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Eastern Idaho seeing growth in a variety of industries

Eastern Idaho is continuing to grow, as more and more people are moving into the Gem State. The massive influx of people moving into the state has also created a large boom in many of the industries that call Eastern Idaho home.
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Eastern Idaho is continuing to grow, as more and more people are moving into the Gem State. The massive influx of people moving into the state has also created a large boom in many of the industries that call Eastern Idaho home.

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI)- Eastern Idaho continues to grow as more people are moving into the Gem State.

The massive influx of people moving into the state has also created a large boom in many of the industries in the area.

Teresa McKnight the CEO of the Regional Economic Development of Eastern Idaho (REDI) says we have seven major industries that are not only producing a large amount of jobs but growth in our region as well.

"The highest-producing sectors in our region, are advanced manufacturing, agriculture, banking, and finance, energy. And when we talk about energy, we're not focused just on nuclear, wind energy, solar energy, and hydro energy. So we're an energy epicenter in our region. And then, of course, we have the health care system. We have eight key medical facilities here that are offering great health care. Region-wide. And then we have information technology focused on cybersecurity," said McKnight.

McKnight adds that the FBI, and the Department of Justice, have offices in Pocatello, along with the Idaho National Laboratory all of which provide lots of opportunities for people to find work in the world of Information Technology.

"We are a cyber security epicenter, Idaho State University. We have a professor there, Sean McBride, who is training students on protecting the grid system. So you think of some of the states that actually had someone hack into their grid system and shut the power down or, you think you could take it a little further when you think of them, hacking into our water system or our wastewater system, some of the things that can be done there. So he's training students to avoid those situations," Mcknight said.

Matt Pashkash from the Idaho Department of Labor says there's more to it than just those industries that are growing. "In terms of just the total number of jobs that have grown, the last year, health care has actually been the largest sector of growth, health care, and social services as defined by our industry classifications. Additionally, we have some other sectors that have also shown a lot of growth, especially accommodations and food service, arts, entertainment, recreation, and construction."

Paskash says a lot of the growth in the tourism industry is due to a return to normalcy since the end of the pandemic.

"These sectors had shed and lost a lot of jobs in 2020 and 2021, and they're just now getting back to a lot of their pre-pandemic levels," Paskash said.

The construction industry is also rapidly growing to keep up with the demand the growth within our region is facing. Paskash adds that although the agriculture industry is growing it's at a smaller rate than a lot of the other industries in the region.

"At least what we're seeing, again, from our view from the data we gather, from directly from employers, agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting seems to be showing a positive but much significantly smaller growth," Paskash said.

A lot of the growth we are seeing in other parts of the state is leading directly to industry growth. As more professionals come to the area they can fill the jobs the industries create. Which McKnight says is generating excitement as others figure out the hidden gems all across our region.

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Braydon Wilson

Braydon is a reporter for Local News 8.

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