Economy & Business

Jackie Yamanaka

Driving the Billings economy through innovation in healthcare is the topic of a two-day summit sponsored by Big Sky Economic Development.

Governor Steve Bullock says Billings poised to address the challenges facing the entire state. 

Grown in Montana products will be showcased for the first time at the Montana State Fair in Great Falls.

Cody Shick with Montana’s Agriculture Department put together the store.  It’s an effort by the agency to promote value added agriculture.

“They really wanted to take some of these smaller companies that use Montana crops and process in Montana and really help market and promote," said Shick. 

Nineteen companies will offer 1 to 5 of their products for sale.

Jackie Yamanaka

Montana produces an abundance of food but the journey from pasture to plate faces challenges, especially for restaurants.

The menu at Montana Ale Works in Bozeman points out the dishes made with local ingredients.

aa.com

American Airlines returned to Montana with great fanfare on June 2, 2016 when a direct flight from Dallas/Ft. Worth landed in Bozeman, the state’s busiest airport.

Jackie Yamanaka

Many Yellowstone County Employers say they “don’t know” when asked to rate how well education and training providers in Billings are helping them meet their workforce needs.

The finding was from a BillingsWorks survey conducted for the Big Sky Economic Development Authority.

Respondents were asked to rate the numerous programs in Billings. This includes the high schools to adult education to higher education.

  Girls-n-Science  is all about getting young girls interested in science, technology, engineering and math…or STEM.

It started with 300 girls. Now this free program brings in some 700 to 900 girls with their parents, grandparents and teachers.

The annual program used to be called Chicks In Science. This year the name has changed and so has some parts of the program.

There’s a special morning event called STEM stars. Organizer Laura Gettings-Carlson says it’s just for middle schoolers.

Jackie Yamanaka

The “Help Wanted” sign remains up at Avitus Group thanks in part to a 490-thousand dollar grant from the state of Montana.

Avitus Group must hire 58 employees in Yellowstone County under the terms of the grant, says Department of Commerce Director Meg O’Leary.

“We are not going to reimburse him for a job he created in Colorado,” she says.

Money for this grant comes from the Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund and the Primary Sector Workforce Training grant.

The Montana Department of Transportation is facing a budget shortfall. The department gets no money from the general fund so their funding come from diesel and gas tax revenues and trucking fees. But those sources are down.

Billings Church Successful Diaper Drive

Feb 12, 2016
First United Methodist Church, Billlings

Update: FUMC collected more than 15,000 diapers during this second diaper drive, and they received a donation of $500.

A Billings church is again covering babies’ bottoms in love this spring.

First United Methodist Church held its first diaper drive in December 2014. It collected more than 38,000 diapers, surpassing their goal of 10,00 by quite a few diapers.

  Brian Hunter is a staff member at the church. He says the agencies that received all those diapers were incredulous;

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