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The outlook for manufacturing in Montana is for continued improvement, following two years of growth, according to economists at the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of Montana.
Manufacturing in the state experienced $13 billion in sales during 2012 and employment topped 21,000 workers for the first time since the recession.
Rising health insurance cost was rated as the most important issue by Montana manufacturers. Other important issues included worker compensation rates, the supply of qualified workers, and cost of energy. Foreign competition was ranked as the least important of eight issues, with just 21 percent rating it as being very important to their business.
In an out-of-the-way location near the Yellowstone River, along a very quiet street at the edge of Lockwood, there's a remote control (RC) helicopter company serving hobbyists all over the world.
The company manufactures, designs and markets electronic helicopter kits, as well as providing one-stop-shopping for all the parts and supplies for enthusiasts everywhere. The company's goal is to be the biggest and the best in the industry, capable of providing everything their customers could possibly need or want.
While Yellowstone County leads the way in projected economic growth in the state with 3.5 percent growth, Flathead County follows at 2.9 percent growth, and Cascade comes in third at 2.7 percent.
Gallatin County comes in last in projections at 1.3 percent.
As noted by economists during the Outlook Seminar in Billings, 2012 was the first year in which all the counties showed a "glimmer of growth," since the recession.
Billings Clinic Becomes Member of Mayo Clinic Care Network
Mayo Clinic announced Billings Clinic as the newest member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. Billings Clinic is the first health system in Montana to have passed Mayo’s rigorous review process and been selected as a member of the network. Billings Clinic’s group practice structure is a team-oriented community of physicians who work together in a collaborative manner to provide primary and specialty regional medical care for the entire population of Montana, the western Dakotas and northern Wyoming, with a regional population of more than half a million.
“We are extremely excited to welcome Billings Clinic to the Mayo Clinic Care Network. We have a long-standing relationship with this excellent organization and its dedicated staff, working together over the years to improve patient care,” says David Hayes, M.D., medical director, Mayo Clinic Care Network. “Collaborating with other medical providers to provide the best possible care for patients has always been part of Mayo’s culture, and through the Mayo Clinic Care Network we can work in new ways with community care organizations to enhance the lives of patients.”
Alan Vogt has joined Stockman Bank as assistant vice president, commercial loan officer for Stockman Bank Grand Avenue. His responsibilities include developing and servicing commercial loans, and assisting clients with their lending and credit needs when the Grand Avenue bank opens this spring.
EBMS has promoted Laura Rookhuizen to be the new director of health risk management with EBMS' CareLink Department. Rookhuizen will assume responsibility for the Disease Management Department, the Health Risk Management Department, the miHealth Manager benefits portal, as well as health coaching.
Two of the Chamber's seven proposals were heard in the Senate Business and Labor Committee:
SB 139 (Walker - Billings): Patterned after the federal Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) and laws in 42 other states, SB 139 would require agencies to look at how a proposed rule or regulation would adversely or positively impact small businesses in the state. Furthermore, they have to identify the class or group of businesses impacted. And, if there is an adverse impact, the agency must consider alternatives that are less burdensome to small businesses while still achieving the goals of a proposed rule. SB 139 defines a small business as 50 or fewer employees. According to the Small Business Administration, the federal RFA has saved small businesses $200 billion since 1998. In fiscal year 2011 alone, small businesses saved $11.7 billion. The Chamber believes that SB 139 would provide the similar cost-savings to small businesses in Montana and we anticipate broad support.
Barry Usher has sold Hi Mountain Recreation to its former manager, Chuck South.
Usher owned and operated the company in concert with Beartooth Harley Davidson. Usher retains Beartooth Harley Davidson at 6900 Frontage Road, Billings, along with locations in Red Lodge and Cody.
South is the managing partner of Hi Mountain Recreation, now located at 141 Moore Lane. The company is the dealer for SkiDoo, SeaDoo, CanAm, and General Scooter.
The Big Sky Business Journal
P.O. Box 3262
Billings, MT 59103