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GFDA Top 10 for 2014


Here's the GFDA Top 10 for the year 2014, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward!
1) ADF International opened its 100,000 square foot Great Falls steel fabrication plant and constructed a 42,000 square foot paint and coatings facility. ADF employment topped 130 and the company announced it would add another 130. BE Aerospace purchased EMTEQ and announced it would expand the Great Falls manufacturing plant into a full scale business unit. Employment topped 160 and the company continues to hire.
2) Loenbro purchased 52 acres in the Great Falls north industrial area and started construction on a 30,000 square foot fabrication plant. Company employment topped 700. GFDA launched a doubling of our Manufacturing Partnership efforts, funded by GFDA investors and a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.
3) Blue Cross Blue Shield Montana, part of the Health Care Service Corporation, opened its new claims processing center in Great Falls, after choosing Great Falls in 2013 through an extensive site selector consultant process. GFDA connected face-to-face with over 90 site selection consultants at 9 events across the country.
4) Calumet Montana Refining made significant progress on construction of its $400 million Great Falls refinery expansion. Northwestern Energy completed its purchase of Great Falls area hydropower facilities from PPL Corporation.
5) The Farran Group broke ground on its 216 unit Talus Homes apartment community in Great Falls. Over 400 apartment units started construction or were announced in 2014.
6) Great Falls Clinic started construction on a $31 million 19 bed hospital. Bullhook Community Health Center opened its new facility in Havre. Easter Seals Goodwill completed renovation of its 4400 Central Avenue facility in Great Falls.
7) The Front Brewing Company opened its new brewery in downtown Great Falls and brought Great Falls canned beer back to grocery store shelves. Mighty Mo Brewing Co also started canning beer from their downtown brewery. The Darkhorse Banquet Hall and Darkhorse Wine Snug opened in the downtown Arvon Black. Montana Farmers Union purchased the downtown Times Square building and filled it with tenants. A number of new retail and restaurants opened including Buffalo Wild Wings, Starbucks and Hoagieville.
8) The U.S. Air Force announced it would keep all of Malmstrom Air Force Base's missile silos in warm status and add 216 personnel to the base. The Montana Air National Guard launched its new C-130 mission and broke ground on its $20 million hangar project.
9) The Great Falls metro area set record employment levels every month in 2014. Great Falls climbed another 11 places in Policom's Metro Area Economic Strength Ranking, marking our 8th straight year of improvement in the annual ranking. We've climbed above 199 other U.S. metro areas since 2006. Enrollment in Great Falls Public Schools grew for the 2nd year in a row. Cascade County's population grew by 600 (July 1, 2012-July, 1 2013). Total wages went up 3.8% in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the first quarter of 2013; average weekly wages went up 2.8%.
10) GFDA increased our impact through teamwork, adding a number of new partnerships, including: 1. Signing an MOU with Great Falls College MSU; 2. Signing an MOU with the Montana Manufacturing Extension Partnership; 3. Forging a partnership with the Great Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau, Great Falls Tourism Business Improvement District and the City of Great Falls to support the Great Falls Visitor Information Center; 4. Participating in the United Way's Prosperity Matters Workforce Group; 5. Forming the Great Falls Area Food Manufacturers Network in partnership with the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center; 6. Working with the Great Falls Homebuilders Association to launch the relocation website; 7. Participating in the new MAFB Community Partners effort; 8. Forging a loan participation partnership with NeighborWorks Great Falls; and, 9. Participating in a business attraction partnership with the Governor's Office of Economic Development, Big Sky EDA in Billings and the Missoula Economic Partnership.
Thank you to our investors, partners, clients, volunteers and amazing staff team for helping to make all of this possible!!! It's been a great year for Great Falls. 2015 is going to be even better!
HAPPY NEW YEAR! Untame your entrepreneurial spirit!


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