Links Calendar News    

GFDA Top 17 for 9/8/14

Here's the GFDA Top 17 for last week, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward!
1) We approved the site plan for a potential buyer of a lot in the Great Falls AgriTech Park.
2) We're excited to announce that we've hired a new Small Business Development Center Director. Jason Nitschke will be joining our team on October 13th to lead our small business coaching efforts. Jason is a native of Great Falls who found himself in Illinois. He has 16 years of professional experience in journalism, communication and marketing, and has started two businesses himself! Jason is a graduate of Great Falls High and earned a BA from the University of Montana and a MA from Hawaii Pacific University. Welcome home Jason and family!
3) With Jason joining our team, Rebecca Engum will start her new job as our Manufacturing Partnership Director on October 1st. Rebecca will be working with existing manufacturers throughout the region, with entrepreneurs looking to start new manufacturing operations and with companies looking to locate new manufacturing plants in the Great Falls region.
4) Worked with an out of state agri-processing company looking into a possible expansion in Great Falls. Provided additional resources to a different agri-processing prospect considering Great Falls for an expansion.
5) Worked with an established business to review financials and determine strategic directions for the next 5 years. Visited with an entrepreneur about a potential opportunity. Discussed the market and operations of the concept and what steps should be taken next to move the idea forward.
6) Contacted targeted companies in Alberta and prepped to exhibit at the Oil Sands Trade Show in Ft. McMurray this week.
7) The Montana Public Service Commission voted to approve Northwestern Energy's purchase of PPL's Montana hydro-generation assets, including the 5 dams in Cascade County. 
8) The City Commission approved a minor subdivision change for ADF International's new paint shop. ADF has topped 130 employees in Great Falls!
9) The City Commission also approved a rezoning to allow NeighborWorks Great Falls to construct a 12 unit apartment complex in downtown Great Falls.
10) At our monthly Development Coffee hosted by Centene, we learned that 14 students have enrolled in Great Falls College MSU's new 1+3 engineering program that allows students to save money and enjoy smaller classes to complete their first year of a engineering degree right here in Great Falls. The College has also started a dual enrollment carpentry program this fall in partnership with Great Falls Public Schools, building on the success of the dual enrollment welding program.
11) Welcome Catalyst Commercial to the Forward Great Falls Team as a new Community Investor! First Interstate Bank, in a joint investment with Mountain West Bank, has increased its Forward Great Falls investment to the Advance Division. Thank you for your support and investment in growing the regional Great Falls economy! To learn more about investing in economic growth, diversification and the creation of high wage jobs, contact Jolene Bach at 1-406-750-4481 or
12) Great Falls redevelopment projects and our Brownfields program were featured as the first in a new series of EPA Brownfield success stories. Here's a link to the success story and here's a link to the Tribune's article which describes our program in more detail.
13) Some exciting things are happening in the basement of the Arvon Block underneath the Celtic Cowboy Pub & Restaurant in downtown Great Falls. Stay tuned!
14) We've been selected to present an Ignite talk at the International Economic Development Council's annual conference in Ft. Worth next month titled "How Team Work is Creating Success in Great Falls!"
15) We were also selected to present an investment pitch at the National Development Summit in November by the Council of Development Finance Agencies, part of our effort to continue to grow our loan capital to keep pace with unconventional financing needs in the Great Falls region.
16) If you're a budding entrepreneur who's ready to begin moving forward with your idea, or know someone who is, come to one of our Start-Up Sparks! These open office hour sessions are held at noon at GFDA, 4th floor of the US Bank Building at 300 Central Avenue in downtown Great Falls. Plan to attend one of the upcoming sessions on Thursday, September 18th, Friday, September 26th, Monday, September 29th and Tuesday, October 14th. There is no need to register, simply show up. If you'd like to arrange to conference or Skype in, or just want more info, contact Rebecca Engum at or 1-406-771-9032.
17) An interesting report titled "Restore: Commercial and Mixed-Use Development Trends in the Rocky Mountain West" was published by the Sonoran Institute. Here's a link to the full report and here's a link to the summary.
Congratulations to the Montana Air National Guard 120th Security Forces Squadron on being named the best in the country!
Thanks to the Great Falls Voyagers for a fun season and for the continued improvements to Centene Stadium!


Signup to get news emailed to you



Home | Site Map | Policies | Employment | Contact Us Phone 406-771-9020
Fax 406-454-2995
Physical Address
300 Central Ave. Suite 406
Great Falls, MT 59401
Mailing Address
PO Box 949
Great Falls, MT 59403