Bob Lokken, CEO of Boise-based WhiteCloud Analytics, is three years into building his new company. It designs software for health care professionals with the aim of allowing doctors and others to interrogate vast amounts of health care data. Lokken founded it after his previous company, ProClarity Corporation, was bought by Microsoft.
Not long ago, you could hear the buzz of power saws all over the Treasure Valley. It was punctuated by the steady rhythm of hammers and nail guns. More than 10,000 homes went up in Ada and Canyon counties in the two years before the recession hit. Then, the sound stopped.
“’08 and ’09 were really hard,” says Aaron Wright of Steelhead Construction. He founded the siding and remodeling company as Idaho’s housing boom took hold. At the peak, Wright employed more than 30 people. When the market crashed, he scaled back to three.
The control towers at 14 small to medium sized airports around the Northwest will close on April first in response to automatic federal budget cuts. That will mean four airports in Idaho. That's according to an airport industry association. But regional airlines intend to keep flying to those cities they now serve.
New numbers out Monday show Idaho's rural areas experienced the post-recession years very differently from the state's cities. While places like Boise and Pocatello were on the mend, economic output in rural communities in Idaho declined.
Mining has pumped billions of dollars into the Idaho economy. It’s one of the states considered by the industry to be the most mining-friendly.
But even here, the industry is frustrated that it can take years before permits are issued and work can get underway. That’s why mining officials are appealing to state lawmakers to help speed up the regulatory process. It’s a proposition that has environmentalists worried.
Northwest winemakers are trying to whet-the-whistle of China's emerging middle class. Demand for wine is growing significantly there. And that’s drawn Chinese business delegations, restaurateurs and tourists to the region.
Now that presents have been opened, it's time for another tradition of the holiday season: bags upon bags of trash. One garbage collector in north Idaho says he sees reflections of the economy in this year’s haul.
At the transfer station in Shoshone County, Idaho, signs of the holidays are all around Vince Peterson.
“Mostly the amount of cardboard, plastic," he says. "Wrapping paper goes wild.”