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Top Seventeen 2/17/15

Here's the GFDA Top 17 for this week, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward!
1) The Great Falls Rescue Mission announced it will start construction this summer on the Cameron Family Center, a 40,000 square foot $7.75 million facility that will offer temporary housing for families in need, youth programs, medical and dental clinics, and social services. Benefis Health System volunteers will provide medical care. Congratulations to all involved in this important effort! See Tribune story for more details. Visit to learn how to get involved.
2) Congratulations to the Inspire and Aspire Award winners for The Fire Within presented by Embark Credit Union! Linda McPherson, owner of the Montana Academy of Salons and the Linda Michaels Salon and Spa, is this year's Inspire Award winner. Amber Fern, owner of Fern Photography, is this year's Aspire Award winner. Mark your calendar for The Fire Within the evening of March 26th.
3) Discussed Great Falls as a potential location with a national retailer considering expanding into our market. Worked with an out-of-state agri-processor looking at Great Falls as a potential expansion location. Continued work with two international companies planning to start construction this year in the Great Falls AgriTech Park. One 20 acre lot is still available for construction this year. Four lots ranging from 7-23 acres are available for 2016 construction. Contact Jeremiah Johnson at or 1-406-750-3285.
4) With the assistance of our agricultural processing consultant, we selected three market niches that we believe offer competitive opportunities for expanding and diversifying our agri-processing manufacturing industry. We will start research into each niche and then develop business cases that document our competitive advantages for presentation to manufacturing companies. The first market to be researched is pulse fractionation. To learn more about our Manufacturing Partnership, contact Rebecca Engum at or 1-406-781-6832.
5) CHS Central Montana Co-op will build a new fertilizer hub plant at its Kershaw facility near Ft. Benton, according to today's Tribune. The plant will have capacity to store 27,000 tons of dry fertilizer. Construction will start in 2016.
6) Worked with two startup manufacturing companies. Helped one with market analysis and operational planning. Helped the other with financial projections and financing structures.
7) Tourism in the Great Falls region could be boosted by increased marketing of the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument, according to a study commissioned by the Center for Western Priorities. A forum will be held at Great Falls College MSU this Wednesday, February 18th 5:30 PM in Room B101. More info at and in the Tribune.
8) HBO is moving forward with a 10 part miniseries on the Lewis & Clark Expedition that will air in 2016. Another opportunity to boost our tourism!
9) Worked with two separate clients on contract opportunities at Malmstrom AFB. A shout out to the 341st Contracting Squadron for great referrals!
10) The University of Great Falls opened a veterans center on campus. One in 13 students at UGF are veterans.
11) Construction of the Great Falls College MSU welding facilities expansion was put out to bid.
12) The Great Falls Planning Advisory Board approved using $839,483 in tax increment funds for improvements to West Bank Park. `Improvements will include restrooms, parking lot, sidewalks, irrigation, and landscaping.
13) Home sales increased 8.8% in the Great Falls market in 2014.
14) The Missourian published a series of stories today about progress in Great Falls. "G is for Great Falls: City shakes off decades of dust and powers forward"
15) Job opportunities in the Great Falls metro area continue to set records during the winter months. There are 767 openings listed with the Great Falls Job Service and 1,772 listings on
16) According to EMSI, in December we averaged 1,069 unique job postings (3,624 total postings). There were an additional 469 unique job postings (1,269 total postings) in the rest of the Golden Triangle. Tractor-Trailer and Heavy Truck Drivers was the most posted occupation with 171 unique postings, followed by Registered Nurses with 76 and Occupational Therapists with 68.
17) The Great Falls Economic Area (Golden Triangle) ranks in the top 25% of economic areas in the U.S. for GDP per capita growth, according to a new online data system called the U.S. Cluster Mapping Project developed by Harvard Business School's Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness. Visit Yes, I'm a data hound; how else to understand how our economy is improving and performing relative to other regions.
Enjoy Presidents Day, have a profitable week, and Untame your entrepreneurial spirit!


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Great Falls, MT 59401
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