Traditionally, Idaho’s economic strength has been in agriculture, natural resources, and food processing. As the State and Boise metropolitan statistical area continue to grow and diversify, the State’s overall economic strengths have also evolved. Following the technology trend, the state can now boast it has the largest and most high-tech yogurt manufacturing facility in the world – Chobani. A new class of industry known as Agri-Tech has found a stronghold in Idaho, combining the efficiencies of technology with agriculture business. The Boise area has also become a hub for technology and tech entrepreneurs, boasting one of the strongest semi-conductor industries in the nation with Fortune 500 Company, Micron. The presence of this anchor company has permeated the Boise Valley and brought technology and advanced manufacturing to the forefront of the state’s economy.

This focus on manufacturing and technology offers opportunity for crossover skills to supply aerospace companies. Idaho has over 600 metal and plastics manufacturing facilities and machine shops, and in conjunction with Idaho Universities and technical colleges, have helped create a robust, highly-trained and work-ready pool of employees. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the jobs below have similar roles to the six critical, aerospace job codes listed previously. The corresponding location quotient shows these jobs currently exist at an “average” level, but Idaho’s postsecondary education has placed an emphasis on aerospace training. A later post, “Talent Pipelines,” will discuss how Idaho is positioning itself to meet future demand.

Job Code Location Quotient Transferable Job
Architects 0.59 Electrical Drafter
Civil Engineer Technicians 1.28 Electrical Drafter
Electrical Engineer 1.58 Electrical Drafter
Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers, Transportation Equipment 0.56 Electrical Drafter
Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technicians 1.50 Electrical Drafter
Electromechanical Technicians 0.56 Electrical Drafter / Aircraft M&T
Industrial and Commercial Designers 0.64 Electrical Drafter
Landscape Architects 1.74 Electrical Drafter / Aircraft M&T
Mechanical Engineering Technician 0.69 Electrical Drafter
Industrial Machinery Mechanics and Maintenance Workers 1.29 Assemblers and Fabricators
Millwrights 1.7 Assemblers and Fabricators
Milling and Planing Machine Setters, Operators and Tenders, Metal and Plastic 0.46 Assemblers and Fabricators
Molding, Core Making, and Casting Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders Metal and Plastic 0.81 Assemblers and Fabricators
Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers 1.29 Assemblers and Fabricators
Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians n/d Aircraft Maint. & Tech.
Automotive Body and Related Repairers 0.84 Aircraft Maint. & Tech.
Computer, ATM, and Office Machine Repairers 0.85 Aircraft Maint. & Tech.
Electricians 1.11 Aircraft Maint. & Tech.
Farm Equipment Mechanics and Service Tech 3.78 Aircraft Maint. & Tech.
Mobile Heavy Equipment Mechanics 1.19 Aircraft Maint. & Tech.
Avionics Technician 0.84 Aircraft Maint. & Tech.
Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmers, Metal and Plastic 0.45 Machinist
Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastic 0.56 Machinist

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupations Employment Statistics

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