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Top 21 5-18-14

Here's the GFDA Top 21 for the last two weeks, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward!
1) Exhibited at the American Oil Chemists' Society annual agri-processing expo in San Antonio and networked with oil seed processors.
2) Met one-on-one with sixteen leading site selection consultants from around the United States and moderated a panel discussion on site selector relationship-building at the Consultant Connect Summit in Atlanta.
3) The Great Falls metro area set another month's employment record in April, topping 40,000 employed for the first time! Employers added another 433 jobs, lowering our unemployment rate to 3.8%. In the last 9 months, our employment has grown 3.8%.
4) Submitted Big Sky Trust Fund and Primary Worker Training grant applications to the MT Department of Commerce for Health Care Service Corporation's new Blue Cross Blue Shield center in Great Falls.
5) Worked with a new agri-processing prospect, an energy generation client and several commercial development clients and prospects to move their projects forward.
6) Worked with seven entrepreneurs, three with established businesses that want to grow and four looking to start new endeavors. Coaching issues included utilizing market research to determine feasibility, managing staff and how to take steps to attract future revenue goals. Assisted a business with market research on U.S. Forest Service contract opportunities.
7) Conducted a strategic planning session with a growing local business, focusing on job descriptions. If you're interested in developing a strategic growth plan for your company, contact Rebecca Engum to learn about a Strategic Organizational Assessment. 1-406-771-9032 or
8) Partnered with Malmstrom Air Force Base and the U.S. Small Business Administration to deliver another Boots 2 Business, an intensive 2-day introduction to small business. The workshop covers business fundamentals and guides potential entrepreneurs through an initial feasibility analysis of their business concept. Congratulations to the 24 participants!
9) The Great Falls Public Schools levy was approved by voters. Thank you to everyone who worked hard on this effort!
10) Gave a presentation about what's happening in the Great Falls economy to Great Falls Realtor members. If your company, organization or club would like to learn more about what's going on with our economy, contact Jolene Bach at or 1-406-750-4481.
11) Two of our team members participated in the Credit Risk Institute of the National Association of Development Companies, an intensive 4-day training on all aspects of credit analysis for SBVA 504 loans. We learned some new ways to use 504 loans to great advantage of businesses and bank partners. If you or a client is looking to lower equity required for a business real estate purchase, renovation or new construction project and you'd like to lock in a low interest rate for 20 years, contact us!
12) Travelled on behalf of the International Economic Development Council to Tulare County, CA to learn how the economic development organization there has been so successful growing its agri-processing industry and to Pikeville, KY to help communities reeling from the loss of coal mining jobs to form a new economic development effort.
13) Welcome and thank you to three new GFDA Investors! Flawless Auto Body renewed its investment in the Pacesetter Division. Hoven Equipment became a new Community Division Investor. Glenn E trampler PLLC became a new Supporter. If you company isn't on our Investor Honor Roll, contact Jolene Bach to join the team that's moving Great Falls Forward! or 1-406-750-4481
14) GFDA has a great job opening! Rebecca Engum is going to become our new Manufacturing Partnership Director so we need to find a new Business Coach and Trainer who will be our Small Business Development Center Director. Contact Brett Doney for the full job posting;
15) Courtney McKee of Headframe Spirits in Butte will headline our second CEO Forum on Thursday, June 26th at 2:00 PM in the Absolon Lounge in the Student Center at the University of Great Falls! Courtney and her husband, John, opened Headframe Sprits in 2012 and were named the 2013 Montana Entrepreneurs of the Year by the Montana Ambassadors and Governor Steve Bullock. At the CEO Forum, Courtney will discuss how the company has used social media to great effect and how they engage customers offline. She promises to offer you her secrets of how you too can create brand evangelists through your marketing efforts!
16) Thought Patterns for High Performance will be offered June 18-19 in Great Falls. We only have 5 seats remaining. This premiere business leadership training Uncovers habits that hold you back, Changes the way you see problems, Stops you from sabotaging your own success, Eliminates negative and unproductive behavior, and Gives you tools to transform employees into positive productive partners. Contact Rebecca Engum for more info at 1-406-771-9032 or register now at
17) The theme of this year's Great Falls 4th of July Parade is Moments in U.S. History. If you're interested in being part of the parade which draws 25,000+ spectators, call co-chair Lola Galloway at 727-4963.
18) According to the 2012 Ag Census published this month, Montana has 59,758,917 acres of land in 28,008 farms. Montana's market value of agricultural products increased 51% since the last census in 2007. Cascade County alone had 1,254,745 acres in 1,105 farms. Pages of data are available from USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service.
19) The Montana state unemployment rate, seasonably adjusted, dropped to 4.8% in April. Since April 2013, manufacturing employment in the state increased by 800, but construction jobs drooped by 500.
20) Montana tied for 17th amongst states for STEM bachelor's degrees awarded per 1,000 population 21 years and over in 2012. We beat Idaho and Wyoming, but North Dakota and South Dakota ranked better than us. Vermont and Utah ranked first and second.
21) U.S. coal exports to the 28-nation European Union hit 47.2 million tons last year, up from 13.6 million tons in 2003.
Congratulations to the donors, leaders and volunteers of the Great Falls Public Schools Foundation! The Foundation's 2013-2014 Annual Report is inspiring!
A shout out to David Burger with the Airmen and Family Readiness Unit at MAFB for being such a strong advocate of start-up business training for departing Airmen!
Have a profitable week and Untame your entrepreneurial spirit! 


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Great Falls, MT 59401
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