A Magic Valley industry receives a high honor

Published: Jul. 9, 2015 at 3:32 PM MDT
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The Southern Idaho region is being honored on a national level for its food manufacturing industry.

"This is really exciting, because it opens the door to a lot of new opportunities," said Carleen Herring, Southern Idaho Region IV Development.

The Magic Valley has been selected as a top 12 U.S. manufacturing community by the U.S. Commerce Department – and is only one of four U.S. regions in the food manufacturing category.

"What that does is identifies clusters of businesses that have a national significance in their size and scope of both in the number of firms and the number of employees involved in that particular industry," said Herring.

Because of this federal designation, the Southern Idaho region will receive a number of direct and significant benefits.

Including: preferential consideration for federal funding; food–related talent attraction and training opportunities; direct access to federal economic development resources; and national branding opportunities, just to name a few.

"It's all about getting out the message that the Magic Valley is a great place to do business. When you take a look at against the other communities that were selected, we're the little guy in the playing field. Were hoping that having the ability to gain some federal recognition will help us identify with other companies that were maybe looking at locating somewhere, and we weren't necessarily on their radar screen... now we maybe," said Herring.

This new designation comes on the heels of an unprecedented 10 month period between 2012 and 2013.

In that time the Southern Idaho region added huge investments from some major food giants, including companies such as; Chobani, Monsanto, Clif Bar and Frulact group as well as expansions of Glanbia Foods and McCain Foods.

"This region is very good about playing well with each other. When were working with communities and companies and agencies on whether its recruitment or business expansion retention, the egos are set aside and that's really critical because it's all about elevating the entire Magic Valley," said Herring.

This designation will be in place for the next two years.

If the region can prove that it is a viable manufacturing community, that status can be reinstate for another two years.