WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Bringing more foreign investment to Idaho is a big goal for Idaho leaders gathering just outside our nation’s capital for the Select USA Summit. Idaho officials say they expect a lot of investment in the near future, leading to a lot of job creation.
Twin Falls mayor Shawn Barigar says the education and business partnership in Southern Idaho makes it an attractive landing point for foreign investment.
“The work ethic that’s ingrained in all of us in Southern Idaho is exactly what companies are looking for,” said Twin Falls, ID mayor Shawn Barigar.
It’s a big selling point for Barigar. He traveled to our nation’s capital to pitch his state to foreign investors. He says Idaho has proved itself time and time again with its workforce. Barigar says he wants more foreign companies to invest in his town as they groom employees.
“The ability to partner education with business, create that training pipeline for them, get their employees up and ready by the time their facility is ready to open is really one of the great selling points that we have in Southern Idaho,” said Barigar.
State Senator Kelly Anthon (R-ID-27) says Japanese companies have shown particular interest in opening up shop. Anthon says the success of the yogurt company Chobani has had a domino effect.
“We’ve seen now plastics companies. We’ve seen more dairy production. We’ve seen a lot of good things happen since Chobani came to Twin Falls,” said Anthon.
Many are saying the federal government does need to step up. Senator Jim Risch (R-ID) says to attract businesses, infrastructure needs serious updating nationwide.
“You don’t do any commerce without infrastructure. Whether it’s roads or the internet or any other kind of infrastructure, you have to have it,” said Risch.
Risch says the Trump administration has shown a commitment to building up American infrastructure. Lt. Governor Brad Little (R-ID) says while the federal government can help attract investment at a national level, local leaders take charge in bringing companies into their communities.
“Idaho just operates with the lightest hand of government and if you’re an industry where you’re worried about your market share and someone else coming after your market share, speed to market is the most important thing,” said Little.
The Select USA Summit concludes Tuesday afternoon.