Voices from the Idaho EdNews Community

Businesses Can Help 2024 High School Graduates Launch Their Careers

Alex LaBeau

Idaho is facing a labor shortage. This shortage is especially acute in the healthcare, manufacturing, and technology industries. With the state’s unemployment rate at 3%, there is an urgent need to solve this growing crisis in the short term and into the future.

For most companies, the talent pipeline focus has been at the collegiate and training program level. That will no longer suffice to bring in the qualified workers necessary in most industries. That is why Idaho businesses must not overlook the importance of the Idaho LAUNCH program as part of their recruitment strategy.

The Idaho LAUNCH program is a new initiative designed to address this issue by providing grants that will cover 80% of the cost of an in-state program that leads to an in-demand career, up to $8,000. This could be anything from a CDL program to a nursing program to a computer science degree.

Idaho LAUNCH is a win-win for both students and businesses. For students, it makes college more affordable and allows them to pursue their dream careers. For businesses, it creates a skilled talent pool of eligible employees ready to fill in-demand jobs. Idaho LAUNCH allows industries to cultivate the next generation of employees beginning at high school graduation.

Idaho businesses must support and get involved with the Idaho LAUNCH program. Here are a few examples of how:

  • Share information about the Idaho LAUNCH program with employees, many of whom are related to and/or know eligible students who can benefit from this program.
  • Offer financial assistance to students interested in fields related to your business. While LAUNCH covers 80% of the cost (up to $8,000), businesses can incentivize students to work for them after graduation by offering funds for the remaining 20%.
  • Partner with local schools and colleges that offer Idaho LAUNCH-eligible programs. This could involve developing new programs and/or making existing programs more accessible to Idaho LAUNCH students.

Idaho LAUNCH is a game-changer for Idaho businesses in the face of the current labor market. By investing in the future of Idaho’s workforce, companies can ensure that they have the skilled workers needed to succeed.

Get involved in the Idaho LAUNCH program today and start building a brighter future for Idaho’s businesses and Idaho’s students.


Alex LaBeau

Alex LaBeau

He became the fifth president of the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry in September of 2006. He has participated extensively on IACI’s Public Affairs and Tax Policy Committees since 1993 on behalf of the Idaho Association of Realtors.

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