In Meridian we have worked hard to diversify our business community to better withstand the economic highs and lows. We took a hard look at ourselves and the role we play in our business community's success, working hard to know and understand them. We will stay focused on enhancing our business friendly climate that will be nurtured through the merging of Planning and Building and Development Services into one unified focus - the Community Development Department.
Our economic excellence team and I have visited with hundreds of business owners to help identifying industry and service sectors that would be beneficial to our community and to our businesses bottom-line. Working together we can bring strong business growth, which in turn brings strong job growth. Our focus on value added jobs will be delivered through strategic Business Enterprise Corridors. We want to replicate the success seen in The CORE, by bringing together complimentary type businesses in other areas of our city. We will roll out plans for The Fields District and Public Safety District; and promote the Ten Mile region and Downtown to targeted businesses.
In 2014 according to the Department of Labor there were 2000 jobs created in Meridian. These were not low paying jobs as our average individual income also increased by 2%. Having family wage jobs are the reason why our Economic Excellence efforts have focused on The CORE, our health science and technology corridor. In addition the Village at Meridian opened 35 new business alone.
Important to Meridian s success is the solid partnership with the education institutions in Meridian, primarily Joint School District #2 and Idaho State University who opened the doors to ISU-Meridian, the Treasure Valley campus in the fall of 2009. The ISU President s Southwestern Idaho Advisory Council on Health Science Education and Economic Excellence is focused on specific business and research opportunities. This Council of business and educational leaders is helping prepare ISU to expand health science education opportunities and support the efforts of The CORE. With the opening of an Anatomy and Physiology Labratory at ISU Meridian and a new Bioskills Learning Center, these efforts are advancing the education, research, and training opportunities for students and businesses here in Idaho.
With rigorous academics such as the International Baccalaureate program to challenge students to push their talents and interests and Professional Technical Centers that offers elective classes in pre-engineering, architecture, and construction, today s students are being prepared for tomorrow s challenges.
In addition, we continue to see expansions and new higher education opportunities in Meridian. In 2010 the University of Phoenix and in 2011 Broadview University both built new campuses in Meridian.