Great Seal of the State of Idaho

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February 1, 2017

CONTACT: Jon Hanian
(208) 334-2100





(BOISE) – Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter announced the full membership rolls today for two new task forces created to study and recommend how best to address Idaho’s “K-through-Career” education and job training needs beyond high school.

The Governor’s 36-member Higher Education Task Force and 17-member Workforce Development Task Force both have scheduled organizational meetings in Boise on Friday, February 10th to begin their work. They are patterned on the Governor’s successful Task Force for Improving Education, which submitted 20 recommendations for K-12 public school reforms. The State now is in the third year of a five-year plan for implementing those recommendations targeting teacher pay, preparation and professional development, local school accountability, post-secondary counseling, classroom technology and student performance.

“I’m excited to see such great willingness to participate in this important process. These citizens are eager to help identify and advance the most effective ways for Idaho to aggressively pursue our goals of educating and preparing more Idahoans for productive careers while addressing the growing employer demand for skilled workers,” Governor Otter said. “Individuals and organizations from throughout Idaho are joining in this effort to improve how we plan, fund and implement public policies that work for the people we serve.”

The Higher Education Task Force, led by co-chairs Linda Clark of the State Board of Education and Bob Lokken of Boise-based WhiteCloud Analytics, includes all members of the State Board of Education, including Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra. It also includes the presidents of Boise State University, the University of Idaho, Idaho State University, Lewis-Clark State College, the College of Southern Idaho, the College of Western Idaho, North Idaho College and Eastern Idaho Technical College.

State Senator Bob Nonini of Coeur d’Alene, Abby Lee of Fruitland and Janie Ward-Engelking of Boise; and Representatives Ryan Kerby of New Plymouth, Ilana Rubel of Boise and Wendy Horman of Idaho Falls also serve on the Higher Education Task Force. They will be joined by BSU student Josh Scholer, CWI student Matt Hauser, and CSI trustee Laird Stone of Twin Falls. The business community is represented by Skip Oppenheimer of Idaho Business for Education, bankers Mike Mooney and Park Price, David Pate of St. Luke’s Health System, Kurt Liebich of Boise-based RedBuilt, Steve Meyer of Boise’s Parkwood Business Properties, and Ray Stark of the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce.

They are joined by BSU instructor and former legislator Wendy Jaquet of Ketchum, retired ISU vice president Bessie Katsilometes, and the Governor’s education adviser, Marilyn Whitney.

The Governor’s employer-driven Workforce Development Task Force is led by co-chairs Brian Whitlock of the Idaho Hospital Association and State Board of Education member David Hill. Its membership includes Bob Boeh of Idaho Forest Group representing natural resources employers, Trent Clark of Monsanto representing agribusiness, Scott Corsetti of Chobani representing food processing, Craig Graf of Meridian-based Micro 100 representing advanced manufacturing, Jeremy Grimm of Sandpoint-based Kochava and Steinar Hjelle of Micron Technology representing high-tech, Tom Harris of Western States Cat in Meridian and Bob Von Lintig of Western Construction in Boise representing the construction industry, Tim Komberec of Empire Airlines in Coeur d’Alene representing aeronautics, and Lonnie Krawl of Idaho Power representing the energy sector.

Task Force members representing workforce training and career-technical education include Staci Low of the West Ada School District, Marie Price of North Idaho College, and Scott Rasmussen of Idaho State University. The Legislature will be represented by Senator Michelle Stennett of Ketchum and Representative Rick Youngblood of Nampa. Idaho Department of Labor Director Ken Edmunds, Division of Career-Technical Education administrator Dwight Johnson and Department of Commerce Director Megan Ronk will facilitate the Task Force’s work and serve as non-voting advisory members.

The full membership lists for both task forces can be found here


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