Idaho’s Working Natural Resource
The Northern Idaho region is made up of Idaho's five northernmost counties: Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai and Shoshone.
The beauty and lifestyle of this area have attracted thousands of new residents in recent years, making it Idaho’s second most populous region.
The largest city, Coeur d’Alene, is just 33 miles from Spokane, Wash., where many Panhandle residents work.
Industries playing major economic roles include lumber, a variety of manufacturing, mining, tourism, retail, agriculture, call centers and the Coeur d’Alene and Kootenai tribes.
Over the past decade, the labor force in northern Idaho has grown 22 percent from 88,000 to 108,000 at the end of 2010. During that time, the largest growth periods occurred between 2004 and 2005 when the labor force grew 4 percent. The recession slowed down the growth of the labor force, but it did not languish. From 2007 to 2010, the labor force in northern Idaho grew almost 4 percent. Population grew at a similar rate. Kootenai County saw the largest amount of growth at 27 percent, while Shoshone County experienced a decline in population in recent years.
North Idaho College and the satellite campuses of Lewis-Clark State College and University of Idaho area key component of providing a highly skilled and trained workforce. North Idaho College’s Workforce Training Center custom designs, reasonably priced, educational and training programs based on projected needs of area employers and students. All of the education institutions are very passionate about the future of their communities. Kootenai Technical Education Campus is one example, a technical-professional school that will offer classes in skilled trades.