Where We Stand
As Idaho increases its efforts to expand and attract business, our businesses need additional skilled and educated workers. Workforce education, training, and development are critical to economic development. To that end, the Nampa Chamber supports a robust educational system designed to be relevant to the real world and that reflects the knowledge and skills students need for success as they enter today's workforce. We believe that community colleges, such as the College of Western Idaho, and our other public and private colleges and universities play a vital role in economic stability and growth.
The Nampa Chamber encourages our Legislature to prioritize education funding and professional-technical development programs to meet Idaho's workforce needs. The Nampa Chamber supports a K-12 educational system that helps our future workforce develop necessary skills in critical thinking, problem solving, communication and collaboration. We also support efforts to improve and align educational standards with business needs, including policies that provide schools and teachers the time, training, and resources needed to meet challenging standards. We encourage our Legislature to identify solutions for supporting an education system focused on workforce development and promoting opportunities for youth and adults to pursue professional-technical education focused on real world skills. Education and training must be a top priority, as all other incentives for business growth and development are ineffective if a company cannot be assured it has a sufficient skilled and trained workforce to meets its needs.
The Nampa Chamber of Commerce continues to support and encourages our Legislature to promote local control and decision-making by granting local government authorities the power to request and adopt a voter-approved local sales tax to fund community economic development projects. The Nampa Chamber also encourages the Legislature to retain and establish tools that allow for local choice as to development of local infrastructure and community projects, as well as effective means for local governments to insure new development contributes for its impact on services.
The Nampa Chamber applauds the efforts of the 2015 Legislature to take some first steps in addressing Idaho's transportation funding issues, but we also note that a significant funding deficiency remains. The Legislature must continue to identify long term ways to better meet the maintenance and improvements needs of Idaho's roads and transportation facilities. Economic development requires an effective and efficient transportation system.
Similarly Idaho's services - power, water, wastewater, streets, and other public infrastructure - continue to need maintenance, improvement, and expansion to meet the demands of our growing communities. The Nampa Chamber encourages the Legislature to continue to push for ways to efficiently and effectively meet these demands so business is not limited by a failure of capacity on infrastructure services. In support of such, the Nampa Chamber supports efforts to provide local communities with tools and options to pursue needed infrastructure projects for economic development and community growth.
The Nampa Chamber encourages our legislators to monitor and continue to pursue reform on healthcare issues and the redesign of Medicaid.
The Nampa Chamber of Commerce supports continuing efforts to review and reform Idaho's tax policies. We support continuing to investigate ways to simplify, balance, and streamline the tax structure and processes, and support lowering corporate and personal taxes. The Nampa Chamber also encourages the ongoing use of certain tax incentives for business where such incentives are tied to proven economic growth.
Agriculture and its associated businesses play a key role in our community and economy. We support the 2016 Position Statement on Agribusiness Issues, a joint statement by the Nampa and Caldwell Chambers of Commerce.