Jobs make a City vibrant. Meridian will recruit family-wage jobs and promote the growth of existing organizations in employment zones that put work and life together.
The City of Meridian remains one of the premier places to live, thanks in large part to our economy. We are a community that is built for business and designed for living. It’s not just a slogan, it’s a promise we work diligently to keep. Part of this includes planning for business, supporting companies that are here and creating infrastructure to sustain economic growth.
Our ‘Economic Vibrancy’ is emphasized with continued business growth across the city – one of the primary reasons cited by 24/7 Wall St. that placed us as the number one place to live. Commercial permits were up 25% and new construction investment was over $400 million in 2015.
When it comes to community development, two major areas of focus are Downtown Meridian and the Ten Mile area. In Downtown, we’re utilizing ‘lighter, quicker, cheaper’ ideas to formulate plans for a place where people can interact and experience areas such as Idaho Avenue.
The Ten Mile region is prime for employment opportunities. The city has commissioned Phil Kushlan to evaluate this area specifically for an Economic Development Urban Renewal District. This is one of the few tools available to cities to create family-wage jobs and attract employers using state incentive programs and will serve as local match. Qualifying projects would have specific criteria and short timelines – with a ‘get it done and retire the district’. We want to create more mixed use developments in that area – bringing family wage jobs closer to where people live.
According to the Department of Labor there were more than 1,000 jobs created in Meridian in 2015 and we are working to keep growing that number each year. And these were not low paying jobs: the community’s average individual income also increased by 3.5%.
Our Health Science and Technology corridor, The Core, is another area of focus as we look to bring more employment opportunities to our area. Idaho State University recently opened a new AP Lab and BioSkills Learning Center which enriches The Core as an economic magnet, bringing jobs and research to this corridor.