City leaders are working to make Nampa more attractive to new businesses.
This was the topic of discussion at the annual economic forum hosted by the Nampa Chamber of Commerce Wednesday.
"Either local businesses expanding their footprint or new companies coming in to look at Canyon County as an example of a place to relocate,” Edward Jones financial advisor Andy Dodson said. “We are continuing to see Boise Valley be a destination point for people migrating into our community."
It’s all about economic growth, reducing unemployment rates and corporate profitability. One of the biggest successes in Nampa is the manufacturing industry, city officials said.
"Nampa has about 15 percent of our workforce employed in manufacturing, which is twice the national average," Beth Ineck, the Economic Development Director for Nampa, said.
The city met with several manufactures and found that about 74 percent of them have added new employees in the last year and will continue grow, she said. Growth that she said will go back into the local communities.
“These are the people who make the things that we use every day,” Ineck said. “They're generating income into the community from everyone else in the county and in the world.”
But there are still some challenges. One example Ineck gives is getting people to work for these companies.
"So we've seen upward pressures on wages and trying to make sure that we're growing the pipeline of people that are interested in manufacturing and recognizing that it's not the manufacturing that you think of from your grandfather from the 40s,” she said. “It’s very high-tech, it's a very different environment."
Another challenge is bringing people and businesses into Nampa.
"We have a lot of people moving, but one of the areas where we can do a lot of improvement is helping educate our college students around the state and around the valley that there are opportunities here,” she said. “We tend to lose a lot of college students to Oregon or Washington or California."
A solution to that the city is exploring is providing more internship opportunities to show students the jobs that are available.