|Program||# of Grants||EDA Funds|
The Northern Idaho region has traditionally had a resource-based economy centered on mining, timber and agriculture, but more recently has transitioned into a manufacturing-based economy. Graduates of the North Idaho College's Trades and Industry program are sought after by the region’s businesses, but capacity constraints have resulted in long wait lists. These constraints have limited the College’s ability to produce a sufficient quantity of skilled labor to meet the current workforce demand. A community survey of over 300 employers in the region showed strong industry demand for a highly skilled workforce in trade-related occupations.
In July 2016, EDA invested $1,376,091 in Public Works funds to North Idaho College to help purchase equipment needed to support key workforce training programs. These equipment investments were targeted in the fields of Automotive Technology and Collision, Welding Technology, and Computer-Aided Design Technology in the college’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) facility in Rathdrum.
The project will provide the existing workforce with the opportunity to gain new skills in higher paid professions, retooling their existing skills to meet current workforce demands. While the current facilities lack capacity for advanced manufacturing and specialized training (including composites, computer numerical control, programmable logic controls, pneumatics, and business entrepreneurship), the new CTE facility will develop the skilled workforce needed by these expanding industries.