Monday, October 18, 2010


by John Cottingham

It is time that Boise County, and specifically Garden Valley, take overt actions to create jobs for our citizens. In August, the Idaho Labor Department reported that there were 252 people on their roles as unemployed in Boise County. We all know that there are probably an equal number of residents in the county who have given up looking for jobs or are significantly under employed just to pay the rent. We need to go on the offensive to bring employers to the county and Garden Valley!

I am doing my homework to bring a credible proposal to the Boise County Board of Commissioners that the county create a non-profit (IRS Code 501c3) Boise County Job Creation Council to provide services to local Job Creation Councils made up of volunteers from the county’s population centers. Those are Garden Valley, Idaho City, Horseshoe Bend and the Placerville area. Each town would create their own council to pursue specific new employer opportunities in accordance with their own town’s interests, resident skill sets and features.

The county council would work with the State economic development efforts and the federal Department of Commerce efforts to identify employers that may have an interest in establishing businesses in Boise County. Our costs are low and we offer a super life style! That county council would also handle the creation of their own 501c3 non-profit council, the IRS reporting requirements, promoting Boise County’s interest in creating new jobs, etc. Grants are available to non-profits to create jobs, but the creation and administration is complicated. It is better to have one county-wide council with a Board of Directors representing each town than to ask each town to create their own. When inquiries are produced by the county, the subsidiary councils in each town can decide which is better positioned to pursue it, and send their sales team to bring the jobs home. Those sales teams would be trained and assisted by the county council as needed.

The Garden Valley council will create job opportunity encouragement services like:
1. Business incubator to provide small entrepreneurs with low/no cost facilities/services
2. Prospective employer sales team, training for them, sales brochure on GV
3. Prospective employer leads for the sales team to pursue
4. Virtual Academy to provide education to residents by instructors not in GV
5. Adult education to meet employer needs for both existing and new employers
6. Professional assistance to get and administer grants for economic development
7. Coordination of local GV resident teams to clean-up/fix-up assets in the town

The Garden Valley Job Creation Council philosophy has the interest of our Chamber of Commerce, our County Commissioner, the school district, and all the other movers and shakers in town I have talked to. We even have some opportunities to work on when the Council gets formed. It will take the whole town to make this effort successful. If you have an interest in working on the council with me, please call at (208) 462-3178.

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