Dear Boise Valley Economic Partnership Investors,
I want to personally thank each and every one of you who have supported us during the tough times and the good times. On this very date five years ago, March 14, 2011, we hosted a stakeholder event at Boise State University to ask a lot of you to take a leap of faith in us and commit to a five-year investment in our efforts. You were called upon to help our region climb out of the recession. Many of you did invest in us that day, even though your own businesses were facing unprecedented economic challenges. Many of you have also joined us along the way and we are forever grateful for all of you.
Looking back on that day, the most memorable moment for me was the unexpected participation of Steve Appleton, CEO of Micron at the time. Without being asked, Steve came to the event, stood up and took the microphone telling the audience that Micron was a strong supporter of economic development. He then spoke the words, “as a company you are either growing or dying, and I believe the same goes for a community.” Personally, that message perfectly aligns with what I believe. I am still in awe of Steve Appleton’s lifetime achievements and history of giving back to family and community.
I also want to thank Jana Jones and Lisa Holland for swinging above their weight-class. They stand tall every day, providing amazing client service, creativity, strong local and national communication, and produce quality results. I am always proud when people familiar with BVEP’s work are surprised when I tell them there are only three of us on staff.
Economic Development is not a solo sport, and we are incredibly thankful to have a team of the best city, county, state, urban renewal districts and business leaders we could hope for. I am also very proud to have a Governor, Department of Commerce and legislature that supported and passed the Opportunity Fund and Tax Reimbursement Incentive. This new legislation would not have been possible without the hard work of our lobbyist Jeremy Pisca, Commerce Director Megan Ronk and former Director Jeff Sayer.
2016 has started off with the opportunity to hire Charity Nelson, a remarkably talented additional team member. With 11 years of local experience heading up domestic and global talent acquisition for Micron, she will certainly help us recruit quality companies and assist our local companies fill in missing talent needs.
The Boise Valley Economic Partnership continues to fulfill its core mission of keeping, growing and attracting new high-wage economic-based jobs to the Boise Metro. BVEP funding is focused on marketing the Boise Metro as a wise choice for quality companies that want to invest and develop a skilled workforce. Our sales efforts will pursue quality companies through face-to-face targeted company and consultant sales missions. Our advocacy will continue to develop and defend use of our new State of Idaho Tax Reimbursement Incentive & Opportunity Fund, as well as look to the future for additional tools needed to stay nationally and globally competitive.
In addition to our traditional goals, we have added programs to assist companies with recruiting talent through the national award winning microsite, “Grow.Ideas.Here.” (GIH). This online talent recruitment portal (with heavy emphasis on Boise tech and high wages) has and continues to be utilized by many companies across the valley. GIH assists local recruiters in telling the story through videos, testimonial and custom crafted news stories of why workforce talent should consider a life in the Boise Metro. In one of the attached pages (click here to view), you will see more detail on the goals for this program in the years to come.
BVEP’s overall results for the Boise Metro speak for themselves. We have assisted in attracting and growing over 4,200 jobs in the last five years. Although some of these jobs have included a bench of lower wage customer service jobs, we believe that this part of the job market is reaching saturation. It is important to note that we have not and do not actively pursue customer service companies, but rather assist them once they have decided the metro is in their finalist regions. The good news is that this much-needed sector for many in our population is reaching full employment (some of that pressure created by Sykes Enterprises). This has actually put enough pressure on this industry that we are now experiencing a rapid rise in entry wages and better bonus programs emerging from our local customer service employers. In fact, since 2010 wages in that sector of the Boise MSA have gone from $25,000 to $32,000. According to a current department of labor regional analysis, this is one of the biggest wage increases of any sector in the valley.
Our five year projects and wins history also points out that we are consistently raising the bar on wages, benefits and potential investment. One other very bright trend is that we are seeing a big increase in manufacturing opportunities, which also points out a huge need for more industrial buildings and sites. Right now, we have very little vacant pre-existing industrial buildings available for move-in through lease or purchase.
Finally, when we are able to raise more funding, we hope to start hosting familiarization visits for high-end site consultants that have not been to the valley, but have strong national projects. An example of this would be the Labor Analytics team that has brought many great projects to the metro. This team has sent us several deals including Paylocity, but many of their key personnel have not been to Boise. We believe that by having these types of teams in for a “company retreat” as well as a familiarization to the valley, we will see more quality deals. We need to raise an additional $50,000-60,000 above and beyond current budget to initiate these hosted annual events.
One other huge opportunity on the horizon is hopefully hosting the 2020 Industrial Asset Management Council Fall forum. This conference has over 400 attendees, with over 100 national and global industrial corporate managers and real estate executives. The conference also brings many of the most well respected site consultants from around the country. BVEP along with our community partners have submitted a proposal to host this exclusive and most sought after event in the Boise Valley. The cost of hosting this event is very expensive ($150,000) but will allow us the opportunity to showcase the region to an exclusive gathering of industry leaders, expansion decision makers and site selectors from across the country.
In the following pages (click here to download), you will see additional information about our measurable goals, activities, budget, and results. We want to thank our city, county, state, university, college and business partners that we serve and get to work with. Thank you for your continued faith in us. We look forward to working with you to continue to bring more quality growth to the Boise Valley.
Boise Valley Economic Partnership