Five Year Review
Southern Idaho Economic Development Organization (SIEDO) was formed in June, 2001 as a joint venture of public and
private sectors to help diversify and strengthen the local economies of Twin Falls and Jerome. Since then, the community of
Buhl and the Mini-Cassia and Hailey/Sun Valley regions have joined SIEDO.
SIEDO’s primary goal is to drive opportunity to the region, attracting new business by leveraging local, regional and state
resources. SIEDO works closely with each community to facilitate new business leads and expansion opportunities in the region.
SIEDO has successfully positioned this region as a highly desirable location to new businesses looking to relocate, as well as
among national site consultants. This positioning has been on the national level, as well as regionally and state-wide.
Building partnerships - both in the public and private sector - with local business/city leaders throughout the region, community
chamber executives, the College of Southern Idaho, state Commerce and Labor, and the Governor’s ofﬁce, has paid off
immensely. Together, this produced outstanding results in business recruitment, retention and expansion projects for the region
and state in the ﬁrst ﬁve years. SIEDO also targets speciﬁc industry sectors that support or enhance those clusters already here or
emerging. Through these efforts, south central Idaho’s urban and rural communities have ﬂourished.
SIEDO has: built support within the communities and the state for economic development and marketing programs; promoted
the retention and expansion of existing ﬁrms; implemented a focused, cost-effective marketing plan to attract new ﬁrms to
the southern Idaho area; and stimulated new startups. SIEDO has also worked closely with Business Plus, a private business
consortium, to build a local resource to augment public incentive packages. They have successfully raised over $3.7 million to
support new and existing businesses.
Over the last ﬁve years, not only has Southern Idaho successfully recruited companies that have helped diversify its economic
base, it has also raised the average hourly wage by nearly $2.00 an hour. Our unemployment rate has consistently remained below
both state and national averages. Housing and construction have been at record highs for the past ﬁve years.
The area has been targeted by a number of major retailers for expansions. In other words,
our economy is stable and robust.
Other Southern Idaho Successes
1.1 Million Square Feet of Industrial Space Donated to City of Burley
In a signiﬁcant and generous corporate gesture, the J.R. Simplot Company in spring of 2004 gave its former potato processing
facility and surrounding site to the city of Burley. Simplot’s gift was a 276-acre site including over 20 buildings and more than
1.1 million square feet of industrial space valued at more than $15 million. The gift gave the Mini-Cassia (Minidoka and Cassia
Counties) region the perfect economic development tool – a ready-made industrial park that will attract potential new businesses
and encourages expansions from local businesses.
Business Plus is a privately funded economic development organization in southern Idaho with investors throughout the
region that collaborate in helping to build/support jobs, the tax base and wealth in the region. SIEDO works closely with BP on
business attraction, business retention, marketing and new development opportunities. This unique organization has generated
over $3.7 million to support new and existing businesses for plant and equipment investment - as well as employee training
- based on additions to the local workforce. Business Plus serves as a signiﬁcant local incentive to SIEDO when recruiting new
businesses to the region and supporting local expansions.
Economic Development Achievement Award
SIEDO received a Bronze Award in Business Facilities Magazine’s 10th Annual Economic Development Achievement Awards for
2002 in the Regional Economic Development Program category. SIEDO was recognized for the recruitment of Dell Computer
to Twin Falls. “Bringing Dell and new jobs to the city points to the effectiveness that can be achieved when everyone works as a
team for a common good,” said judge Jan Dickinson. “The cooperative efforts to put this deal together in less than 10 weeks make
this project shine.”
The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) honored then executive vice president and chief academic
ofﬁcer at the College of Southern Idaho (now president), Dr. Jerry Beck for his achievements in continuing education. Dr. Beck
received the 2003 Richard Preston Award that honors an economic development practitioner who has demonstrated excellence
in continuing education. This is the industry’s most prestigious award. “Dr. Beck has been a vital partner with the college in
southern Idaho’s economic development,” said Rick L. Weddle, IEDC chairman in recognizing Dr. Beck. “Equally impressive,
he has developed and implemented a highly tailored curriculum to support an aggressive economic development campaign.”
CSI has, since its inception, been proactive and supportive in all efforts related to economic development in southern Idaho.
AG Business Support
An $11-million state-of-the-art commodities facility located in Jerome is now available to support agriculture business in the area.
The 210-acre industrial park with rail service includes a commodities facility to sort, store and distribute dried distilled grain,
which serves as cattle feed for local dairies.
Economic Leadership Award
SIEDO founding member and current board member, Mr. Con Paulos, has been selected as the recipient of the 2006 Citizen
Leadership Award given by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). This prestigious award recognizes a
community or business leader who is not an economic development practitioner but who plays a key role in the planning and
designing of new and creative economic development activities. A panel of economic development experts from both the public
and private sectors selected Mr. Paulos in recognition of his unprecedented impact on promoting business development locally,
regionally, and in the state of Idaho over the past 27 years.
Southern Idaho Expansions
As the demand for more cheese has increased, the largest cheese manufacturer in the Northwest, Glanbia Foods, Inc. expanded
their cheese facility in Gooding twice in 18 months while an expansion was already underway at their Twin Falls plant. The
Gooding facility already processed a staggering 7.1 million pounds of milk from over 100,000 local cows each day. This
$13 million expansion increased production an additional 20 percent requiring milk from 20,000 more cows. The expansion
brought the Gooding facility up to approximately 900,000 pounds of cheese daily to meet the tremendous and growing demand
for quality produced barrel cheese.
Dell Computer Corporation announced three expansions since opening in Twin Falls in early 2002. Expansions included
adding 100 new positions and then upgrading the center to serve Dell’s expanding business-to-business clients rather than
consumer customers. The upgrade was made after the Twin Falls support center had consistently been one of Dell’s top
performers according to electronic customer satisfaction surveys. As a result, Dell selected this operation to handle their growing
business support operations.
S&G Produce in Twin Falls constructed a 19,600 square foot building to provide their food distribution operation with a larger,
more technologically advanced facility to accommodate their growth and higher food sanitation standards.
Everton Mattress moved their factory and corporate headquarters to Filer from Twin Falls and took over two buildings
next door to their Twin Falls location to be used for storage. These moves are a necessary addition as Everton continues their
expansion plans. Everton manufactures over 200 pieces of bedding daily, shipping items all over the Northwest.
Solo Cup completed its most signiﬁcant expansion in spring 2002, since the manufacturing facility opened in 1998. Solo Cup
landed Costco’s account to produce 70 percent of their wholesale cutlery and packaging of 330+ utensils, with the remaining
production handled at their Midwest plant. This large production increase required Solo Cup to add equipment, production
capabilities and employees, all within the conﬁnes of the Twin Falls facility. The contract increased the plant’s total production
by about 25 percent.
WOW Logistics added an additional 75,000 square feet to their Jerome distribution center in 2004. Due to the high demand
for refrigerated needs, WOW also expanded their cooler section. WOW converted an additional 825,000 cubic feet to
multi-temperature sections giving the Jerome facility a total of 2,475,000 cubic feet of refrigerated space and a total building
capacity of 307,000 square feet.
WestFarm Foods in Jerome constructed a technologically advanced, $50 million, 70,500 square foot dehydration facility along
side its existing milk condensing plant. The new facility has the capacity to process 3.3 million pounds of locally produced milk
per day into non-fat dry milk. The plant is designed to be expanded to process six million pounds per day into cheese, whey or
non-fat dry milk, depending on the markets and milk availability.
Rite Stuff Foods, which specializes in twice-baked stuffed potatoes, potato skins and whole baked potatoes, began a signiﬁcant
expansion at the Jerome facility in fall of 2004. New equipment and staff were added to increase production capacity by 50
percent over a three year period. The expansion allowed Rite Stuff to meet the product and production needs of their growing
Power Engineers, an international design engineering and consulting ﬁrm headquartered in Hailey, expanded their current
location to include a new $3 million, 26,000 square foot building. The new building consolidates Power’s operations from four
separate structures into two primary buildings and one support structure.
Rocky Mountain Hardware located in Hailey, a manufacturer of high-end bronze architecture hardware, recently broke
ground on a 60,000 square foot environmentally-friendly building that will house its corporate ofﬁce and the ﬁnishing end of
their manufacturing process. The expansion, which will result in new jobs to the Wood River Valley, is slated to be completed in
New Corporate Recruitments to Southern Idaho
Dell Computer Corporation opened their ﬁrst technical support center in the Mountain Time zone in February of 2002,
selecting Twin Falls from a ﬁeld of over 3,300 communities. Initially employing 203 technical positions and over 30 managerial
and support staff, Twin Falls was selected thanks to the area’s strong available work force and the extensive technical training
conducted locally at the high school and college levels.
Twin Falls was cited by CB Richard Ellis for its innovativeness, responsiveness and proactive thinking on issues, which gave it
the edge over other communities. In addition, the “deal” happened from start to ﬁnish in an unprecedented 10 weeks. Southern
Idaho business leaders, Twin Falls city ofﬁcials, the Twin Falls School District, the Idaho Department of Labor, the College
of Southern Idaho (CSI) and the Twin Falls Chamber of Commerce gathered at the onset to meet with Dell ofﬁcials to give
overviews on business, real estate, labor, and workforce and answer questions.
Securing real estate options was a major deal breaker since Dell wanted to move quickly. Idaho Governor, Dirk Kempthorne
personally stepped in to ﬁnalize real estate space for Dell’s new location. Questions on labor availability and expertise were
quickly put to rest when students tested at the local high schools performed well, conﬁrming the quality of the district’s
technology programs and youngster’s technical savvy.
A consensus of local community leadership, state government support and the ability of Twin Falls to deliver on promises made
to Dell, worked together in a complex game that brought a Fortune 50 company to a small southern Idaho community.
WOW Logistics Company built a 232,000 square foot regional distribution center in Jerome in the spring of 2002, the
ﬁrst major facility built outside their Wisconsin headquarters. Jerome was selected over three Northwest locations thanks to its
proximity to WOW’s primary customer base of dairy, cheese, agriculture products and manufacturing, as well as its available
workforce. Jerome is not only close to WOW’s key customer base, but it provides a capable workforce, offers both rail and
interstate access, and a positive pro-business environment. The facility supports general manufacturers, the dairy industry and
multiple processors in southern Idaho and the northwest. WOW offers ﬂexible storage, distribution and logistics services.
Coast-to-Coast Carports, Inc., an Arkansas-based manufacturer and distributor of deluxe carports, enclosed garages, storage
buildings and other custom metal buildings, opened a new 10,000 square foot assembly plant in Heyburn. Coast-to-Coast chose
southern Idaho just four days after they were in contact with Southern Idaho Economic Development Organization. “We have
never seen or experienced the level of professionalism, hospitality and ease in working with a range of community, economic
development and business leaders as we did throughout our short few days in considering southern Idaho for our new facility,”
said Gerrardo Torres, co-owner of Coast-to-Coast.
Loomix West opened a manufacturing plant in Twin Falls in spring 2003 where molasses-based liquid feed supplements for
the dairy and beef industries is produced. The 6,400 square foot facility provides producers with quality supplements and new
products in the liquid feed industry. Approximately 80 percent of the feed supplements produced here are used in southern
Idaho’s Magic Valley.
Hilex Poly Company opened operations with a new plant in Jerome in spring of 2004. This facility serves as Hilex’s western
presence for the manufacture of plastic T-shirt bags. By the time Hilex celebrated their grand opening in fall of 2005, Hilex had
completed their third expansion phase since beginning production just six months earlier. This rapid growth brought Hilex Poly
up to their full capacity of 100 employees operating 24/7 to meet its goal of producing over 5 billion plastic bags annually. The
fast-paced growth is credited to the area’s strong work force and pro-business environment both locally and at the state level.
Expanding into Jerome opened up opportunities for growth sooner than planned. Further expansions are considered for 2006.
Jayco, Inc, an Indiana-based manufacturer of recreational vehicles, expanded their ﬁrst western facility located in Twin Falls,
just seven months after production began in early 2005. Expansion allowed Jayco to meet the growing demand for RV’s in the
western states. Since the ﬁrst units were produced, daily production has increased by one unit every day for several months. This
success and the availability of quality employees warranted Jayco’s decision to start a second production line and an additional
Kiefer Built trailer manufacturer, based in Iowa, began operations in spring 2005 at their new 120,000 square foot facility in
Gooding that sits on 36 acres. While Kiefer was looking at numerous other locations in Idaho, Gooding won out thanks to several
factors: a large building was available to meet Kiefer’s needs; a competitive ﬁnancing package was put together for them; the area
provided a strong qualiﬁed employee base in which to draw from; and the College of Southern Idaho was already working on
vocational training courses that provided additional training for interested employees.
Gossner Foods, Inc. opened their newest cheese production plant in Burley in summer of 2005, taking advantage of existing
plant facilities and land donated to the community by J.R. Simplot. (see “Other” section below.) The new facility allowed Gossner
to expand their Swiss cheese production capabilities, occupying 40,000 square feet of existing space and adding an additional
110,000 square feet. The $25 million plant occupies 15 acres. Gossner Foods, headquartered in Logan, Utah, is one of the largest
Swiss cheese producers in the United States.
Mulholland Positioning Systems, Inc. decided to move its entire business operation out of California and into Burley in
2006. MPS provides postural support seating, standing and walking systems for children and adults with cerebral palsy, spina
biﬁda and other types of motor development disorders. MPS, a $1.3 million manufacturer of this equipment, will take over
a vacant 45,000 square foot warehouse and hire mostly local residents. The move to Burley will signiﬁcantly decrease MPS’
business costs and workers won’t have to contend with such high living costs. Burley’s Technical Center was an important factor
in assuring MPS would be able to hire educated and trained local staff.
Les Schwab began operating a new 32,000 square foot tire re-treading facility in 2005 in Rupert. After looking at numerous
southern Idaho communities in an extensive search for the best location for a new facility, Les Schwab chose Rupert thanks to
numerous business factors: a ready-to-occupy large building with additional land availability; qualiﬁed base of employees; and a
good central location to better and more efﬁciently serve their stores in the Intermountain West.
Dutchmen Manufacturing will begin making recreational vehicles later in 2006 in Burley, bringing in as many as 250 jobs in
two years. They will take over a former 80,000 square foot potato processing plant. Due to high demand for Dutchmen products,
this new facility will help them expand sales to the western U.S. and Canada. While there were several other communities in
the western U.S. that ﬁt their geographical needs, Burley was selected because Dutchmen management felt that this community
shared their strong work ethic and commitment to quality.
SIEDO participated in the successful recruitment of Dell Computer Corporation to Twin Falls –
Dell’s ﬁrst technical support center to open in the Mountain Time Zone. Twin Falls competed
against 3,362 other cities in North America for this center. The center initially employed 203 workers.
They have had three expansions and retrained the workforce on four different Dell systems since
opening in February, 2002. They now have a current employment of 650+ employees.
In the last two quarters of 2004, four new manufacturers sited in southern Idaho – each locating in
facilities over 100,000 square feet in four different rural communities:
Hilex Poly - Jerome
Jayco - Twin Falls
Kiefer Built - Gooding
Gossner Foods - Heyburn
Several local companies have also expanded over the last ﬁve years including:
Glanbia Foods - Gooding
Dell - Twin Falls
S&G Produce - Twin Falls
Everton Mattress - Filer
Hamilton Manufacturing - Twin Falls
Solo Cup - Twin Falls
WOW Logistics - Jerome
WestFarm Foods - Jerome
Rite Stuff Foods - Jerome
Hilex Poly - Jerome
Jayco - Twin Falls
Gossner Foods - Heyburn
Power Engineers - Hailey
Rocky Mountain Hardware - Hailey
With an estimated $130 million in capital investments, the region has sited twelve (12) new industrial companies initially
employing approximately 800 direct workers:
Dell (Technical Support Center) 2001
WOW Logistics (Dist./Transportation) 2002
Coast-to-Coast Carports (Assembly Plant) 2003
Loomix (Liquid Feed) 2003
Hilex Poly (Plastics) 2004
Jayco (RV Trailers) 2004
Kiefer Built (Trailers) 2004
Gossner Foods (Cheese) 2004
Mulholland Positioning Systems (Healthcare) 2005
Les Schwab (Tires) 2005
Dutchmen Manufacturing (RV Trailers) 2006
Scoular Company (Commodities) 2006
Along with new recruitments, many local companies have
undertaken major expansions resulting in approximately
800 additional direct new jobs and over $100 million in
new capital investment. In 2003, southern Idaho produced
71 percent of all new jobs created in Idaho. These are impressive
accomplishments in a region where the closest metropolitan city
is 125 miles away and the primary industry cluster is ag-based.
SIEDO and its partnerships throughout the region and state, has demonstrated its commitment to growing southern Idaho
communities providing a healthy economic diversiﬁcation with good paying jobs. Over the course of ﬁve years, SIEDO has laid
a solid foundation for regional economic development. Our goal is to continue to build on the successes of the last ﬁve years, to
further diversify and augment our existing industry, continue building upon our existing partnerships while creating new ones,
and promoting the numerous business advantages this region has to offer.
The future of SIEDO’s efforts on behalf of southern Idaho looks bright as we strive to impact, improve and grow the business
and economic factors that will make this area an even greater place to live, work and play. We call it, “Life Balance.”
Life. Work. Play. Balance.
Ofﬁce: 208-324-7408 Toll Free: 1-866-768-8443