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Great Falls Growth 6/23/14

 Great Falls Primary Sector
Growth Highlights 6-23-14
ADF Group chooses Great Falls for expansion to reach Western U.S. and Canadian Markets
ADF Group, an international leader in structural steel design, engineering, fabrication and construction, chose Great Falls as the site for their expansion. The company purchased a 100-acre site in Great Falls and this spring opened a $25 million 100,000 SF fabrication facility. The company projects to employ more than 300 people in the next few years. ADF has already started construction on a 42,000 SF $6 million expansion of its Great Falls facility to add a paint operation that will create an additional 40 jobs.
Health Care Service Corporation selects Great Falls as the site for call center
Health Care Service Corporation, the largest customer-owned health insurance company in the United States, announced a major back-office expansion with their acquisition of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana in 2013. Great Falls was selected as the site for this exciting expansion that opened this June. The center currently employs 50 people and will grow to 120 by this fall.
EMTEQ continues Great Falls Expansion of aviation electronics manufacturing center
EMTEQ, a leader in aviation electronics, chose Great Falls as the site for their expansion in 2012. The initial expansion was projected to create between 50-60 jobs. EMTEQ has created over 120 new jobs and recently announced it is adding another 80 jobs in Great Falls. The company was recently acquired by BE Aerospace.
Calumet Montana Refining starts construction on major investment to double plant capacity
Calumet Montana Refining has started construction on a $400 million expansion of its Great Falls refinery, creating 35+ new high wage primary sector jobs. The refinery produces gasoline, middle distillates and asphalt that it markets primarily into local markets in Washington, Montana, Idaho and Alberta.
Centene Announces Expansion with second shift in Great Falls
Centene, a national leader in healthcare services, added three dozen new high wage jobs in Great Falls in 2013 and has started adding a second shift to continue the steady growth of its Great Falls center.
Loenbro starts construction on 52 acre expansion site
Loenbro, a Great Falls-based welding company that provides a wide range of comprehensive oil and gas pipeline solutions, has expanded rapidly in the past several years. In the last year alone, they added over 150 new primary sector jobs to bring their total to over 500 employees. They plan to add over 200 employees in 2014. The company has purchased a 52-acre expansion site in our north industrial area and broke ground this month on the first building, a 30,000 SF state-of-the-art pipe fabrication facility.
Erck Hotels to build Convention Center and Hilton Home 2 Hotel
Erck Hotels announced it will start construction this year on a 600-650 person 22,000 SF Convention Center that will be connected to its Hilton Garden Inn property in Great Falls. The company also announced plans to build a 101 room Hilton Home 2 extended stay hotel adjacent to the Hilton Garden Inn in 2015.
Galloway announces East Side Retail Center
The new 26 acre retail center on the east end of 10th Avenue South will include a 189,000 SF big box, gasoline station and four 1-2 acre pads. Starbucks, Z Pizza, Hoagieville and other retailers have announced new stores this year. 15 businesses opened downtown in 2013 and a new boutique hotel is under construction.
Developers announce over 380 new Apartments
The Farran Group will start construction this summer on the upscale 216-unit Talus apartment complex in the Medical/University Tech District. Polsen Development has plans for a 56 unit project also in the Med/Tech District. American Property Development is adding 24 units on the city’s east side. Carroll Development will construct the 48-unit Skyline Heights apartments on the city’s north side. Accessible Space, Inc. will start this year on the 38-unit Voyager Apartments accessible and affordable senior housing.
Great Falls Clinic to build new hospital
Great Falls Clinic, in partnership with Symbion, announced plans to start construction this summer on a new 19-bed 60,000 SF hospital in Great Falls.
Developers purchase West Bank Riverfront property for mixed-use development
Continuing the success of the West Bank One project, local developers have purchased a 14 acre riverfront site for mixed use redevelopment.
Allegiant and Frontier announce new flights for Great Falls
Allegiant Air added a direct flight connecting Great Falls (GTF) with Los Angeles (LAX) this summer. Frontier Airlines returned to Great Falls for its third summer with direct flights to its Denver hub.
Great Falls AgriTech Park development is well underway with two major lot sales
The Great Falls Development Authority is developing the Great Falls AgriTech Park, a 1,150+ acre shovel-ready, rail-served heavy industrial park.
Lot #1 (57 acres) sold to Pacific Steel and Recycling that is relocating and expanding their operations in Great Falls. The company will begin construction on a new facility soon.
Lot #2 (20 acres) sold to Montana Specialty Mills, a processor and marketer of high quality oil seeds, will build a new oil seed manufacturing plant, clearing the way for further clean-up and redevelopment of the West Bank Urban Renewal Area, where they are currently located.
Great Falls climbs for 8th straight year in Policom’s Economic Strength Ranking
In 2006, the Great Falls metro area ranked 308th in Policom’s annual metro area economic strength ranking. We’ve climbed every year since then, reaching 109th in 2014, a climb above 199 other U.S. metro areas. Great Falls climbed 97 places in New Geography’s 2014 Best Cities for Job Growth.
Great Falls sets Employment records in 2013; Jobs have increased 4.1% in last 10 months
The metro area set both employment and labor force size records in 2013 and that growth has continued into 2014. The unemployment rate was 3.5% in May, adding 1,340 jobs (4.1%) and 580 people (1.4%) to the labor force in four months. The Great Falls Job Service has a record 858 local job listings. Population in the metro area (Cascade County) grew by 600 from July 1, 2012 to July 1, 2013, according to the U.S. Census.
Great Falls Growth Indicators
Per capita income grew by 3.52% in 2012; up 13.73% since 2008 (U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis).
Enrollment at the University of Great Falls grew 8% in 2013, marking 59% growth in 5 years.
Metro area median home sale price rose 7.2% from 2008 to 2012.
Metro area manufacturing earnings increased 7% from 2010 to 2012.
Metro area exports increased 258% from 2005-2012, ranking 35th amongst 357 U.S. metro areas.
Montana Improves Competitiveness
The state climbed from 8th to 7th place in the annual Tax Foundation ranking for overall tax climate for businesses and cost of labor. Worker compensation rates dropped another 5% in 2013; down 27% in 3 years. Montana ranked first in entrepreneurship per capita in the Kaufman Institute’s 2013 and 2014 Index. Montana ranks 2nd in self-employment at 9.7%. Real per capita personal income growth ranked 2nd in 2012.


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