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Inland Northwest Economic Developments, Fall 2016

November 29, 2016View for printing

The following are projects, initiatives and economic developments making news in eastern Washington and northern Idaho. This email is distributed by the Inland Northwest Economic Alliance (INEA) on behalf of its regional partners.

LEWISTON, Idaho ? Vista Outdoor Inc. recently announced plans to expand its ammunition manufacturing capacity in Lewiston, creating up to 137 new jobs and adding $99.3 million to the local and state economy. The company?s current Lewiston operations occupy approximately 400 acres and 315,000 square feet, employing approximately 1,400 employees. Expansion plans include hiring engineers, program managers, technicians and manufacturing employees. The ammunition and gun manufacturing sector in the Lewis-Clark Valley is responsible for 1 out of every 5 jobs in the local economy. To learn more, read Vista Outdoor?s press release or visit

Clearwater Paper?s project to install a new continuous digester for paper pulp production reached a milestone. The components for the $160 million digester were recently delivered. The components were manufactured in Sweden, assembled in China and then shipped to Lewiston via barge from Longview, Washington. For more information, visit or

USK, Washington ? The Washington State Department of Commerce announced that a new $300-million silicon smelting facility proposed for Usk by HiTest Sand Inc. has been designated a Project of Statewide Significance and will receive $300,000 in economic development assistance through the Pend Oreille Economic Development Council. Based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, HiTest estimates about 400 construction jobs and once operational, about 170 permanent, full-time jobs will be created. Paying an average salary well above the community?s prevailing wage, these high-skill jobs will deliver a significant boost to the tri-county region in the northeast corner of the state. Much of the silicon produced from sand at the smelter will be used by in-state solar cell manufacturers, computer chip makers and aluminum product manufacturers. For more information, read the Washington State Department of Commerce press release.

POST FALLS, Idaho ? Orgill, Inc., an international hardlines distributor based out of Tennessee, announced plans for a new distribution facility in Post Falls. The company has begun work to upgrade an existing 500,000 square foot building. The facility will result in almost $30 million in capital investment and $5.8 million in anticipated annual wages in the community. To learn more, visit ALK-Abello Source Materials Inc., a leading manufacturer of quality allergenic biological source materials, is expanding its facility in Post Falls, according to the Journal of Business. The $14.3 million addition will be 35,000 square feet. Check out the Journal of Business photo to see the construction.

The City of Post Falls and Copper Basin Construction recently entered into an agreement that will allow for a future 25-acre, multi-use sports complex and an 8.3-acre neighborhood park in the city, according to the Coeur d?Alene Press. The development cost for the sports complex is estimated at $1.6 million. Softball will be the cornerstone sport planned for the complex. Read the article to learn more. SPOKANE, Wash. ? Spokane International Airport has two projects totaling just over $9 million that are set to begin in early 2017, according to an article in the Journal of Business. The first project is a $5.2 million south pilot ramp rehabilitation project. The project is being funded by a Federal Aviation Administration grant and is designed to improve the apron concrete surface and aircraft maneuverability for tenants such as U.S. Customs. The $4 million second project involves upgrades to explosive detection systems and improvements to the airport?s checked baggage resolution areas. The checked baggage resolution area is where passengers can go for feedback on baggage delays and damaged bags, as well as lost or missing items that may have been left on the aircraft. Read the Journal of Business article to learn more.

BNSF Railway is investing in a new much larger vehicle unloading facility to replace an existing facility in Spokane. The $6 million BNSF vehicle unloading facility will serve the more than 12,000 vehicles each year that the railroad delivers to the Spokane market. Plans for the facility include a small office building, fencing and other security features and about 1,000 vehicle storage spaces. BNSF hopes to have the new vehicle unloading facility operating by the end of 2016. For more information, read the Inland NW Business article or visit

COEUR D?ALENE, Idaho ? Alliance Data will create 364 permanent full-time positions at its Coeur d?Alene customer support facility and provide training using $87,310.60 from the Idaho Department of Labor?s Workforce Development Training Fund. The new workers will bring the total of employees at the Coeur d?Alene location to 810 by Feb. 28, 2018. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Alliance Data is a leading provider of tailored marketing and loyalty solutions, delivered through branded credit programs. The Coeur d?Alene customer care center provides support for many of Alliance Data?s more than 145 credit programs representing many of the world?s most recognizable brands. For more information, read the Idaho Department of Labor?s press release.

Coeur d?Alene?s Sherman Avenue has been named a 2016 Great Place in America in the Great Streets category by the American Planning Association. The awards celebrate stories of exemplary planning that have resulted in stronger, healthier and more just communities. Sherman Avenue was recognized as the main vein of connectively through the Idaho resort town of Coeur d?Alene. The street is always bustling with commerce and festivities that reflect the unique local flair. For more details on the awards, visit

MOSES LAKE, Wash. ? Sonico, Inc., an aircraft repair station at the Grant County International Airport, broke ground on its new 28,000-square-foot building. Construction is expected to take about a year. Sonico?s vision is to build a top-notch manufacturing facility with space for offices, aircraft parts storage and parts maintenance and repair. To learn more, read the article at

MOSCOW, Idaho ? EcoAnalysts, Inc. of Moscow, Idaho and Ecological Specialists, Inc. (ESI) of O?Fallon, Missouri are merging. ESI focuses largely on freshwater mussel surveys and ecology, environmental impact assessment, endangered species consultation, fisheries surveys and training for clients. EcoAnalysts? core services focus on aquatic biological communities, such as algae, plankton, macroinvertebrates and fish. This merger will allow both firms to offer services on the coasts and in the Midwest and offer quality field, laboratory, agency coordination and data analysis services for freshwater mussels, fish and benthic invertebrates. Under the terms of the merger, EcoAnalysts will be acquiring the stock of ESI and ESI will continue to operate under its current name as a subsidiary of EcoAnalysts through the end of 2016. In 2017, the companies will combine all operations under EcoAnalysts, Inc. To learn more, visit or read the press release.

The University of Idaho?s Research Park received a technological boost this year thanks to local broadband fiber provider Fatbeam, provider of broadband access services. The $3.2 million donation includes two Fatbeam-owned private fibers beginning at the Liberty Lake, Washington, Tierpoint data facility and traversing 65 miles across greater Coeur d?Alene. The donation of high-speed fiber optics also includes a long-term contract to provide 1-gigabit Internet access for the UI Research Park in Post Falls. For more details, read the university?s press release.

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. ? The Pinecroft Business Park broke ground on a $5.25 million multiuse building in the office complex, according to an article in the Journal of Business. The catalyst for the project is PayTrace Inc., a Spokane Valley-based payment-processing company and a current tenant at Pinecroft. The company has committed to take about 10,000 square feet in the new building. The company plans to move there from a 3,000-square-foot space it currently occupies in the park. Read to Journal of Business article to learn more.

RATHDRUM, Idaho ? North Idaho College recently celebrated the grand opening of its Career Technical Education Facility in Rathdrum. The $20 million, 100,000-square-foot facility is home to professional-technical programs to meet student and industry demand for well-trained and qualified graduates in the Trades and Industry sector. To learn more, visit

LIBERTY LAKE, Wash. ? Comcast recently celebrated the grand opening of its new 80,000-square-foot National Center of Excellence customer support center. The Liberty Lake facility represents a total economic impact of more than $95 million and will provide jobs for more than 700 employees once the facility is fully built out. Several local officials and Comcast personnel from across the nation were on-hand for the event, in addition to a large number of employees working at the Liberty Lake site. Read the Greater Spokane Incorporated article to learn more.

About the Inland Northwest Economic Alliance (INEA) The Inland Northwest Economic Alliance (INEA) is an alliance of 14 regional economic development agencies representing 17 counties in Northern Idaho and Eastern Washington. The collaborative effort is aimed at building economic growth through enhancing the brand recognition of the Inland Northwest and its communities and showcasing its business value. To learn more, visit

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Reprinted under the Fair Use doctrine of international copyright law. Full copyright retained by the original publication. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

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