Idaho Governor Selects Workforce Development Task Force Members

The Workforce Development Task Force includes members representing natural resources employers, agribusiness, food processing, advanced manufacturing, high tech, construction, aeronautics, and the energy sector.

Two new task forces created by Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter are scheduled to hold their first organizational meetings this Friday, Feb. 10. Otter announced their members on Feb. 2; the task forces are to study and recommend how best to address Idaho's "K-through-Career" education and job training needs beyond high school.

One is a 36-member Higher Education Task Force, the other a 17-member Workforce Development Task Force. They're patterned on his Task Force for Improving Education, which submitted 20 recommendations for K-12 public school reforms on teacher pay, preparation and professional development, local school accountability, post-secondary counseling, classroom technology, and student performance.

"I'm excited to see such great willingness to participate in this important process. These citizens are eager to help identify and advance the most effective ways for Idaho to aggressively pursue our goals of educating and preparing more Idahoans for productive careers while addressing the growing employer demand for skilled workers," Otter said. "Individuals and organizations from throughout Idaho are joining in this effort to improve how we plan, fund, and implement public policies that work for the people we serve."

The Workforce Development Task Force is headed by co-chairs Brian Whitlock of the Idaho Hospital Association and State Board of Education member David Hill. Its members include Bob Boeh of Idaho Forest Group, representing natural resources employers; Trent Clark of Monsanto, representing agribusiness; Scott Corsetti of Chobani, representing food processing; Craig Graf of Micro 100, representing advanced manufacturing, Jeremy Grimm of Kochava and Steinar Hjelle of Micron Technology, representing high tech; Tom Harris of Western States Cat and Bob Von Lintig of Western Construction, representing the construction industry; Tim Komberec of Empire Airlines, representing aeronautics; and Lonnie Krawl of Idaho Power, representing the energy sector.

Task force members representing workforce training and career technical education include Staci Low of the West Ada School District, Marie Price of North Idaho College, and Scott Rasmussen of Idaho State University. The Legislature will be represented by Sen. Michelle Stennett of Ketchum and Rep. Rick Youngblood of Nampa. Idaho Department of Labor Director Ken Edmunds, Division of Career-Technical Education Administrator Dwight Johnson, and Department of Commerce Director Megan Ronk will facilitate the task force's work and are non-voting advisory members.

The Higher Education Task Force, led by co-chairs Linda Clark of the State Board of Education and Bob Lokken of Boise-based WhiteCloud Analytics, includes all members of the State Board of Education and the presidents of Boise State University, the University of Idaho, Idaho State University, Lewis-Clark State College, the College of Southern Idaho, the College of Western Idaho, North Idaho College, and Eastern Idaho Technical College.

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