ambition is to be an auto mechanic, expert in diesel mechanics, a nurse, doctor, computer expert or a plumber, electrician or welder or to work in any specialty, you will always have to read technical plans, write reports and compute the factors in our modern technology. Whatever your ambition it should be strengthened by a commitment to be the very best in the field you choose. Again, education is the key.
The good news is that you don’t have to make a final decision right now. So, make a list of three or four jobs you would like to have. Visit with people who work in those fields and start to study the basic reading, writing and arithmetic requirements on the kind of work that interests you the most. For your education the area has great high schools, a technical high school, a community college and two universities you can attend. Every ambition can be fulfilled. Good luck!
(Idaho Rep. Frank Henderson is a retired marketing executive and newspaper publisher now serving as chairman of the House Business Committee. When he was 10, Frank wanted to be an Air Force pilot when he grew up.)
As a parent, we ask ourselves these questions when our children are as young as 3 years old:
• Should my child go to college?
• What jobs are available in Kootenai County that can keep my child here? I couldn’t stand to have my baby move away.
• When is the right time in a child’s life to ask them these types of questions?
My advice to all parents is to talk to their children early and with a purpose. Let them know that whatever they choose as a job or a career, “you will support.” This empowers them to look at future employers and different types of jobs, seeing themselves working there. It’s important to talk to them about the foundation of any place they would go to work and what their employer will expect: Being on time, work ethic and a positive attitude.
My advice to this 10-year-old would be: Get a job early!
• Ask your parents how you can “earn” an allowance, maybe $5 a week. By washing dishes, mowing the lawn or vacuuming the house. Chores or work should start early in a child’s life.
• Start looking at different businesses around town and see what interests you. All companies have entry level jobs and have advancement opportunities; these are not dead end jobs.
• Try to get a tour of a business or company you would like to see. Most businesses would be happy to show you around and answer any questions you might have.
• Visit KTEC! It’s our high school CTE (Career & Technical Education) campus on the prairie. All three Kootenai County school districts have students attending this unique education opportunity.
• Once you see a job you like, ask what it will take to get this job. Are these jobs available in my home town? What education do I need? A high school diploma or a (4-6) college degree? Also ask what experience you would need to have.
• Get the education you need to get your desired job, but don’t stop there. Life is a continued educational process.
• Be happy! We live in one of the richest countries in the world, but most people are not happy. Happiness isn’t measure by wealth; it’s measured from the inside out. Happiness is “a state of well-being and contentment.” Try to find your purpose!
• You are unique, a one-of-a kind individual. It should be your decision on what you want in life and be happy.
If you as a parent take this time early, you will never regret this time or conversation. Help your children early on to understand what they are good at or how they are designed; then pursue careers that utilize these competencies.
(Ron Nilson is owner of Ground Force Manufacturing and serves on the North Idaho College board of trustees. When he was 10, Ron wanted to build airplanes when he grew up.)
Five times in the past 36 years Idaho’s labor force has declined for five consecutive months. One of the longest slides was during the depths of the most recent recession, October 2008 to May 2009, a loss of more than 9,600 people — 1.3 percent — in seven months. The last time it was this drastic was through the recession in 1980, from December 1979 to August 1980, an eight-month contraction of 8,700 workers — 2 percent of the labor force at the time.
Historically, the correlation between the labor force and recessions has not been very strong. But today labor force participation has become more sensitive to the cyclical weaknesses in the labor market. There are a multiple of variables that contribute to this including aging boomers and idle young people in the face of slack demand for labor.
There is quite a disparity in the recession’s impact by age, according to Census Bureau data.
By every indicator, Idaho’s oldest and youngest workers were more affected by the recession than any other age group. Teenagers in Idaho lost 35 percent of their jobs while the oldest workers managed to find more employment opportunities even as hiring overall slowed dramatically.
According to the Census Bureau, the percentage of 21- to 24-year-olds participating in the labor force is declining even as that population group increases overall, and the number of 25- to 29-year-olds — a prime wage-earning group – is declining both as a percentage of the overall population and in labor force participation.
In fact, nearly all age groups under 55 experienced a decline in population throughout the recession.
So where are these prime wage earners going?
Most Idahoans are staying in the West, and the biggest percentage is moving across the border to Washington — roughly 19 percent of those who left Idaho. From 2008 through 2011, another 13.5 percent moved south to Utah and 10 percent to California followed closely by 9.7 percent to Oregon. Another 35,600 people work in another state but still claim residency in Idaho. Of those, half work in Washington.
In northern Idaho, most who moved in 2009 to 2011 relocated just west of the border to the Spokane area where they found jobs in warehousing, retailing and construction. Most north central Idahoans moved right over the border to the Pullman, Wash., area, and most southeastern Idahoans moved to Utah. Movement out of the remaining regions was more scattered.
Overall, the Census Bureau estimates that net migration into Idaho slowed significantly following the housing crash, dropping 85 percent from the peak of 25,270 in 2005-2006 to 3,734 in the depths of the recession of 2009.
The industries seeing the most movement through the downturn – both in and outside of Idaho — were construction, restaurants, education and health care.
Prior to the housing market crash, nearly 2,600 more construction workers flocked to Idaho in 2007 than left for other states, according to the Census Bureau. They augmented the general increase in construction payrolls that marked the housing boom.
But the housing crash slashed construction employment by 20,000 statewide. Most found other occupations – many after months of unemployment. There were still construction workers moving into the state but at a much slower pace.
In education, budget constraints left public schools little choice but to cut. From 2009 to 2011, roughly 6.5 percent of preschool and kindergarten teachers found jobs in states like Arizona, Wyoming, Utah and California. This group suffered job declines three years running.
As educators in all public institutions coped with tough economic times, some found employment outside of Idaho. Census Bureau data show a net loss during the downturn of 370 people classified as substitute, adult basic education, secondary education, literacy and self-enrichment teachers. The 9 percent decline in this group of teachers statewide occurred steadily over three years. The data indicate that most of these teaching professionals who found work outside Idaho worked in colleges, universities, specialty schools like fine arts and language and in education support services.
From 2009 to 2011, Idaho lost roughly 820 college and university workers — over a third were professors and instructors — to places like California, Nevada, Texas and Florida.
The 6 percent net loss of higher education professors and instructors — to California and Florida but Arizona and Washington as well — occurred mostly in 2009 followed by an influx in 2010 and again in 2011 as enrollment rates accelerated across the state. And another 7 percent left the state from the state’s postsecondary teaching corps who were no longer teaching.
Most of the net losses in the medical sector were at the hospital level — most notably physicians and surgeons due to the residency programs in Idaho and registered nurses. Idaho lost 2.7 percent of all registered nurses in 2010 and 2011. According to Idaho Department of Labor’s Idaho Nursing Overview 2011 report, the number of full-time registered nurses was expected to increase 27 percent from 4,549 in 2008 to 5,776 by 2018, an annual growth rate of 2.4 percent. Economic changes have diminished the nursing shortage nationwide and upcoming health-care regulations may change the forecasted outlook for nurses in Idaho.
As the economy continues its lethargic recovery and education takes on a new shape in Idaho, the need to educate, build and retain a workforce for Idaho’s future becomes more apparent.
Alivia Metts is the regional economist for the Idaho Department of Labor.
Post-recession, job market’s finally looking up
For the first time in decades, Idaho has seen a statewide drop in many sectors of its labor force due to the recession, but economic development experts say it appears the trend might finally be turning the corner.
During the toughest period of the recession — 2007 through 2010 — Idaho saw its 24- to 29-year-olds leaving the state to seek employment elsewhere. (See Alivia Metts’ column in this issue).
“That is a prime wage-earning group,” said Metts, a regional economist for the Idaho Department of Labor. “And we are seeing that it declined in both population and labor force.”
Metts said almost half of the jobs lost during the recession were in the construction industry, and many of those workers moved to Spokane and the Tri-Cities, where jobs were more plentiful.
While most people think the majority of these workers went to the oil fields of North Dakota, Metts said the data shows that most of the local construction workers went into warehousing, construction and retail trades in Spokane instead.
Those workers who went to Tri-Cities chased engineering and building service jobs, as well as construction and retail, she said.
While the latest workforce data for 2010 through 2013 won’t be available for another year, Metts said building permits are up substantially this year.
New construction job listings for the first quarter of this year are down slightly, which could mean that employers are still leery of hiring.
The data might not be showing an increase in construction data yet, but should start showing up soon, said Larry Jefferies of the North Idaho Building Contractors Association.
“Employment in commercial construction may be down, but not in residential construction,” he said. “We are seeing a significant uptick. Our members who survived the recession are extremely busy right now.”
Jefferies said the residential construction industry survived on multi-family housing projects through the recession, and now single family home projects are starting to crop up again.
“We have one builder that survived on a couple of projects a year for the past couple of years,” Jefferies said. “This year he already has over 12 projects going.”
Still, Jefferies said that his members are cautiously optimistic because so many factors of this recovery are out of their control.
“Part of the reason we are reserved is because this just happened so fast,” he added. “It’s like someone just turned on the switch.”
Jefferies said it safe to say that we have turned the corner. He just hopes it’s sustainable.
North Idaho is not alone, said Don Schjeldahl, owner of Don Schjeldahl Consulting.
“I am seeing those same workforce issues everywhere as a result of the recession,” he said, adding that shouldn’t be too big of a factor for most companies looking to relocate.
Schjeldahl is a site selector who has helped several companies relocate to the Inland Northwest. He has studied Coeur d’Alene over the years and said the benefits of living in this region will play a role in attracting the workforce back.
“The Coeur d’Alene/Spokane area is exquisitely unique and has all of the amenities to make it an attractive place to live,” Schjeldahl said.
Most recently Schjeldahl helped Sierra Nevada Brewing Company locate a brewery in Nashville, N.C. He said that community is like Coeur d’Alene in many ways.
Over the past couple of years, Nashville also attracted a lot of affluent retirees, which made the community a more expensive place to live, and during the recession much of the workforce left for work elsewhere.
When they located the brewery in town, many of those workers returned because of the other amenities that town had to offer.
“It’s been 10 months since the recession ended, but we are starting to see things improve now,” he said. “I am guessing the same will happen in Coeur d’Alene.”
He said there is no shortage of companies looking to relocate, and he is sure Coeur d’Alene will be competitive.
Deane Foote, a site selector based in Phoenix, said he wouldn’t be too concerned about population shifts either.
“We are more interested in the skill sets of the existing workforce, and whether they are a fit for our clients,” he said. “Typically the first thing we do is go into a community and interview employers.”
He said they’re looking for communities that not only have a skilled workforce, but more importantly a strong infrastructure in place to train new employees.
He said they are also looking for business-friendly communities that aren’t too heavily regulated, communities that offer incentives, and places where their clients can reach their intended markets in a cost effective way.
Schjeldahl said Coeur d’Alene is still very well suited to attract companies that don’t have to be close to the larger markets. He credited Bob Potter, the former president of Jobs Plus, for developing a successful strategy to recruit those types of businesses.
“Bob did a good job creating a brand and then getting out there to target those companies,” he said.
Steve Griffitts, the current president of Jobs Plus, said that is the same strategy he uses to attract employers to the area.
“We have not wavered from that strategy,” he said. “We are still focused on small- to medium-sized manufacturers.”
Griffitts said Jobs Plus doesn’t work with site selectors on most of the projects they see, because their strategy is to work directly with the clients. And that strategy has proved successful for years.
“But it is still nice to know that we are on the map,” he said.