Idaho’s strategic location in the western United States makes it an excellent location to maximize product distribution. When you consider that Idaho also boasts the third lowest business costs in the west and has the second lowest annual average electricity price, it is an easy equation to solve.
Great location + low business costs = an ideal site for increased profitability.
Employment opportunties are many in this growing region, at a wide range of education and pay levels in a large variety of industries. Click Regional Employment Opportunities to learn more.
- Southern Idaho Fast Facts
- Twin Falls Economic Area Data
- Southern Idaho Livability
- Southern Idaho Agribusiness
- Southern Idaho Plastics
- Business In Idaho
- Hot Jobs in Idaho
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- Top State For Quality Workforce
MINIDOKA (cities of Rupert, Heyburn and Paul)
WORKFORCE TRAINING & SUPPORT
- Southern Idaho Workforce Training
- College of Southern Idaho
- Idaho Workforce Development Council
- Idaho Tech Connect
- Business Plus
- Governor Otter Announces Workforce Development Training Fund Reforms
STARTING A BUSINESS
SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTERS
Ground Freight, Trucking
Magic Valley Regional Airport in Twin Falls services Twin Falls, Sun Valley and the Southern Idaho region. Joslin Field has an 8,700 foot all-weather runway, fully operational control tower, avionics shop, and engine repair business. There is also an on site conference room, an airport grill, rental car agencies, and 24-hour snow removal equipment.
A full-time FBO (Fixed Base Operator) provides a full range of necessary aircraft services, for all business, personal and recreational aircraft flying into Twin Falls.
A favorable location geographically means that the airport is minimally impacted by the forces of Mother Nature.
Twin Falls, Jerome and Gooding are fortunate that railroad transportation is available via a branch line connecting to the UPSP mainline.
Eastern Idaho Railroad -With nearly 270 mainline miles, EIRR is one of the largest single shortline spin offs in Union Pacific history, carrying its nearly 35,000 annual car load capacity. EIRR is centrally administered out of Twin Falls.
Southern Idaho will be home to the state’s first foreign direct investment. Small Rupert, Idaho (population 5,500) secured Portugal-based Frulact to build their first 200,000 square foot United States facility here.
Frulact/Foreign Direct Investment Articles:
- VidaEconomica - Frulact Comes To Idaho
- Shelby Report - Global Frulact to Build First US Plant
- Engredea Daily - Frulact To Build First US Operation in Idaho
- Refrigerated & Frozen Foods - Frulact Builds First US Fruit Processing Facility
- Capital Press - Frulact to begin construction in Idaho
- Southern Idaho at SelectUSA
Additional articles availabe in the Media Center
Why Invest in the USA?
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Canyon Springs Farm
HONEY & MINK
B & B Apiaries
FOOD SCIENCE R & D
Cassia County School District
ADM Edible Bean Specialists
ADM Edible Bean Specialties
OIL & GAS
Governor Otter & Chobani Founder-2013 U.S. Manufacturing Summit Video Clip
C.L. “Butch” Otter, Idaho Governor State of the State and Budget Address – January 6, 2014
“Over the past couple of years, one region of Idaho has enjoyed particularly compelling success. People all over the state have been asking me, “What’s happening in the Magic Valley? What are they doing, and how can we do it too?” What do big employers like Chobani, Glanbia, McCain Foods, Monsanto, Frulact and Clif Bar see in the people and possibilities of south-central Idaho? Well folks, let me tell you, what some might consider the Magic Valley Miracle is something that every part of Idaho has the ability to emulate – leveraging our assets and resources in a way that adds value to our products and services in the marketplace. From the city councils to the county commissions, from the urban renewal areas to the economic development organization, and from local highway districts to the Governor’s office – the Magic Valley is committed to planning and working together toward the shared goal of raising the tide of economic activity in a way that lifts everyone’s boat.”
Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder, President and CEO of Chobani regarding Twin Falls, Idaho facility
- “We visited numerous possible sites over the past several months and met a lot of great people along the way. It was a hard decision to make, but in the end, we chose Twin Falls due to its abundant milk supply, skilled labor force and tight knit local community. We’re looking forward to starting the next chapter of the Chobani story here in Idaho’s Magic Valley.”
- “At Chobani, we’re makers. Our business has been built one cup at a time, by the hands of our people. Today marks not only the opening of the world’s largest yogurt plant but symbolizes the revitalization of U.S. manufacturing. We believe that no other yogurt facility is comparable to the size, technology and efficiency displayed in our new Twin Falls site.”
- “We believe that no other yogurt facility is comparable to the size, technology and efficiency displayed in our new Twin Falls site. The community has been so supportive, the state officials the local officials we all got together and made this happen and I think this is a great example of how things work in this country.”
- “When we first told the governor (Idaho Governor Butch Otter) that we wanted to build this plant very fast, he said you will never catch us. And this was true. This state is an awesome place to do business. This past year proved us to be right. We worked side by side with city and state officials….always moving forward. We did it together.”
- "It's like we always say—if you want to make it in America, make it in America. Our $450 million Twin Falls plant underscores our commitment to investing in American manufacturing and will help us bring consumers even more ways to enjoy delicious authentic yogurt."
Joao Miranda, President & CEO, Frulact
“We are thrilled to build our first U.S. location in Rupert. After looking at locations in Idaho, Utah, Montana and Nevada, we selected Rupert because of the sense of community we feel here and its ideal location to service customers throughout the United States. We look forward to operating in Rupert and getting established in the U.S. production and distribution market.”
Kit Crawford, co-owner and co-chief visionary officer of Clif Bar & Company at Twin Falls announcement, October 17, 2013
“From the moment that we first stepped foot in Twin Falls, we felt an immediate connection with the city’s people, natural surroundings and community. Today we’re extending the Clif Bar family to Twin Falls and are thrilled to be joining this remarkable community…I also want to tell you that Twin Falls is a very special place. One of the things we talked about when we went home after visiting Twin Falls was…we all looked at each other and said, ‘You know, we could live there’…By saying those words, we kind of envisioned our company here.”
Dale Ducommun, general manager of Clif Bar Baking Company: “As a values based company, we were looking for a location that was a strong match for the sustainable, low carbon footprint design of our bakery that would sustain the success of our business and brands in terms of workforce, partnerships, and were we felt a strong community connection. With Twin Falls, Idaho, we found an exceptional partner in all aspects of the project as well as a supportive, enthusiastic community.”
“With a focus on people and sustainability, this new bakery will help the company to meet growing demand for Clif Bars, to showcase our company values and desire to serve as a community partner to Twin Falls. Making use of local materials and labor, the building’s design will reflect Clif Bar’s deep commitment to sustaining its people and the planet. The bakery will utilize state-of-the-art processes and packaging systems, natural light, LED lighting and a ‘cool roof’ to maximize energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We will also capture heat that would have otherwise been wasted and use it to make our products. Clif Bar’s landscaping will be green too, supporting habitats for bees and butterflies to improve pollination in the area.”
Gary Erickson, founder, Clif Bar & Company at Twin Falls announcement, October 17, 2013
“We’re excited. We’ve come a long way from a garage to this — starting our own bakery in Twin Falls, Idaho. It’s the people. It’s a wonderful community. Everybody has been super nice to us, seems like everyone works well together. The outdoors is amazing. Within a stones throw you’ve got skiing, rock climbing, mountain biking — those are all of our sports. And, golf. And, we’re farmers, too. It all just fits.”
Kevin Cleary, chief executive officer of Clif Bar & Company at Twin Falls announcement, October 17, 2013
"When we started working with the city, we immediately recognized a shared set of values that served as a foundation for this partnership. We look forward to building on this partnership and to bringing our Five Aspirations business model to Twin Falls.”
Mike Mullis, principal, J.M. Mullis Inc as site selector for Clif Bar
“Are they really focused unilaterally on bringing new business to the community?...It is a major measurement that we do that is very quantitative, but we are very good at doing it. We can touch and feel a community for an hour or so and determine how real it is.” For the challenges of The Clif Bar project, in each instance, city officials met their needs “unequivocally…You go in, you touch it, you feel it and you can’t help but like it. It has a natural beauty to it that’s second to none…California might take me a year or more to permit something. Idaho would probably take 90 days.”
Trent Clark, public and government affairs director, Monsanto
"The opportunity to expand our testing network will enhance our ability to bring the best wheat varieties to farmers in Idaho and around the world.”
Kristin Schneider, Monsanto Wheat Breeding lead
"Wheat is a global crop that's hungry for innovation. The opportunity to centralize our wheat breeding efforts, add additional capabilities and positions and expand our breeding testing network will enhance our ability to bring the best wheat varieties to farmers."
Frank van Schaayk, regional president, McCain Foods/The Americas
“There is an increasing demand for potato products from customers nationwide and around the world. We made the decision to invest in our Burley (Idaho) plant because of its strong potato grower community, highly capable workforce and tremendous support from the local and state government.”
Jim Cook, president and CEO of Calva
“Our new facility in Rupert will give us a tremendous competitive advantage in Idaho, the Intermountain, and Northwest regions since our products can be made and shipped locally with a local supply of ingredients from Brewster West. Product freight costs will be significantly reduced and we will be better able to serve existing and new customers from this strategic location.”
Richard Brumley, plant controller at Brewster West in Rupert, Idaho
“We have established a strong relationship with Calva over the past two and a half years shipping our byproducts to their California facility. Having a Calva facility right next to our plant will enable us to send cheese byproducts via pipe directly to them for liquid milk replacer production rather than sending it out of state. We look forward to growing our relationship with Calva."
Kevin Schwemley, controller, Calva
"The local and sate incentives were instrumental in our decision to locate and invest in Minidoka County,” stated “We have found the business climate here absolutely refreshing. Everyone with the County and City of Rupert has made us feel very welcome with our new home”
Jeff Williams, president and CEO, Glanbia Foods regarding their new Cheese Innovation Center
- “The investment we’ve made and the money we’ve spent tells the world, our customers and dairy farmers that we want them to really grasp on to our coat tails. There’s a big world out there that wants to be fed dairy products. The more we export keeps the market tight. That high tide lifts all boats.” “It allows us to cut down the cycle of time of product development.” “Before we had to make the cheese, put it away, ship it to the customer, and then get on an airplane and fly to the customer when they were ready to process it. This (the CIC) allows us to do it all right here.”
- “It was a huge collaborative effort, and it does show what can happen when people come together — entrepreneurs, business people, government, city folks, townspeople and a group of great employees and milk suppliers.” “We have the best milk in the world right here in Idaho, and we are going feed the world.”
Dr. Eric Bastian, Glanbia vice president of research and development
- Glanbia’s new Cheese Innovation Center “is the most sophisticated cheese innovation center that there is in the country. There’s probably one mozzarella player that could maybe come to this level. On the American side? No. There’s no one that comes close to this.”
- “Having a nutritious-focused business in southern Idaho and a partnership with Glanbia Foods, we have the significant ability to support a dairy industry with dairy-based nutrition products that have a national and global impact. A massive amount of milk development is required to generate the whey protein base used for our nutritional products. Glanbia Foods’ huge milk production provides us with those valuable dairy products and proteins that remain after cheese is produced.”
Brian Phelan, Glanbia PLC CEO Global Ingredients
“I just want to add that this (Cheese Innovation Center) is a key investment for Glanbia Foods Inc. business. It really demonstrates the Glanbia PLC board and Ireland's confidence in the U.S. cheese business.”
U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, at Glanbia’s Cheese Innovation Center announcement
“(Glanbia) is one of the many reasons Idaho is a great place to live and work. This new facility that Glanbia is building here represents Glanbia’s belief, such as we all believe, in the future of Idaho, in the future of this community here in Twin Falls and a commitment to the future of the people of the great state of Idaho.”
Dolores Wheeler, president/CEO, Gossner Foods
“Many factors contributed to our decision to expand our Swiss cheese operations into Burley. Pre-existing food processing infrastructure, an excellent location offering quality milk and a strong workforce convinced us to establish new operations in Burley rather than expanding one of our other existing facilities. We anticipate the area’s quality milk supply will increase over the years, providing us with even more high-end milk for cheese production.”
Dr. Eugene Rearick, Director, Chemical Research, ARi
“ARi was the research division of Amalgamated Sugar Company as was set up over 50 years ago in Twin Falls due to its central location in the company’s growing and processing area. Our southern Idaho location is ideal thanks to its proximity to many food and mining operations here that may have an interest in our technology. Additionally, the company has benefited from the opportunity to collaborate with scientists at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). ARi’s location is this area makes it relatively east to find and hire technically-trained employees from the pool on individuals who have grown up in the West and want to stay in the general area.”
Bob Rossi, Business Development Manager, WOW Logistics
“We found that the City of Jerome has so much to offer as we considered expanding in the Northwest. This new location for WOW met several important criteria. It needed to be close to our key customer base, offer a capable workforce and offer both rail and interstate access. While Jerome met these criteria, we also found a very positive business environment there and proactive assistance from Jerome’s economic development group, city, county and business leaders.”
Jeff Finkle, president and CEO of the International Economic Development Council excerpt from an article in the December/January edition of the Community College Journal, the bimonthly magazine of the American Association of Community Colleges.
Yielding results: “Community colleges have the expertise, labor and leadership to help EDOs and industry bolster initiatives at the local level. Take, for example, the Southern Idaho Economic Development Organization’s (SIEDO) partnership with the College of Southern Idaho (CSI). Since 2001, the region has added nearly 30 new businesses, and CSI has been a vital partner in community recruitment and expansion deals. Whether through developing new curricula, providing targeted training or offering classroom space, the efforts of SIEDO and CSI have resulted in the creation of more than 2,900 jobs and a regional economic impact of $1.2 billion.”
Vinai Thummalapally, executive director of the SelectUSA program - excerpt from America is Open for Investment January 22, 2014, International Trade Administration
“But don’t take my word for it – SelectUSA has already helped bring jobs to the U.S. and foster many business relationships, both foreign and domestic. For example, the Southern Idaho Economic Development Organization (SIEDO) approached SelectUSA for assistance as they worked with Frulact, a Portugal-based producer of fruit-based ingredients for food. SelectUSA advised SIEDO on the issues that would be critical for the company to consider, while also connecting them directly with our team on the ground in Portugal. After utilizing our advice, SIEDO and Frulact announced plans in October for a state-of-the-art 200,000 square foot facility in Rupert, Idaho, that is expected to employ at least 100 people. We’re hearing plenty more success stories like this, and the SelectUSA program has proven to be a great “bang for the buck.”
Governor Otter and Chobani Founder/CEO
Manufacturing: The Magic Valley has numerous M1 and M2 zoned locations with parcel sizes ranging from 1 acre to 100 acres. Many of the parcels have rail access. In addition, many of the parcels have excellent access and/or visibility to Interstate 84, the main east/west highway in Southern Idaho.
Prices for M1 and M2 zoned parcels range from $1.25 to $2.50 per square foot.
Office: The area offers a number of both existing buildings as well as new projects from which to choose. Older buildings which typically include second and third generation space range from $12.00 to $15.00 per square foot annually. Newer projects and those under construction have annual rental rates around $18.00 to $22.00 per square foot, triple net. For those businesses interested in space with state-of-the-art communications, there are a few new projects underway to meet such specific needs.
Source: Westerra Real Estate Group
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While Southern Idaho's growth and attractiveness has spurred the housing market, home prices and rental rates remain at or slightly below the national average. Recent data indicates the average home price (October 2014) in the Magic Valley to be about $208,198 which was a 5.4% or $10,583 increase over the same period last year. For a new home construction, the average is between $160,000 and $185,000.
In general, the price per square foot for newly constructed homes currently on the market ranges from $115.00 to $125.00.
The area provides for many options, including city subdivisions, mature areas, country acreages and very unique settings such as the Snake River Canyon, South Hills and numerous golf course locations.
Source: Westerra Real Estate Group
The College of Southern Idaho is the region’s “secret weapon” for securing new business investment. CSI partners with businesses in the region to develop tailored courses and training programs specific to the needs of their employee base. Many comprehensive, highly specialized business-related training programs have been developed or enhanced as a result of the college's close business industry relationship.
Jeff Finkle, President and CEO of the International Economic Development Council – recognized The College of Southern Idaho as a “best practice” example for EDO’s working with education to yield economic development success.
- College of Southern Idaho Bolsters Regional ED Efforts
- Southern Idaho's Secret Weapon: CSI
- Locally Trained Workforce
In southern Idaho, you'll find one of the state's best public school systems and a selection of private and charter schools.
The Twin Falls School District educates over 9,000 students at seven elementary schools, three middle schools, and three high schools. Two new elementary schools and one middle school are scheduled to be built in the next few years. Each high school offers courses including advanced academic, dual credit, and specialized professional and technical classes.
- Cassia County School District
- Minidoka County School District
- Gooding School District
- The College of Southern Idaho
- Kimberly School District
- Filer School District
- Wendell School District
- Castleford School District
- Glenns Ferry School District
- Buhl School District
- Idaho Digital Learning Academy
Agape Christian School
Idaho Power customers consistently pay some of the lowest prices in the country for electricity. Electricity comes from a wide range of sources with 58%* coming from renewable energy sources including hydroelectric, wind and geothermal. *Five year average
- National Price Rankings/Comparison
- Residential Rates
- Business Rates
- Idaho Rates Summary
- Idaho Power Green Energy
City Water & Sewer Information
Southern Idaho Economic Development Organization (SIEDO) established “Operation Facelift: New Look. New Attitude. New Business.” in 2011 as a downtown revitalization program for rural business improvement districts in southern Idaho. The program was formed after economic development professionals/downtown revitalization proponents throughout the region voiced concerns about their main street areas.
Operation Facelift is a two-week long regional community-wide project to help spruce up and clean up downtown business store fronts throughout southern Idaho, build community pride and encourage downtown activity and new business development. To date, over 100 businesses have received a “facelift”.
In 2014, The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) selected SIEDO for a Gold Award for this multi-year regional program.