IDAHO FALLS, ID –  May 9, 2018 – eCobalt’s mining operations in Salmon and proposed refining facility in Blackfoot, along with Regional Economic Development for Eastern Idaho (REDI), have received the Corporate Investment & Community Impact award from Trade & Industry Development, a leading national trade publication dedicated to site selectors.

With hundreds of project submissions throughout North America, eCobalt and REDI were recognized for eCobalt’s investment in Eastern Idaho for cobalt mining and refining as one of only 15 finalists in the Impact Division of the Trade & Industry’s Annual CiCi Awards.

“For eCobalt’s Blackfoot and Salmon operations and REDI to be nationally recognized for eCobalt’s significant mining and refining investments in our region is an important achievement,” said Jan Rogers, CEO of REDI.  “It’s an honor to receive a CiCi award and speaks highly of the region’s strong business climate.  Site selectors are likely to draw their attention to Blackfoot and Salmon as a result of this significant economic development achievement.”

CiCi Awards’ Community Impact category recognizes projects that will make a big impact on their respective community and local economic development organizations that work in lockstep to attract this kind of development.

“The City of Blackfoot is very pleased to have been selected as the site for eCobalt’s refining facility,” said Blackfoot Mayor Marc Carroll.  “We are looking forward to the positive impact this refining operation will have on area jobs and to the local economy.  Light manufacturing companies can be challenging to attract to smaller communities, but we are very proud and excited to have been selected as the future home of eCobalt.”

REDI looks to build economy

Lesile Mielke
Morning News

BLACKFOOT — Jan Rogers, CEO of Regional Economic Development for Eastern Idaho (REDI) and Scott Reese, a REDI board member from Bingham County, reported to the Bingham County Commissioners on Tuesday. Two weeks ago, Rogers and 22 other representatives from Idaho attended the Select USA Summit put on by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce in Washington, D.C. “There were 1,700 companies there from 70 countries,” she said. “Each of these companies has been vetted by our consulates and embassies and want to invest in the United States.” Idaho was one of five top sponsors of this event. The others were Texas, New York, Georgia and Ohio. “Being one of the top sponsors brought interest,” Rogers said. “We pitched the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education available in Eastern Idaho. Within 70-80 miles, there are two universities and four labs, including one national lab. The two universities are Idaho State University and BYU-Idaho. About 30,000 students are on campus each semester. “That’s called a cluster,” she said. “From Select USA, we have six leads focusing on innovation. That includes two site visits in July, both on the same day.” “We didn’t forget agriculture. Eastern Idaho doesn’t have a lot of variety of Ag products but what we are big in, we are giant in.” Three posters were displayed at the Idaho exhibit. The posters stated: “Bud, Barley and Back;” “Backed, Bottled and Fried;” and “Energy, Nuclear, Cyber, Security, Space and Beyond— just another day at the office.” “Idaho is not just number one in malt barley; we are also number one in malting barley,” Rogers said. “One billion beers are produced each month in Idaho.” Other examples cited included Teton Valley Potato Vodka that is produced in Driggs. It has received international awards. Idaho is known for potatoes and Wada Farms has added a biologic potato bag that is made from 25 percent potato. “REDI is building opportunity for now and the future,” Rogers said. Asked how Eastern Idaho and, specifically, Bingham County, could help expand economic opportunities, Rogers replied, “Business is not coming in here without figuring out talent. To develop talent, we need to increase the pool of people, retain who we have and develop the pipeline—people with skills businesses need.” Rogers has been appointed to the United States Investment Advisory Council (IAC) established by the Commerce Department in April 2016. As one of 19 private and public sector leaders from across the nation, Rogers will advise U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker on the development and implementation of strategies and programs to attract and retain foreign direct investment in the United States.

Idaho #1 of 10 states with the hottest job markets

Published on MSN Money->

Stats for Idaho:

Population: 1,655,000
2016 job growth: 3.5%
2015 job growth: 2.9%
New jobs in 2016: 23,580
New jobs in 2015: 19,200
Unemployment rate by year-end 2016: 3.8% Unemployment rate at year-end 2015: 4.0%

The Gem State is home to booming tech and aerospace industries, as well as military bases that boost spending in surrounding areas. And as Idaho attracts more residents from other states, companies both old and new are expanding here: wireless data company Cradlepoint is growing quickly in Boise, and agribusiness firm J.R. Simplot will hire 600 for a new processing plant in nearby Kuna.

There are plenty more opportunities: Micron Technology, a semiconductor manufacturer, will add 200 jobs in Boise when its plant expansion is completed in early 2017. Yogurt
maker Chobani is expanding its plant in Twin Falls. And American Food Equipment is building a new manufacturing facility in Caldwell. (The company, based in the San Francisco Bay Area, couldn’t find room to expand where it was, illustrating how restricted land availability and high cost of living in parts of California are causing companies to look to nearby states for expansion.)

Idaho governor’s sales pitch: Turn chicken poop into magic

Idaho governor’s sales pitch: Turn chicken poop into magic

By Rob Hotakainen: 202-383-0009, @HotakainenRob,

  • Otter goes to D.C., one of three U.S. governors invited to speak at Obama’s investment summit
  • GOP governor urges investors to ‘come take a look-see,’ says state can offer predictability
  • Obama tells thousands of foreign investors to ‘make a deal. … We are open for business

Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, left, discusses investment opportunities with Peter Collins, right, from Industry Super Australia at the SelectUSA investment summit in Washington, D.C., on June 20, 2016. Otter, one of three U.S. governors invited to speak at the third annual summit, came to Washington to seek more foreign investment for Idaho. Tong Wu McClatchy


Last year, Idaho officials promised to round up as much chicken manure as needed for an Ireland-based company if only it would open its new mushroom- growing plant in the Gem State.

The deal never materialized. But Idaho Republican Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter was back in the hunt this week at President Barack Obama’s third and final meeting on foreign investment in Washington. He told foreign investors they’d never have to worry about excessive regulations or bureaucracy if they brought their money and projects to his state.

“Let’s sit down here and make magic,” Otter told a group of Australian businessmen in a small basement room of the Washington Hilton, before listening to their pitch on investing pension money in roads, airports and infrastructure projects.

Then he scurried off to another meeting with executives from Nice Holdings, Inc., a timber firm in Yokohama, Japan, listening to an interpreter describe how the company wanted to open a new manufacturing plant in the U.S.

In a speech on Sunday, Otter offered some advice for foreign investors as he helped kick off the three-day meeting: Eat more yogurt, Greek yogurt made by

Chobani, a company founded by a Turkish immigrant that earlier this yearannounced a $100-million expansion project at its plant in Twin Falls, Idaho.

“You guys gotta get busy and eat more,” said Otter, one of three U.S. governors invited to speak at the summit, called SelectUSA.

Otter cited Chobani as a company that found what it needed in Idaho, and he said he had one big advantage over other states that tried to woo it away.

“You’ve got to know where your supply is,” Otter said. “The one thing I had that some of those other states didn’t was I had 450,000 milk cows. I had a lot of milk.”

Otter said he promised Chobani officials that the company would have all of its necessary permits and licenses in place two weeks before construction began, saying they wouldn’t have to “be waiting around on some bureaucrat in Idaho.”

“Capital loves security, but it also loves predictability,” Otter said. “The security comes in several forms but most important in government regulations. … I could stand up here most of the day and talk about the great possibilities and the great opportunities that you would have in the 43rd state.”

Idaho sent a delegation of 21 people to this year’s gathering, including a mix of state and city officials and representatives of business groups who were happy that the governor joined them for the first time.

“This governor is an economic developer’s dream. You know that, don’t you?” said Jan Rogers, chief executive officer of Regional Economic Development Eastern Idaho in Idaho Falls. “He is the greatest salesman you could imagine.”

And as a former businessman himself, Rogers said, Otter knows how to connect with potential investors: “He understands where they’re coming from.”

-Jan Rogers, chief executive officer of Regional Economic Development Eastern Idaho

The Idaho delegation had lined up at least 14 separate meetings with companies and investors from Japan, Australia, Brazil, Mexico and Taiwan, among other countries, said Megan Ronk, director of the Idaho Department of Commerce.

For the third year in a row, Obama gave the keynote speech to the foreign investors on Monday afternoon, urging them to “select U.S.A.” as a place to do business “because nowhere in the world and never in history has there been a better place to grow your business.”

Obama touted his economic record, saying the U.S. has recorded 75 straight months of private sector job growth.

“I’m rooting for you,” the president told the investors. “Make a deal. And make that smart choice to invest in the United States of America. We are open for business.”

SelectUSA has emerged as something of a pet project for Obama. It’s a government-wide program housed in the International Trade Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce. Since it began, administration officials say it has resulted in $19 billion in additional investment in the U.S., creating and keeping thousands of American jobs.

In an interview, Otter, a former congressman who is now a third-term governor, said he made the trek to Washington, D.C., both to promote the state and to build personal contacts with representatives from global firms looking to do business in the U.S.

He said he’s hoping that more of them will come to Idaho to check out what the state can offer.

“It’s all about contacts and building an image,” Otter said. “If they’ll come take a look-see, we can show them a pretty good opportunity.”

Otter posed for pictures with one of the Australian wealthy investors and jokingly issued a directive to the photographer.

“Here, I want you to get one with my hand in his pocket,” the governor said.