In a room full of respect and recognition for from businesses big and small across the state of Idaho, Governor Butch Otter gave his farewell address to the business community. He isn't sure what his primary legacy will be on the state, but he and the Metro Chamber know one thing for sure, he definitely left his mark.
"All of a sudden, Idaho is the fastest growing state in the nation. All of a sudden, Idaho's got the fastest growing in personal income. Do we have a ways to go? Yes, we do. And we'll get there. And we'll get there because we did the right thing through the recession," said Governor Butch Otter.
Just days after a new governor is elected to fill the shoes of present Governor Otter, a farewell address twelve years in the making, with a focus on the uphill climb since our countries great recession began, 2007, the year Butch Otter took office.
"We are now a $68 billion economy. That we do have 2.7% unemployment. And we've got almost half a billion dollars in the bank,” said Otter.
But it was a long road from there, with Idaho unemployment steady at 9.2% in 2010, and 100,000 people out of a job. Fast forward to 2018.
"We've got 25,000 jobs we can't fill," said Otter.
He proclaimed that 100% of that success starts in a classroom.
"Since 2007, Idaho has secured $22-billion in K through education," said Otter.
As well as creating two community colleges since he took office, the College of Western Idaho, opening its doors in 2009 with a mere 1,208 students, and Otter says today there are 33,000 students.
And also opening the College of Eastern Idaho. Governor Otter says he hopes Governor-Elect Brad Little will continue to offer $5-million to any area willing to start a community college.
Boise Metro Chamber President Bill Connors announced the permanent dedication of the Governor Butch Otter Idaho Recognition Wall in the atrium of the Metro's new chamber building at the address.
Governor Otter is proud of Idaho's successes under his order and confident in the hands it's being placed.
"And you've got a governor coming on that is going to continue that," said Otter.