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GFDA Top 16 7-20-14

Another big week in changing the future of Great Falls! Here's the GFDA Top 16 for this week, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward! 
1) Great Falls metro area employers added 399 jobs in June, setting yet another new employment record. Employment has grown by 1,262 (3.2%) in the first half of 2014. The labor force grew by 581 people in June, topping 42,000 people for the first time. The labor force has grown 2.5% in the first half of 2014. The Great Falls Job Service has 871 job listings. Here is an updated Great Falls Growth Highlights to use in your business development and workforce recruitment efforts.
2) The Farran Group began earthwork on its 216 unit Talus apartment complex adjacent to Centene. Hoagieville opened its new Great Falls location.
3) ADF topped 100 employees as it ramps up its new Great Falls fabrication plant. Centene has reached 325 full time employees and so far has hired 13 part-time second shift employees.
4) USAF announced that it's adding 216 positions to Malmstrom Air Force Base.
5) Worked with an area business to complete their financing package for an expansion of their current operations that would double the company's workforce. Began work with a couple who are considering the purchase of an established Great Falls business. Discussed market opportunities, trends and competitive landscape with two entrepreneurs. Assisted a local business to define their business size standard to qualify for government contract opportunities.
6) Continued discussions with an industrial prospect looking seriously at Great Falls. Arranged several conference calls with the prospect and partners necessary to land the deal.
7) During our fiscal year that just ended June 30th, we coached 170 small businesses in 525 coaching sessions and held 6 training sessions with 77 participants. 6 clients started new businesses and many expanded theirs.
8) We increased net assets by $714,639 during the fiscal year, lowering liabilities by $185,500. 41% of our operating revenue came from local public and private investors and 59% was generated from operations.
9) We joined in a planning process with the Tourism Business Improvement District, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce to explore ways to build a stronger alliance between our organizations to grow tourism in Great Falls.
10) Network with fellow Forward Great Falls Investors at the 2014 Forward Great Falls Annual Meeting of Investors! The meeting is this Thursday 7/24, at 11:30 at the Hilton Garden Inn. This year we welcome Bill Johnstone, President and CEO of D.A. Davidson Companies for a presentation on putting the Main Street Montana Plan into action. $25 covers lunch and registration is required, on line at or call Jolene 750-4481. 
11) We signed an MOU with the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center as part of our new Great Falls Manufacturing Partnership, strengthening our joint efforts to advance manufacturing in Montana.
12) We have RESCHEDULED Courtney McKee of Headframe Spirits in Butte for our CEO Forum to Wednesday, August 13th 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 Spirits in 2012 and were selected by the Montana Ambassadors and Governor Steve Bullock as the 2013 Montana Entrepreneurs of the Year. During the CEO Forum, Courtney will discuss the impact social media has had on their business and how she engages customers both online and offline. She will offer you her secrets of how you too can create evangelists for your business through your marketing efforts.
13) We signed up to exhibit at the Harvest Montana event that will be held in Great Falls November 20-21. For more info, visit the Montana Farmers Union website at
14) If your Entrepreneurial Spirit needs to be untamed, join us during Start-up Spark! This is an open office hour session where you can get some basic information about starting a business as well as get any questions answered. Our next Start-up Spark! is Wednesday, July 23rd. They are always held at 12 noon, at the GFDA offices in the US Bank Building at 300 Central Avenue, Suite 406 in Great Falls. If you miss this Wednesday, catch us during one of these other sessions: Thursday, August 7th; Monday, August 11th; Wednesday, August 20th; August 27th; or, September 4th.
15) Montana ranked 13th in crude oil production in the first 4 months of 2014, producing an average of 77,000 barrels/day. Utah ranked 12th at an average 110,000 barrels/day; Colorado 10th at 181,000, Wyoming 8th at 189,000 and North Dakota 3rd at 966,000, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Gulf Coast Federal Offshore ranked 2nd, so I guess you could say Montana ranked 12th amongst states.
16) Scientists unveiled the genetic blueprint for wheat, a step forward in mapping the wheat genome which is five times larger than the human genome.
Congratulations to the Great Falls Turf Club, Cascade County, Big Sky Pro Rodeo, ExpoPark Advisory Board and the many business sponsors on the new improvements to the Montana ExpoPark!
Enjoy a beautiful Montana summer week and Untame your entrepreneurial spirit! 


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Great Falls, MT 59401
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