The manufacturing sector of the Idaho Department of Commerce, with a $1.8 billion budget, has been trying to lure manufacturers into its growing, high-tech manufacturing ecosystem.
The Idaho Manufacturers Association (IMA), which represents more than 1,500 manufacturers, plans to present the state’s plan at the state convention next week, the Idaho Statesman reported.
The IMA is a small group of Idaho manufacturers that includes two large corporations that manufacture consumer goods such as clothing and footwear, as well as a small number of smaller manufacturers, such as electricians, fabricators and carpenters.
The industry is growing fast and there are currently about 300 companies operating in Idaho.
Ima President and CEO Joe Kiely said the industry is “still very much in the early stages of the economic development process” and is “coming to the table at the right time.”
“It’s a long road ahead,” he said.
Imam President and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Gaudette said the plan would bring Idaho into the “global manufacturing movement” and help the state attract more foreign companies to come to the state.
The state has about 250 manufacturers, including about 40 that are “high-tech” and a handful that are manufacturing the things the state wants to manufacture, Gaudet said.
Idaho is the first state in the nation to mandate that its manufacturers have at least one full-time employee on site at a factory, and the industry will need more people in order to meet the demand, he said, adding that the plan is not limited to just Idaho.
The plan is expected to create 100 new jobs in the manufacturing sector, Kieley said.
The manufacturing industry employs about 1,100 people and employs more than 3,400 in Idaho, Gautier said.