Gov. Butch Otter has signed an executive order creating a council he says will give Idahoans better access to jobs and trade.
The Idaho Council of the Pacific Northwest Economic Region builds upon the 1991 establishment of the Pacific Northwest Economic Region. That organization is a public/private nonprofit created by the states of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Washington and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Yukon and Northwest Territories.
Alberta needs 60,000 workers immediately in construction, mining and support services, which means economic opportunities for Idahoans, said Gloria Totoricaguena, Idaho coordinator for the council. One of the goals of the newly created PNWER Idaho Council is to help get word out to governments, unions and businesses about opportunities like this and other economic and trade possibilities.
The Idaho Council of PNWER consists of 25 people appointed by the governor, legislative leaders and PNWER. Council members include CEOs, legislators and executive branch officials.
The council will meet twice a year, including a meeting this November in Coeur dAlene.
Idaho has more trade in common with Alberta than Nevada, yet many people in Idaho are not taking full advantage of the opportunities for collaboration with our neighbors to the north, Totoricaguena says.