2015 Labor Day Report touts strong Montana economy
With unemployment well below the national average, the fifth fastest GDP growth over five years and sixth fastest wage growth over five years, the Montana Department of Labor and Industry's latest Labor Day Report was a positive one. The report describes the unemployment situation as "ideal", but cautions that a worker shortage looms due to population demographics restricting labor force growth.
Optics industry blossoms in Bozeman area
Thirty-five years after the first optics company was established in Bozeman, the optics industry in the area has grown to more than 30 companies employing over 500 people. Many companies working with lasers, high-tech cameras and new uses of optics technology for applications such as military and space flight, fighting cancer and biological research are spinoffs from Montana State University, which created the Optics Technology Center in 1995.
New cloud startup in Bozeman raises over $300,000
IgniteFeedback, a new tech startup, announced in September that they had attracted investment from the Montana-based Frontier Fund 2 angel group. Former software developers at RightNow Technologies, founders Ben Werner and Eddie McDaniel created IgniteFeedback to give business executives better insight into customer satisfaction with real-time data. They are offering a 50% discount to early-stage startups or Montana-based businesses as a way of giving back to the community.
Simms Fishing Products breaks ground on expansion
Prospera helped the only fishing wader manufacturer in the U.S. access a Big Sky Trust Fund grant to help with the preliminary architectural and engineering report for adding a third floor and second building to their facility in Four Corners. The additional 12,000 square feet will house a new product development center and expanded office and production space. The project is expected to be completed by March of 2016.