Sunday, November 21, 2010


With the recent changeover in Garden Valley Chamber of Commerce officers, there is a new focus for the organization. When Greg Simione handed over the presidency to Diane Caughlin and John Cottingham, as co-presidents, he said, "It is time for the Chamber to go to the next level.” Thus the focus on job creation/retention in Garden Valley and in Boise County. Simione will remain as Chamber advisor.

The Chamber of Commerce will continue to present the local programs as in the past, headed by Diane Caughlin. The job creation/retention program, headed by Cottingham, will begin with a strategic planning meeting on January 13, at 6:00 p.m., in the Crouch Community Hall.

The Chamber will then train sales teams and actively pursue new business opportunities for Garden Valley, to create new jobs and retain jobs at existing businesses. Caughlin says grants are available from the U.S. Economic Development Agency and other organizations, for which the Chamber will compete with a well structured economic development program.

All interested Chamber members are invited to join the Council and contribute to Garden Valley’s economic growth. Not a member? Join. It is easy and inexpensive. Complete information is on the web site, at or call John Cottingham at 462-3178.

Job Creation/Retention Council
by Garden Valley Chamber Co-President John Cottingham

The Garden Valley Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a "Job Creation/Retention Council" to promote new jobs and retain existing jobs in Garden Valley. The valley has some features that will draw new employers, but we need to educate them about those features and present the best face possible. It is even more important to improve the chances for success of our existing employers.

Jobs are scarce, and good, well paying jobs are even more scarce. The Idaho Department of Labor figures in August, 2010, indicated that Boise County unemployment was 7.6%, and that’s just those on their rolls. Counting those who have given up looking for a good job, the number is probably double that. It is time to do something about that, for the benefit of Boise County residents and businesses.

The Chamber has initiated an organization called the “Job Creation/Retention Council” specifically to address that problem. Its objectives are to keep employers from closing or relocating and to assist in business expansion and new job creation. Historically, 70% of new jobs come from existing successful employers, so there is our focus.

The first thing the Council will do is to identify community needs. It will begin with a SWOT analysis, identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It will be an "inventory" of Garden Valley. From that analysis, the Council will build a strategic plan (3-5 years) and within it, a business plan (1 year). That identifies the prioritized steps we must follow to be economically successful. The Chamber will implement the action plan and train sales teams to promote Garden Valley to our target employer categories. The Chamber will initiate adult education programs to improve the skill sets of our residents, to meet the requirements of prospective employers.

All this gets done with the desire to maintain our pristine environment and rural life style. It will take our whole community to make this happen. If you have an interest in helping Garden Valley residents to be successful, please contact the Chamber or call me at 462-3178. If you want to bring jobs to Garden Valley , contact the Chamber or me.

John B. Cottingham
28 Southfork Lane
PO Box 802
Garden Valley, ID 83622
Ph: 208-462-3178
Cell: 208-908-3818
(208) 462-5003

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