The Montana Department of Commerce (MDOC) has awarded a total of $302,000 in economic development grants to promote business growth across the state.
MDOC awarded a $40,000 Primary Sector Workforce Training Grant (WTG) to Spika Welding and Manufacturing of Lewistown to provide training for eight new jobs. The WTG Program provides funds for training of new full-time and part-time jobs to help create jobs.
Fergus County received a $40,000 Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund (BSTF) job creation award to assist Spika Welding & Manufacturing with equipment purchases. The business is expanding its product line manufacturing special-needs pool lift products.
MDOC also awarded $127,500 of BSTF job creation funds to Custer County to assist Sanjel USA and Optiblend Industries, Inc. with equipment purchases and architectural and engineering costs toward the planned East Valley water line extension in Miles City. Bringing in the water line would enable business expansion, culminating in at least 17 new jobs at Sanjel USA and Optiblend Industries, Inc.
MDOC awarded six BSTF grants for planning projects. BSTF planning funds are awarded to local Certified Regional Development Corporations (CRDC), tribal governments and local economic development agencies not located in a CRDC region, to assist in planning efforts to promote long-term, stable economic growth in both the region and Montana.
The planning awards include the following:
Beartooth Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D) Area, Inc., located in Joliet, received $26,250 of BSTF funds for the completion of the preliminary architectural designs and plans for the Custer's Last Camp historical log cabin on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. The business complex development will be located in Busby.
Montana Business Assistance Connection (MBAC), located in Helena, received $26,250 of BSTF funds to assist CTA Architects Energy Division of Helena with an expansion feasibility study. CTA will hire an outside firm to determine if expansion into the energy market is feasible. MBAC also received $10,500 BSTF funds to assist PFM Manufacturing of Townsend with an electrical design review to make modification to correct problems with a new hybrid Remote Access Vehicle (RAV). The RAV is licensed to a military contractor as a support vehicle called the Squad Mission Support System, which is currently being tested in actual war time missions.
Montana West Economic Development (MWED), located in Kalispell, received $31,500 of BSTF funds to assist the City of Kalispell with a core area market and feasibility study as part of an extensive core area revitalization project. The area being redeveloped borders a portion of Kalispell's Main Street, Center Street and Idaho Street.
BSTF is a state-funded program. The goal of the program is to promote good-paying jobs and to promote long-term, stable economic growth in Montana. Besides planning grants, the BSTF can provide grant assistance to basic sector Montana businesses, who are hiring net new positions within their company. For additional information about BSTF, visit www.bstf.mt.gov.
The Big Sky Business Journal
P.O. Box 3262
Billings, MT 59103