ITD launches a series of regional Economic Outlook Summits April 19-28 that will culminate in a Statewide Transportation Plan that guides project selection for the next two decades. The long-range planning process also includes participation by the Idaho departments of Commerce and Labor.
The statewide plan will guide planning of ITD projects and answer the question, “When we make an investment, where will we get the best return on our money?” The three long-range (20-year) goals will address:
Invitations to the economic summits were prepared by ITD headquarters staff and reviewed and augmented by district planners and staffs of Metropolitan Planning Organizations statewide. Department of Commerce will provide staff support and economic information, and the Department of Labor will provide employment and gross domestic product data.
The outreach meetings will help identify Idaho’s economic drivers and assess how transportation influences or hinders economic development. Discussion and conclusions also are intended to address the Department of Commerce goals for Project 60, the Governor’s initiative to grow the state gross domestic product from $51.5 billion to $60 billion.
Participants will be asked to identify Idaho’s main economic drivers within each region of the state and to anticipate future economic drivers. ITD staff will identify transportation impacts critical to supporting the economic drivers and create a tool that optimizes investment decisions that support Idaho’s economic growth.
ITD staff began laying a foundation for the statewide plan more than nine months ago in response to a governor’s 2009 executive order. A planning team, under the direction of Sonna Lynn Fernandez, was assigned to schedule meetings statewide and begin developing the long-range plan.
Meetings began Tuesday (April 13) when staff attended the Idaho Small Business Summit and the Idaho Rural Partnership meeting Wednesday (April 14), both in Boise. The statewide schedule is:
• April 20 – District 6 Economic Outlook Summit
• April 21 – ITD Board Meeting
• April 21 – District 5 Economic Outlook Summit
• April 22 – District 4 Economic Outlook Summit
• April 26 – REDIFiT Meting
• April 27 – District 1 Economic Outlook Summit
• April 28 – District 2 Economic Outlook Summit
• May11 – District 3 Economic Outlook Summit
• May 12 – District 3 Economic Outlook Summit