Bozeman city leaders implement ideas from Butte job summit


POSTED: 5:52 PM Sep 25 2013
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

Folks with the City of Bozeman tell us they're already exploring many of the themes high-profile business leaders brought up at the Economic Jobs Summit in Butte, like technology, outdoor jobs and transportation.

We sat down with Bozeman Economic Development Director Brit Fontenot to find out more about what city leaders learned at the summit in Butte last week.

He tells us he was excited to learn Bozeman would become the cloud computing headquarters for Oracle and explained that means the company will invest more into Bozeman and hire more people as their business grows.

"Professional graduates from MSU and graduates of Gallatin College provide an opportunity to expand their workforce and so, we want to keep those jobs local," explains Fontenot.

Fontenot says the success of high profile companies like Oracle can generate a greater interest from other tech companies.

"We heard that Aptus, which is a California-based computer software company, cloud computing company is going to to have a presence in Bozeman and is creating 77 new tech jobs," Fontenot says.

When it comes to the outdoor sector, Fontenot tells us there's a lot of potential for growth. It's why the city set aside money in their budget to create a structure and marketing plan with the message that Bozeman is a great place to start, grow and relocate your business...

"But it's also a great place to work in the industry so, trying to marry the idea of business development with workforce development," says Fontenot.

He says that means not just growing businesses but also trying to provide the job creation and train the workforce to occupy those jobs.

"You create a bunch of jobs, the businesses will cannibalize one another for the people or have to call them in from out of state or out of the area. If you just create the jobs, they're getting trained here but they're leaving for other positions," explains Fontenot.

Fontenot says initiatives like the one the city has taken for outdoor job growth echoes many of the messages he heard from experts at the summit, giving Fontenot confidence they're headed in the right direction.

Fontenot also tells us transportation was a big theme he took from the summit. He explains Montana represents a growing market and all the money invested in the expansion of the airport, the new flights being added regularly bode well for making Bozeman a connected city, not only in terms of data but also for people.