College of Technology, 40 Years, Meeting the Labor Challenge

At a time when economic turmoil is posing an uncertain future for many people, there is evidence that more so than at any time before in its 40 year history, the College of Technology is serving an important role in the community.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary this week, COT, part of Montana State University-Billings, has long been an important factor in helping prepare Montanans for the future, while at the same time bolstering the strength of local business by providing a well-trained work force.

A recent up tick in enrollment which reverses past trends, seems to indicate that people are once more turning to the ever-advancing institution for the training and education they anticipate needing during this time of upheaval, reported John Cech, Dean of COT. Last fall the college saw, for the first time, a dip in enrollment, only to see an increase this spring, said Cech. Always before, fall enrollment has been greater than spring enrollment, explained Cech, who credits the sudden change in traditional trends to the changed economy which is prompting people “to re-tool and retrain.”

COT is one of six colleges that comprise MSU. It was started in 1969 when the Montana State Legislature created the Billings Vocation-Technical Education Center under the auspices of the Billings School District, to serve adult post-secondary technical training. In 1987, the legislature shifted the institution to become part of the university system, administered by the Board of Regents. The “vo-tech” center then merged with Montana State University-Billings, in 1994.

Read more: College of Technology, 40 Years, Meeting the Labor Challenge

Drummond, Financial Services Advisor of Year

Jim DrummondSBA Names 2009 Financial Services Champion of the Year

James "Jim" Drummond, President of Stockman Bank Gallatin Valley, has been named SBA’s 2009 Montana Financial Services Champion of the Year.

Jim Drummond has a distinguished career as a commercial and agricultural lender in the Gallatin Valley. He has spent countless hours as an advocate for Montana and Gallatin Valley’s local businesses, Ag producers, and the banking industry in general.

Read more: Drummond, Financial Services Advisor of Year

Morrison-Maierle, Montana, Region VIII & National Winner

Morrison-Maierle, Inc. Named SBA’s Montana, Region VIII &

National First Runner-up Entrepreneurial Success Award Winner

Morrison-Maierle, Inc. has been named SBA’s 2009 Montana, Region VIII and National First Runner-up Entrepreneurial Success Award winner. The Entrepreneurial Success Award is presented to a firm that started out as a small business and has grown into a large business, utilizing SBA assistance along the way.

Morrison Engineering Company got its start in the basement of John Morrison’s home in 1945, back when he worked as chief of design in the bridge department of the Montana Highway Department. A year later, Morrison teamed up with former co-worker and designer, Joe Maierle and renamed the company Morrison-Maierle, Inc.

Read more: Morrison-Maierle, Montana, Region VIII & National Winner

Montana, a Hot Bed of Entrepreneurship

By Evelyn Pyburn

It’s commonly said that Montana is one of the most entrepreneurial states in the nation. It turns out to be true, according to an article by Economist Aaron McNay of the Research and Analysis Bureau of the Montana Department of Labor and Industry. Not only is Montana one of the most entrepreneurial states, it is the most entrepreneurial state – more than doubling the national average.

“Montana is a state where entrepreneurial activity thrives and is encouraged,” writes McNay in Montana Economy at a Glance (Jan. 2009).

In the 1990s, Montana had an average entrepreneurship rate that was 30% larger than the national average of the United States. By 2007, this divergence in entrepreneurship rates had increased significantly, said McNay – and the numbers are no anomaly.

Read more: Montana, a Hot Bed of Entrepreneurship

Leinen, Minority Champion of Year

Mike Leinen, President, Independence Bank, Poplar, has been named SBA’s 2009 Montana Minority Small Business Champion of the Year.

Growing up on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in Poplar, has given Mike Leinen an appreciation for Native American history and culture, and for the every day challenges individuals face on the reservation. As President of Independence Bank he not only helps individuals realize their dreams of small business ownership, he works towards helping provide structure in programs that will produce positive results and individual personal responsibility in businesses on the reservation. His love for the land, the community, and the people of the area is of far reaching value.

Read more: Leinen, Minority Champion of Year

O'Leary Couple, Small Business Persons of the Year

Timothy O'LearyTimothy and Suzy O’Leary, co-owners of Missoula’s Kettlehouse Brewery have been named SBA’s 2009 Montana Small Business Persons of the Year. The O’Leary’s will be honored during the National Small Business Week event in Washington, DC, May 17-19, along with representatives from every state. They will again be honored, along with other outstanding award winners, at the Montana Small Business Week Award luncheon on June 5 in Missoula.

Tim and his wife, Suzy Rizza opened Missoula’s first (Brew on Premise) BOP in 1995. Lots of people came to try it, and lots of people had a great time doing it, but it wasn’t quite paying the bills. So began the saga of the Kettlehouse’s transformation over the next 13 years into a small microbrewery and neighborhood taproom known as the Kettlehouse Brewing Company.

Read more: O'Leary Couple, Small Business Persons of the Year

CTA Gets LEED Award

CTACTA Architects Engineers announced that it has been awarded LEED-EB Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for their Billings, office. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is USGBC’s suite of rating systems for designing and constructing the world’s greenest, most efficient, and highest performing buildings. LEED–EB is their Existing Buildings rating system which encourages not only green building, but green operations and maintenance practices as well.

CTA has also achieved the Energy Star label award; Energy Star qualified facilities meet strict energy performance standards set by the EPA to use less energy, and cause fewer greenhouse gas emissions. The Billings CTA office earned an Energy Star rating of 82 which places it within the top 18% of energy efficient office buildings nationwide.

Read more: CTA Gets LEED Award

Lighter, Home-based Champ of Year

Shelley LighterShelley Lighter, owner of SAL Design in Great Falls, has been named SBA’s 2009 Montana Home-based Business Champion of the Year.

Shelley Lighter is seen by her peers as a life-long entrepreneur. Early in her career she started Lighter’s Helicopter Charter Business, flying R-22 Robinson’s, but today, she chooses to maintain an innovative home-based business manufacturing microwave baked potato sacks, while also serving as a SCORE volunteer specializing in working with businesses looking to start up or refine a home-based operation.

Read more: Lighter, Home-based Champ of Year

Mily Whey, Exporter of the Year

Curt PijankowskiSBA’s Region VIII Exporter of the Year

SBA’s National 2nd Runner-up Exporter of the Year

The Milky Whey, Inc./TMW International, Inc. of Missoula has been named SBA’s 2009 Montana Exporter of the Year, the SBA Region VIII Exporter of the Year, and the National 2nd Runner-up Exporter of the Year.

Curt Pijankowski started The Milky Whey, Inc. in 1993, in Ithaca, NY, but several years later decided to relocate to Missoula. Today, The Milky Whey, Inc./TMW International, Inc. is a thriving global trading company that buys and sells items such as nonfat dry milk, whole milk powder, buttermilk powder, whey powder, whey proteins, bulk butter and condensed milk and cream to companies that manufacture food and feed products for public consumption.

Read more: Mily Whey, Exporter of the Year

Market Update

1 DOW 20,656.58
-4.72 (-0.02%)    
2 S&P 2,345.96
-2.49 (-0.11%)    
3 NASDAQ 5,817.69
-3.95 (-0.07%)    
4 MDU 27.10
-0.08 (-0.29%)    
5 SWC 17.41
+0.08 (0.46%)    
6 EBMT 20.15
+0.25 (1.26%)    
7 FIBK 38.85
+0.30 (0.78%)    
8 GBCI 32.71
+0.12 (0.37%)