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GFDA Top 12 for 4/3/2016

Here's the GFDA Top 12 for this week, celebrating great things happening to move Great Falls Forward. This is our 250th Top 10 in our public/private partnership effort to grow and diversify the Great Falls regional economy and support the creation of higher wage jobs.
1) Construction has started on the $47 million Greenfield Wind project in Teton County.
2) The 18 Avenue North rail crossing for the Great Falls AgriTech Park was constructed this week.
3) Worked with the Montana Department of Labor and Industry and the Great Falls Job Service to gather important workforce information for prospect companies looking at Great Falls for potential expansion. Worked with several developers and manufacturers on future project plans.
4) We approved two more brownfield assessments, a Phase 1 for Paris Gibson Square, and a Phase 2 for NeighborWork Great Falls' proposed redevelopment of the former Kranz property. Met with a developer working on plans to redevelop another downtown historic property.
5) Reviewed SBA 504 loan applications for two developments and one business purchase. Met with an entrepreneur, architect and specialized advisor for a business expansion. Continued work on cash flow projections and cost documentation for a company looking to add a retail storefront to its service offerings. Reviewed a business plan and financial projections for a startup planning to take its loan package to the bank next week. Need help turning your idea into dollars? Contact Jason Nitschke at to find out what tools are available to help.
6) Thank you to everyone who made the 6th Annual Fire Within presented by Embark Credit Union a resounding success! Get the 7th Annual in your calendar: March 30, 2017!
7) The City Design Review Board approved plans for Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. The project team is actively pursuing an additional business next door.
8) Worked with several local businesses to learn about preparing to become a Certified Veteran Business (CVB) to bid on VA contracts.
9) Met with and spoke to the Great Falls Lions Club to discuss Great Falls, projects happening now and in the pipeline, as well as the mission of GFDA. The Lions club is a non-profit focused on helping children and sight/hearing impaired residents within the Great Falls community. It was great to share our message at GFDA to the wonderful members of the Lions to continue to gain unified support in moving Great Falls Forward!
10) Very pleased to announce that Kelley Aline will be joining the GFDA team later this month as our new Director of Development! Kelley will be leading our public/private investment and communications efforts. She has worked for ADF International, US Forest Service and the Job Corps, and earned dual Bachelor of Science degrees from Black Hills State University. Thank you to all the wonderful candidates who applied for this position.
11) Area Development published its annual surveys of corporate executives and site selection consultants. Once again the availability of skilled labor topped the site selection factors, cited both by companies and consultants. 90% said the availability of skilled labor is having an effect on facility plans. 85% said workers lack advanced skills such as machine tool programming and advanced welding. 77% cited the importance of the existence of shovel-ready/pre-certified sites.
12) We are hosting a national webinar on Strengthening Your Manufacturing Workforce, Wednesday April 6 from 12:30 to 2 PM at GFDA. Contact Jolene Schalper to RSVP,

We will be posting two job openings this week, Director of Lending/Loan Officer, and Loan Portfolio Manager. Please start spreading the word to your colleagues, family and friends!

Untame your entrepreneurial spirit!

Connect with me on LinkedIn to connect with other Great Falls business leaders.

To Great Falls Public Schools and partners involved in the STEAM Expo.

Quote of the Week
"I find the harder I work the more luck I seem to have."
Thomas Jefferson

Great Falls AgriTech Park
Manufacturers -- 20 or 31.5 acre, rail-served heavy industrial lot in Great Falls AgriTech Park ready for immediate construction start! Gas, electric, water, sewer, fiber, and rail all to your lot line for $30,000/acre. Join Pacific Steel & Recycling, Montana Specialty Mills, Helena Chemical, and Ruedebusch Development in this new industrial park. Contact Jeremiah Johnson at 1-406-750-3285 or

Upcoming Events
Workshop regarding New Opportunities for Montana's Food Businesses highlighting changes in the state's food laws will be held in Great Falls on April 15. Registration is free and includes lunch. Register at or contact Corrie Williamson for more info at 1-406-443-7272 or
Montana Technology Innovation Partnership's Innovator Training Tour will be in Great Falls on Friday, April 15 at 3:00 PM, Great Falls College MSU. Learn about intellectual property, funding your innovation and going to market. Free, but must RSVP by emailing

The Montana Manufacturing Extension Center is offering another ExporTech training this Spring.  The nine-week session will feature three-full day workshops: April 13, May 12, and June 14 in Kalispell. Develop your own proactive export strategy and learn how to be successful in global markets.  ExporTech™ clients have seen dramatic increases in sales through exports ($770K on average per company within 6-12 months). For info, contact Jenni West at (406) 994-3876 or
Montana Equal Pay Summit will be held May 2-3 at MSU Bozeman. More info at


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