“TechIdaho 2003,” report on the status of Idaho´s high-technology industry.

Welcome to “TechIdaho 2003,” The Idaho Statesman´s first annual report on the status of our state´s high-technology industry.

—Mike Maharry Idaho Statesman

For years, those involved in economic development have wished that Idaho had a comprehensive, up-to-date snapshot of the state´s technology sector. Chambers of commerce in Boise and around the state, the Idaho Department of Commerce, firms thinking of locating here — all wished the state had a single, concise source to show off the strides we have made in technology development.

Today we introduce our first effort toward meeting that need. Partnering with the Boise office of the KPMG accounting firm, we sent out surveys to high-tech companies throughout the state.

The responses cover more than 73 percent of all the employees working for high-tech companies in Idaho. Together, they represent the most comprehensive portrait ever painted of our state´s tech sector.

Tech companies have brought skilled workers to Idaho. They command good salaries, which in turn support other services and provide jobs to many others.

At a time when Idaho´s traditional natural resource industries — mining and logging — were slowing, high-tech jobs were keeping the state healthy.

Now that health is in jeopardy.

More than 3,000 of the tech sector jobs which kept Idaho growing throughout the ´90s have disappeared.

We hope this special section will be useful to our legislators as they consider issues which may set the course of Idaho´s future — for good or ill — for the coming decade.

We hope, too, that the stories in this section will help our readers gain a better understanding of the impact Idaho technology companies have on all of our lives.

—Mike Maharry

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