• The very nature of the oil and gas industry is undergoing a fundamental transformation. It has become a manufacturing process – no longer one of exploration, according to one entrepreneur and manufacturing expert. For that reason the subject of oil production played a feature role in the recent Compete Smart Conference in Billings, produced by the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center (MMEC)
    Read More
  • An area near the convergence of interstate highways, I-90 and I-94, east of Lockwood has the greatest potential for a future industrial park in Yellowstone County. But that doesn't rule out the prospects for two other potential sites, one in Billings, the BN Industrial Subdivision, and another, Spurling Siding west of Laurel. The prospective sites were unveiled during a meeting,
    Read More
  • Since going into full production, in July, with the new addition to their plant, business has been booming for Aspen Air. In fact, said Joe Hickey, manager of the Lockwood plant, "we have been selling more than we can produce." Sales have been beyond their greatest expectations, Hickey told a group of Lockwood business leaders during the group's regular monthly
    Read More
  • One of the most dynamic businesses in Lockwood hosted the Lockwood Business Group meeting in September. Vu Pham, General Counsel and director of operations for Weave Management Group, explained to some two dozen Lockwood business people who attended the luncheon, that the company is actually six companies which have spun-off from Warren Transport, which has been located in Lockwood since
    Read More
  • When asked to describe the state of American manufacturing, many say it has been "hollowed out." When asked why, they point to the decline in manufacturing jobs, note the few "Made in America" products on retail store shelves, and identify importing and offshoring as the culprits. Although many of these reasons appear persuasive, they're not accurate. U.S. manufacturing employment, no
    Read More
  • Montana's wholesale electricity prices are projected to increase 26 percent as a result of the EPA's proposed regulations requiring states to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, according to an analysis conducted by Energy Ventures Analysis for the National Mining Association. The report warns that those prices increases will be passed on to Montana consumers and businesses. "This new report sheds light
    Read More
  • As Williston Basin operators accelerate the use of sand for hydraulic fracturing – as much as six million pounds per well in some cases – there is an even bigger ramp up in new sand mines in Wisconsin and unloading terminals in North Dakota. EDG Resources, for example, uses 1000 pounds of sand per lateral foot – about 2.5 to 5 times higher
    Read More
  • Most Montana manufacturers have plans to continue to grow their enterprises following three consecutive years of improvement, in terms of both earnings and output. Montana manufacturers have outpaced prior years of 2011, 2012 and 2013, according to the Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER), which recently reported on a survey conducted of Montana manufacturers regarding the state of their
    Read More
  • Entrepreneurship and self-employment endeavors – the nucleus of new business and future business growth — are at record lows, according to many analysts. The decline has long term consequences, which has Ray Keating alarmed. Keating is the Chief Economist for the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council. The SBE Council has been reporting on the weak state of entrepreneurship in the US for
    Read More
  • The American shale gas boom has the potential to revitalize domestic manufacturing, and a new report from a University of Michigan-led panel recommends steps to make that happen in a responsible manner. Those steps include increasing public trust of hydraulic fracturing; monitoring and reducing methane emissions; and using shale gas profits to advance renewable energy technologies, among other efforts. The
    Read More
  • Manufacturers and suppliers will gather to celebrate the magic in manufacturing and the many ways it enriches lives during the biennial Compete Smart Manufacturing Conference to be held Oct. 9 and 10 at the Holiday Inn Grand Montana in Billings. The event, co-hosted by the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center (MMEC) and NorthWestern Energy, will feature speakers, local plant tours and
    Read More
  • Wood's Powr-Grip is celebrating 50 years in business. Theirs is the quintessential entrepreneurship success story – all the more amazing given their worldwide presence and yet, so low-key, locally, that many people in Yellowstone County don't even know they exist. The organization is a third generation, family-owned manufacturing company whose name is most readily recognized in the glass industry. They manufacture
    Read More

shape upEntries are now being accepted for the 10th Annual Shape Up Montana program, a three-month team-based project of the Big Sky State Games that encourages Montanans to make healthier nutrition choices and be more physically active.

Since it began in 2003, over 43,000 Montanans have logged more than 10 million activity miles and shed 82,948 pounds! Organizers are working to reverse the progression of obesity and overweight trends in Montana.  This year’s program features a new user friendly website.

The early entry deadline is January 24. 

The “Shape Up Montana” program works with the business community, member organizations and families to engage their employees and members in a team format that spurs increasing physical activity and encourages healthy eating habits.  Past Shape Up Montana teams included businesses, church groups, organizations, friends, clubs, school staff and families.

 The team competition offers two categories:

  Accumulated Activity based on logging miles with the aid of an activity conversion calculator and Weight Loss due to healthful eating and physical activity. 

Teams of 4 to 10 individuals work together for three months (February 1 - May 1) helping each other and their team to either log mileage or lose weight.  Mileage is converted from regular daily activities (yard work, housework) and aerobic activity (swimming, running, walking, cycling, etc.). 

The cost for the three-month program is $15 and $10 for employees of Big Sky State Games (BSSG) program sponsors.  Everyone who enters will receive a Shape Up Montana T-shirt, weekly challenges, exercise videos, nutrition and physical activity tips/articles, access to numerous wellness calculators and free entry into the 27th Annual Big State Games Fitness Walk held July 20, in Billings.  Awards will be presented to the top three teams in each division.

Online registration, entry forms and more information are available at www.shapeupmontana.org or call (406) 254-7426.    Entry forms are also available at the Big Sky State Games Office in Billings (490 N. 31st, Suite 200).  

Shape Up Montana is presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana. Community Sponsors include Billings Clinic, Billings Gazette and Montana’s News Station (KTVQ, KBZK, KXLF, KRTV, KXLH, KAJ18, KPAX). 

Contributing partners include Albertsons, Eat Right Montana, Montana Chamber Choices, TwoMedicine, Montana Beef Council and Wendy’s.

The Big Sky State Games’ Major Sponsors are First Interstate Bank, Kampgrounds of America, and Montana Cycling and Ski.


 

46°
°F | °C
Partly Cloudy
Humidity: 50%
9 mph
Thu
Partly Cloudy
39 | 60
3 | 15
Fri
Mostly Sunny
46 | 66
7 | 18

Market Update

1 DOW 17,130.52
+156.21 (0.92%)    
2 S&P 1,992.50
+10.20 (0.51%)    
3 NASDAQ 4,565.11
+15.89 (0.35%)