Travelers aboard United Airlines flights during the month of September will get a taste of why companies choose to grow and invest in Montana. The airline’s September issue of Hemispheres Magazine includes features on Montana visionaries, workforce development, higher education, and some of the sectors driving the state’s economy.
“Montana has long been recognized as a great tourism destination for a long time, but what has been a little bit nascent in the story about Montana is that we’re actually a great place to do business too,” Ken Fichtler, chief business development officer at the Governor’s office of Economic Development, says in the magazine.
The feature dives into how agriculture, outdoor recreation, healthcare, higher education and technology continue to strengthen Montana’s economy.
“There’s also a nice crossover with the state’s flourishing manufacturing industry—as demonstrated by the likes of Simms Fishing Products, famous for its Montana-made waders and other high-performance fishing apparel and gear. Headquartered in Bozeman, within a rod’s cast of some of the world’s finest fishing rivers, Simms sponsors more than 6,000 professionals globally, while its products are distributed online and through 550-plus retailers in North America and over 50 countries.
“Our focus right now is improving the fishing experience in all types of fishing,” says principal owner and executive chairman K.C. Walsh. “I’d like Simms to be known as a leading employer in the state of Montana, a great place to work, and be known as a leading in both fisheries conservation and as a leading consumer brand in the fishing space.”
It’s no surprise that innovation in agriculture and outdoor recreation play a big part in the state’s economy, perhaps the surprising narrative to people unfamiliar with Montana is the growth of the state’s high-tech sector, the feature explains.
“Maybe one of the most surprising stories coming out of Montana in recent years may be the emergence and growth of its high-tech sector, which is estimated to have generated more than $2 billion in revenue in 2018. And, with an ever-larger pool of private investment capita plus a well-trained and capable workforce, that’s something that the rest of the country is beginning to recognize.
“Our previous experience with Montana engineers was outstanding, so when we started Figure, I felt strongly about building our engineering core in Montana again,” says co-founder and CEO Mike Cagney. “Technology built in Montana has been foundational and has truly enabled our growth.”
More than 11 million passengers fly United Airlines each month. It’s estimated that nearly 4 million people will see Montana’s feature in the September issue of the on-flight magazine.
Read the digital version of the issue here.