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GFDA Top 16 1/20/14

Here's the GFDA Top 16 for last week, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward!

1) GFDA's Board approved a $237,600 Brownfield EPA grant to Easter Seals Goodwill to support the organization's $3.2 million renovation of its facility at 4400 Central Avenue in Great Falls. Congratulations and thank you to this wonderful organization for everything you do in our community!
2) Another Great Falls manufacturer gave the green light to an expansion in 2014. We can't announce the company yet, but this makes 7 clients who have told us they're moving forward with projects in Great Falls this year! If your company is contemplating an expansion, we may know of a resource that could help make the project possible. Contact Jeremiah Johnson at or 1-406-750-3285.
3) Hit the road on the first trip of 2014, visiting a manufacturer that has shortlisted Great Falls for a new production facility and touring several real estate developments similar to potential projects for Great Falls.
4) Worked with an existing primary sector business on site options for an expansion project. Worked with CBRE Research analysts to provide updated Great Falls market information; their interest is a good indication that Great Falls is being talked about by companies and developers. Networked with agricultural producers and businesses at the MAGIE Agricultural and Industrial Expo.
5) Worked with a local business owner to prepare financing proposals to expand operations by adding more value to their raw product prior to selling. Facilitated a meeting with a local small business and the US Forest Service to explore new contract opportunities and assisted a client to troubleshoot issues with government certification for DOD's WAWF (Wide Area Work Flow) invoicing.
6) Congress approved a budget deal that included $22 million for construction at the Montana Air National Guard for the new C-130 mission.
7) Great Falls open job listings have climbed to 593 at the Great Falls Job Service and 124 at the Tribune's Career Builder. Call, text, email, like or even write a letter to your out of town friends and family. Let's fill these jobs, boost our population and increase our housing starts in 2014!
8) Our first CEO Forum will be held February 20th featuring Bill Simmons, owner of MasterLube in Billings and founder of Elation. Bill's presentation will be on Talent Development. He has an inspiring story to tell about being an employer and business owner. Stay tuned for more details.
9) The Great Falls Job Service has a new program that can pay for up to 90 days of training and 100% of a new employee's wages for their first 700 hours on the job. Call Teresa Schreiner at the Job Service for more info: 1-406-791-5800.
10) The Great Falls Food Manufacturers Group met to discuss workforce issues and other needs of their businesses. The next meeting will be February 19th. If you are a food manufacturer and would like to join the group, contact Rebecca Engum at or 1-406-771-9032.
11) Absolutely anyone who is considering Entrepreneurship is encouraged to attend Start-up Spark!, our weekly open office hour session where you can get information about starting a business, ask questions and get a free Business Start-up Kit. Untame your entrepreneurial spirit at an upcoming Start-up Spark! Noon, Wednesday, January 22nd, Monday, February 3rd, Monday, February 10th, Friday, February 21st and Monday, February 24th. Attend in person at GFDA offices in the downtown US Bank Building, 300 Central Avenue, Suite 406, Great Falls. Skype in at SBDCatGFDA. For questions contact Rebecca Engum at or 1-406-771-9032.
12) We became a sponsor and made plans to exhibit at the Montana Ambassadors Annual Conference, March 20-21 at Big Sky.
13) We joined the Association for Enterprise Opportunity, a national organization that supports micro-enterprises and entrepreneurial economic development efforts.
14) I'm pleased to announce the promotion of GFDA team member Jennifer Rogers to Portfolio Manager. In her new position, Jennifer will be responsible for managing our $26 million loan portfolio.
15) Great Falls College MSU is hosting a Higher Education Celebration on January 30th from 5:00-7:00 PM. Great Falls Public Schools is holding a series of community budget meetings. We encourage business leaders to participate and urge support of school programs such as dual enrollment and technical education that create pathways for high wage jobs while producing the skilled workers that Great Falls employers need to grow! The meetings are being held at the Paris Gibson Education Center cafeteria form 5:30-7:00 PM on Monday, January 20th, Thursday, January 30th, Thursday, February 6th, Thursday, February 20th and Monday, March 3rd.
16) Montana raked 9th in overall fiscal condition in a new study published by George Mason University.
Kudos to the Great Falls Tribune for announcing that its expanding business and job news coverage!
If you enjoy our Top 10, forward it to a friend or colleague. To be added to our distribution list, email Jolene Bach at JBach
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Fax 406-454-2995
Physical Address
300 Central Ave. Suite 406
Great Falls, MT 59401
Mailing Address
PO Box 949
Great Falls, MT 59403