Boise Draws High-Tech Employers to Fast-Paced Economy
PHOTO CREDIT: Kevin Young
If Boise had a collar, it would probably be white, but unbuttoned. The city boasts an impressive 350 software and information technology companies, and ranks sixth nationally for the number of corporate headquarters in a city, relative to its population. The bustling city, set against a backdrop of gorgeous mountain scenery, marries an upwardly mobile economy with the classic ease of the American West. Companies that call Boise home include the supermarket chain Albertson's and wood and paper producer Boise Cascade. The city is also the birthplace of Varney Airlines, the company that is now United Airlines. Two of the largest private employers in the area anchor the local tech industry. Micron Technology operates its headquarters in Boise, and Hewlett-Packard maintains a large complex specializing in scanners and printers. Other high-tech employers include the Web sites bodybuilding.com and crucial.com, software company Microsoft and technology incubator Keynetics. Boise is also replete with call centers, claiming clients such as Apple, T-Mobile and DirecTV. The city is in the middle of three major, ongoing urban renewal projects, one of which is focused on attracting high-tech tenants. The River/Myrtle project is south of downtown, and it is developing the technical infrastructure to grow the city's blossoming tech sector. The Central project is centered around Boise's downtown core. Many of the improvements residents and visitors enjoy today are a result of the project, and funding is in the pipeline to continue infrastructure, beautification and public arts projects. The Westside project blankets 47 acres of downtown Boise, working to attract multi-use developments including office, residential and retail space, restaurants, entertainment venues and hotels. The 25-year projects will ultimately be completed in 2025, bringing beautification and functionality to Boise for years to come.