COVID-19 Unemployment Options for Business Owners, Sole Proprietors, and Independent Contractors

Information is changing fast. The Idaho Small Business Development Center is working with experts to bring you the most current information and available business assistance options.

If you are a small business owner, self-employed or an independent contractor being effected by COVID-19, Idaho Small Business Development Center is hosting a series of webinars to help you navigate the unemployment process.

In the May 14 webinar, at 10 AM Mountain time, you’ll hear from experts at the Idaho Department of Labor about what Unemployment Insurance options are available for your employees, as well as Sole Proprietors and Independent Contractors.

More info on the webinar is available at


Train to be a Health Professional Fighting COVID 19

In a time of global crisis, front-line health professionals put their education and skills to the test, risking their lives to keep their communities safe.

Idaho’s health care professionals are on the front lines of a global pandemic, risking their lives for the health of their communities. With the threat of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the demand for their skills has never been greater.

Idaho Public Television, through American Graduate Getting to Work, applauds these doctors and nurses who are using the strength of their education and training to defeat this lethal virus and make their communities stronger.

To explore an educational pathway toward a career that will help keep your community strong, check out Idaho Public Television’s American Graduate website and learn more.


Idaho Gov. Little designates $300 million toward cash grants for small businesses

Governor Brad Little designated $300 million dollars from the CARES Act funds to aid small businesses in Idaho with grants for up to $10,000.

If you’re a small business owner in need of financial assistance due to the disruption of COVID-19, Idaho Public Television, through American Graduate Getting to Work, wants to inform you that the Idaho State State Tax Commission is accepting Idaho Rebound cash grant applications of up to $10,000.

All applicants must first establish a secure Taxpayer Access Point (TAP) account to protect their personal and business information on submitted applications. Find steps to apply, complete details, eligibility and more at Rebound Idaho.


Idaho has received a new grant to expand apprenticeships in Idaho

The Idaho State Board of Education’s Division of Career Technical Education will receive nearly $2 million in grant funds from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to increase apprenticeships in Idaho.

The Idaho grant is one of 28 public-private apprenticeship partnership grants totaling nearly $100 million awarded through the DOL’s Apprenticeship: Closing the Skills Gap grant program. Nationwide, the grant will support training of more than 92,000 people in expanded or new apprenticeship programs including an estimated 1,600 here in Idaho over four years.

Five of Idaho’s higher education institutions will use the grant funds to partner with private sector employers to expand apprenticeships in health care, cyber security and advanced manufacturing throughout the state. The goal is to help Idahoans, particularly veterans and underrepresented groups, gain specialized skills for jobs that are often hard to fill.

The institutions participating in the grant are:

About 400 apprenticeships will be established annually over four years. Participating private sector employers must contribute a 45 percent match of the federal funds awarded. The grant, which totals $1.98 million must still undergo a final review by the DOL before the funds are released.*


Good news for job seekers! The demand for manufacturing jobs in Idaho has grown by nearly 50 percent in the past decade.

Idaho’s colleges and universities offer accredited training needed to qualify for high-demand roles in welding, fabricating metal products, machining, and other manufacturing jobs.

Contact them to find out more:

North Idaho College

College of Western Idaho

College of Eastern Idaho

College of Southern Idaho

Lewis-Clark State College

Idaho State University

University of Idaho

Boise State University


TRIO: A Student Services Program Assisting Students on Their Pathway to a Higher Education

TRIO is a middle school to college program funded by the U.S. Department of Education that provides assistance to underprivileged students.

Zachary Ford, a student in the program at the College of Southern Idaho Mini-Cassia Center, says the program “seems chaotic and hard” at first, but “the challenge is thrilling.”

Rosa Isasmendi, a student in the program at College of Southern Idaho, says that the hardest part for her is managing her time. Isasamendi, who is pursuing a nursing career, says it’s challenging to be a full-time student and a full-time mom.

Isasmendi says the TRIO program has helped her find scholarships for childcare and other support. Students can get one-on-one assistance in filling out applications. If students need food, a program advisor will send them to the Community Council for a food box; if they need work, an advisor will call the Idaho Department of Labor. If a student is struggling in class, an advisor makes sure the student has reached out to their teachers and the free tutoring center.

Learn more at the Idaho TRIO Educational Opportunity Center on Facebook.

More links:

North Idaho College TRIO program

Lewis Clark State College TRIO program

Boise State University TRIO program

University of Idaho TRIO program

Idaho State University TRIO program

Search for educational grants


West Ada Career and Technical Education

Cristina Barroso has explored a variety of technical skills and discovered a love for welding that’s shaping her future. As a student who learns more quickly with hands-on learning than classroom learning, Cristina has excelled in the West Ada Career and Technical Education (CTE) welding program.

Students in the West Ada CTE program receive a baseline knowledge and can go to a shop and get a job after high school, or go on to higher level classes at a local college or out of state for an automotive program.

Cristina says she likes working in teams during class because she gets to hear different ideas and problem solving from her fellow students. While auto and collision will probably be a hobby for Cristina, she plans to make welding into a career.  #AmGrad

Meriwether Cider: Putting The VA Apprenticeship Program To Work

Apprenticeships in Idaho

See how a small cider company met their workforce needs through the use of the GI Bill and the VA Apprenticeship Program.

Meriwether Cider is a family owned and operated hard cider company in Boise, Idaho. They have a taproom in Garden City and a cider house with 20 taps of cider including Meriwether Cider and other ciders from around the country and the world.

Their ciders are made from fresh-pressed Northwest apples as well as innovative flavors such as blackberry, ginger, hopped, and more! Meriwether collaborates with local farms and gardens as much as possible to source their ingredients.

We meet veteran Karlie Russ, apprentice cider-maker at Meriwether Cider. Because the apprenticeship program was an accredited educational program, the GI Bill provided funds to offset her wages. As a result the Leadbetters didn’t have to spend as much on wages as they would for a regular employee.

Karlie grew up on a dairy farm so she was experienced in sanitation. Although she has taken chemistry and microbiology courses, she says the main reason she got the job was because “she’s a farm kid who can wash buckets.”

Karlie appreciated the apprenticeship because she was able to see what she was actually getting into. Although brewing, cider and wine making are amazing, she says a lot of it is sanitation, which she discovered she was okay with.

Find out more about apprenticeships in Idaho.

Explore your career path in manufacturing!

Rekluse Performance Clutches, founded in 2002 by Al Youngwerth, is the industry leader in innovative motorcycle clutch technology.

Based in Boise, Idaho, the company works with motorcycle race teams to make what the teams want and to improve their products. With an inner passion for making things better, Youngwerth says one of the key values of the company is “Good is not good enough. We can always make something better.”

Created by riders for riders, today Rekluse is the leader in automatic clutches, and Youngwerth’s innovation is trusted by top level off-road racers and enjoyed by everyday enthusiasts.

Watch the manufacturing process, from design to completion, of a machined component of the high performance clutch.

To explore a career path in manufacturing, talk to your college or career counselor today. And check out our American Graduate website for more information.

Over the next 20 years 800,000 new pilots will be needed worldwide

According to Boeing, 800,000 new pilots will be needed worldwide over the next 20 years. In Bend, Oregon, a community college is preparing students to resolve this critical need — and cultivate their own career success.

Meet student-pilot Beverly Taylor who wanted to get her new career started as quickly as possible. To do so she chose to use her GI bill for pilot training rather than applying to one of the four-year aviation programs around the country.

After nearly 70 hours Beverly got her private pilot’s license, the first step of the long and often expensive path to become a commercial airline pilot. She is currently six months into the two-year pilot training program at Central Oregon Community College in Bend.