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The picturesque beauty in North Idaho provides an abundance of natural resources that helped establish this community, whether it was in Agriculture, Timber, or Mining. Relying strictly on these industries can create a boom or bust economy, so over 30 years ago, community leaders formed our organization to strengthen these driving industries while also diversifying the local economy. These driving industries have changed drastically over the years, to remain important contributors to the economy. Empire Unmanned is using drones for precision irrigation and Idaho Forest Group is 3D scanning logs in their mills and automatically adjusting saw blades to yield the highest and best dimensional lumber. Hecla Mining is developing a vein miner that can be operated remotely while it is two miles underground. We have been able to grow while preserving the beauty and creating a thriving tourism sector as well. Moreover, as a region, our economy is significantly more diversified as shown by the Emsi report below. We invite you to explore information on the industries that have helped to diversify our economy and help further diversify and strengthen all industries.



With companies such as Unitech Aerospace, Empire Airlines, and xCraft operating out of Coeur d’Alene, Aerospace and Aviation play an important role in Kootenai County area industry.

Learn more about aerospace and aviation


Healthcare contributes significantly to the local economy.

Learn more about bioscience and healthcare


We employ approximately 10,000 personnel to manage and support our clients. Employing Lean, 5S, and Design for Six Sigma Methodologies, we work diligently to improve our clients’ supply chain while reducing cost.

Learn more about distribution and warehousing


The financial services industry plays a vital intermediary role in the world economy as it moves money from entities with excess funds to those with a need for funds. It includes firms that are engaged in activities such as investing, lending, insurance, securities trading, and securities issuance. Its clients are individuals, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and agencies of government.

Learn more about financial and service centers


Companies in the high–tech manufacturing industry use much of the same processes that others do. They rely on the forming, casting, molding and machining that other industries use to make products.

Learn more about high-tech manufacturing


The information technology (IT) industry has become one of the most robust industries in the world. IT, more than any other industry or economic facet, has increased productivity, particularly in the developed world, and therefore is a key driver of global economic growth. Economies of scale and insatiable demand from both consumers and enterprises characterize this rapidly growing sector.

Learn more about information technology





The Spokane-Coeur d’Alene region has officially been designated as a Regional Technology Hub by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA).  The American Aerospace Materials Manufacturing Center (AAMMC) is now one of 31 Hubs nationwide eligible to compete for Phase 2 of the CHIPS Regional Innovation Hub grants of $50-$75 million.

The AAMMC Aerospace Tech Hub was chosen by the U.S. Department of Commerce from nearly 400 applicants nationwide. The 47 member Inland Northwest Consortium – which includes Coeur d'Alene Area Economic Development Corporation/Jobs Plus - continues to grow as they prepare for phase 2 competition.

Phase one of the competition designated tech hubs in regions across the country based on consortium proposals that bring together industry, higher education institutions, state and local governments, economic development organizations, and labor and workforce partners to supercharge ecosystems of innovation for technologies that are essential to our economic and national security.

“Lakeside is incredibly proud to be a part of this plan to boost American leadership and national security in the aerospace and defense sectors by reversing the trend toward foreign suppliers and accelerating the growth of our domestic supply base and American manufacturing jobs in the Inland Northwest,” said John J. Hemmingson, CEO of Lakeside Companies. “The I-90 aerospace corridor is home to some of the fastest growing areas in the region: Spokane, West Plains, Spokane Valley, Post Falls and Coeur d’Alene. We have the talent, the resources, and the right partnership to take this plan to the next step in creating a world class test bed for production, commercialization and entrepreneurship.”

Hemmingson continued, “We are laser-focused on enabling creation of new domestic supply chains able to meet the urgent demands of high-rate production of commercial and defense markets of advanced composite aero structures.”

This partnership includes Boeing, Blue Origin, Lockheed, and global OEMs and American manufacturers such as Electroimpact, Unitech, Continuous Composites Inc. (CCI), and Advanced Thermoplastic Composites (ATC), working with academics at Gonzaga University, the University of Washington, and the University of Idaho. Many other economic, community, and civic organizations are involved including: AVISTA Energy, local unions, and tribal nations as well as the Departments of Commerce from Washington and Idaho, and dozens more economic and workforce organizations from across the Inland Northwest.

“The consortium is a dynamic partnership of entities from across the Inland Northwest, representing industry, research, education, government, and workforce, all collaborating to achieve high-rate production goals for the next generation of aerospace manufacturing,” said Thayne McCulloh, president of Gonzaga University. “The organizational, educational, civic, business and cultural resources of this area are unmatched,” he continued. “This incredible group of partners and innovators is perfectly poised to create the future, and it begins right here in the Inland Northwest.”

The focus of this testbed facility will be the development of high-rate manufacturing techniques using advanced materials such as thermoplastic composite (TPC) for aerospace structures such as ribs, beams, doors, bulkheads, and stiffened skins.  The hub will advance these methods through TRL levels six through nine to help them become commercially and widely available much sooner. Due to strong industry backing, the AAMMC hub is expected to achieve financial self-sufficiency within three years and global competitiveness within ten, meeting the standards of the EDA Tech Hub designation. 

In the next several weeks, the Department of Commerce will launch phase 2 of the competition, for applicants designated as a Tech Hub to apply for implementation funding.

“In Phase 2, we will invest in regions that have strong potential to lead globally across a wide array of critical and emerging technologies and the people and places that make and deliver these products and services, “ said Eric Smith, the Tech Hubs Program Director at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) in a recent interview.

“In most successful Hubs, we’re going to see these regions—and the industries within them—build and gain market share in particular industries. We also expect to see markers of increased innovation, increased business creation and expansion, and increased investment in these places. We’re looking for market potential—where are there viable commercialization paths for these critical technologies? What regions are building effective interfaces between their engines of innovation and industry that will make them globally competitive and that will result in new, good jobs? We’ll ask these Hubs and ourselves these questions repeatedly as the Hubs put together their Phase 2 project proposals and as we evaluate them..



For information about the American Aerospace Materials Manufacturing Center click here.


To learn more about Lakeside Companies click here.

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Located along Interstate 90 between central Washington State across northern Idaho and into central Montana, the I-90 Aerospace Corridor is an integrated network of over 200 companies and organizations actively engaged in the aerospace industry.

The I-90 aerospace supply chain is one of the country’s most progressive integrated consortium of aerospace manufactures with a significant number of capabilities, quality assurances and certifications.

The I-90 Aerospace Corridor has:

  • 2 Class 1 Rail Systems

  • 25 Colleges and Universities

  • 90,00 Students earning technical certifications to advanced degrees

  • 250+ trucking companies

  • 200+ aerospace & MRO companies 

Spokane County is a critical access point for ground, flight and rail systems, and is ideally located for freight distribution east-west and north-south via Interstate 90 (I-90) and US 395/North Spokane Corridor (NSC).

The Spokane Airport processed over 3 million passengers and nearly 70,000 U.S. Cargo Tons in 2015 and is the second largest airport in the State of Washington and recognized by the FAA as a small hub.

Over 250 trucking companies service the I-90 corridor with an average drive time of 5 hours to the Puget Sound area offering streamlined daily point-to-point delivery service.

The I-90 Aerospace Corridor has capacity for growth with an abundance of affordable land available for development and underutilized FAA regulated airspace accessible for commercial and military use.

Plentiful greenfield with low population density surrounds Moses Lake. Combined with available hangar space, five massive runways and weather that allows for over 340 days of VFR flying per year makes this the ideal flight testing and training location along the corridor.

Over 200 trucking companies transport product along the I-90 corridor, an east/west rail system moves goods from coast to coast and Spokane International Airport offers multiple daily nonstop flights to Seattle and other destinations throughout the United States.

The region’s low cost of living, award-winning education, and lifestyle opportunities combined with the area’s competitive cost of doing business creates an outstanding environment for businesses. This is a unique and scenic location for you, and your employees and their families, to work, play and live.





One of our primary focus in this region is the growth of our healthcare industry. Examples of such growth are a brand-new expanded Mayo Clinic affiliated community hospital, Kootenai Health. By providing outstanding health care, Kootenai Health repeatedly earns regional and national recognition.


Educational opportunities in the health industry are exceptional with enrollment at NIC approximately 6,000; Spokane Community College at 6700 -with the latter serving closer to 20,000 students in eastern WA on various training programs. Plus, there is an additional 20,000+ students enrolled at Gonzaga, Whitworth, LCSC (Nursing Program), University of Idaho, Eastern Washington University, WSU and University of WA Medical Programs in Spokane’s satellite campuses. A total of 55,000 students which includes the main campuses in Moscow, Pullman, and Cheney.

New solutions and new approaches are necessary with the complex nature of health care. MAX is a healthcare conference that brings together key decision-makers in the healthcare industry. By attending this event, you will see some of the most innovative medical solutions on the market. Innovators can spend minutes providing a demonstration to a room full of potential buyers along with gathering information from guest speakers. Last year’s event dinner included key speakers from IBM Watson Health, Inc. and John Hopkins:

• IBM Watson Health, operates a cloud-based data sharing hub that includes clinical, research, and social data from various health sources. It offers its solutions for doctors, researchers, and insurers. The company provides genetic testing services. Additionally, it offers personalized care plans, automated care management workflows, and integrated parent engagements. (

• Johns Hopkins has received more than $120 million from the US Defense Department to help pay for the development of a robotic arm over the past 10 years. Johnny Matheny is the first person to live with an advanced mind-controlled robotic arm. Last December, researchers from Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab delivered the arm to Matheny at his home in Port Richey, Florida. Aside from the occasional demo, this is the first time the Modular Prosthetic Limb (MPL) has spent significant time out of the lab. (

So, having read what North Idaho has to offer, please consider relocating or expanding your healthcare business where you will find like-minded individuals/industries willing and able to work alongside one another to continue the growth of such an important industry in our region.



Spurred by the growth of the region and the access to markets including Southwestern Canada companies like Orgill, Transamerica, FedEx, and Sysco are all finding success with distribution in North Idaho. Interstate 90 runs right through the region linking Seattle to Boston and US95 transects Interstate 90 and links to Interstate 15, creating a north-south route across the western states from Mexico to Canada. In addition to the North/South and East/West Routes, material can be moved beyond through the ports of Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, and the furthest inland port, the port of Lewiston, located 113 miles south.

If you are interested in how the region could help answer your logistic needs and better serve the pacific northwest, we would encourage you to learn more.




The strong hospitality culture prepares the workforce to provide exemplary customer service in any situation. That, with the technical aptitude, fosters success for companies like Inspiro, Pipl, Qualfon, and US Bank. These companies employ over 1,000 employees.



North Idaho College student, Greyson Turner, created videos for the 31st CDA EDC Annual Meeting in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. These videos feature some of the high-tech businesses in our region, showcasing what Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls and Hayden, Idaho have to offer new business prospects.


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