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Releases: Idaho exports, P.A.C.T. networking group, Dress for Success drive

Idaho exports show steady growth

Despite recent uncertainty in national and international equity and financial markets, Idaho exports showed strong growth through the first half of 2011. Through the end of June 2011, Idaho exports were valued at more than $3.0 billion, an increase of more than 18 percent over the same period in 2010, according to information from the Idaho Department of Commerce.

Second quarter exports were valued at more than $1.51 billion, only $13 million less than the first quarter of 2011, the largest single quarter on record for exports. The 18 percent growth in exports puts Idaho on par with national average export growth of 17.9 percent. So far in 2011, Idaho maintains a positive trade balance of more than $549.2 million, one of only 15 states who maintain such a surplus.

“We are on pace to reach another record year for Idaho exports,” says Don Dietrich, director of the Idaho Department of Commerce. “Exports help create and sustain jobs in every region of the state and we need to remain aggressive in our efforts to open doors for Idaho companies internationally.”

Top performing Idaho export sectors include: mining products which increased by 118 percent or $227.0 million from 2010 to 2011. Higher prices and demand for precious and semiprecious metals such as gold and silver and lead explain the sharp increase.

Exports of processed dairy products such as: whey protein and powdered milk increased by 177 percent to $67.7 million from 2010 to 2011. The increase is explained by stronger demand from Asia Pacific counties that continue to experience strong economic growth for Idaho processed food and agricultural commodities.

There is also positive news for Idaho wood and building products companies. Despite a slower domestic housing market, Idaho enjoyed a 70 percent increase in export sales of wood products to $52.5 million from 2010 to 2011. Growth is strongest to Canada, China and the Asia Pacific.

Other export sectors including: semiconductors, agricultural commodities, processed food, industrial machinery and fertilizer all experienced positive growth from the first half of 2011 compared to last year.

While Idaho products reach more than 115 countries, top destinations for the second quarter of 2011 included: Canada, Taiwan, Singapore, China and South Korea.

The state of Idaho maintains offices in China, Taiwan and Mexico and works assist Idaho companies with their export needs, said the Idaho DOC.

P.A.C.T. networking group plans open house Aug. 18

A networking group that goes by the acronym P.A.C.T. (Professional Association for Commerce and Trade) is planning an informational open house for business people at 7:30 a.m. Aug. 18 in the downstairs conference room of the Meridian branch of Washington Trust Bank, 3251 E. Presidential Drive.

Comprised of businessmen and women from all over the Treasure Valley, P.A.C.T.’s goal is to help people expand their businesses through education, communication and support. Each member of P.A.C.T. is encouraged to seek opportunities for other members.

Membership is exclusive to one person per industry. Currently, P.A.C.T. has a number of industry openings, such as for an architect, auto body shop worker, attorney, caterer, D.J. and web designer, to list a few.

For additional information, contact Jake McCarty at Washington Trust Bank, 884-2712.

Companies unite to collect interview-appropriate attire

Do you have a good business suit that you aren’t wearing anymore? If so, donate it to Clothesline Cleaners and OfficeTeam, and it will have a new life with a disadvantaged job seeker.

Between now and Aug. 19, Clothesline is teaming up with OfficeTeam to collect new or nearly new business-appropriate suits, shoes and accessories, including handbags and jewelry, for OfficeTeam’s annual suit drive. Donations will benefit Dress for Success Boise Valley, a not-for-profit organization that provides professional attire and career development tools to disadvantaged women.

“Helping professionals look their best is a core part of our business. We know many of our customers have clothing they could donate to help others and we are asking them to donate,” said Gary McCracken, owner of Clothesline.

Suits may be left at the Clothesline locations at Orchard Street and Franklin Road in Boise, or at Meridian and Overland roads, until close of business Friday, Aug. 19. After Clothesline collects and cleans the suits, it will hand them over to OfficeTeam, who will then provide all clothing donations to Dress for Success Boise Valley.

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