Edward O'Brien


Edward O'Brien is Montana Public Radio's Associate News Director.

Ways to Connect

Rep. Greg Gianforte meets with tech executives in Missoula, August 20, 2018.
Katy Spence

These are high times for Montana’s high-tech sector. According to the Montana High Tech Business Alliance, the industry is growing at almost 10 times the state’s overall economy, pays its workers nearly twice the median wage, and last year generated nearly $2 billion in revenue.

But some say the industry has a glaring problem, and point to an August roundtable in Missoula featuring high tech executives and Congressman Greg Gianforte. Ten executives participated in that meeting with Gianforte; all were white men.

Woman working at a computer. File photo.

Women make up about 40 percent of the nation’s overall high-tech workforce; including positions in marketing, accounting and human resources, according to Christina Henderson, executive director of the Montana High Tech Business. But that figure shrinks to 15 percent when it comes to high level executive and specialized technical positions.

Three Montana women talk about what it's like working in the state's high-tech sector.

Emigrant Peak in Montana's Paradise Valley north of Yellowstone Park.
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio

Federal officials are recommending approval of a plan to block new mining claims for 20 years on public lands in the mountains north of Yellowstone National Park.

The University of Montana campus, Missoula, MT.
Josh Burnham

The University of Montana has completed its fall-semester census and reports a steeper-than-expected enrollment decline.

Earlier this month UM anticipated a roughly 5 percent enrollment drop this fall compared to last. On Friday, it reported 10,962 students – a decline of almost 8 percent.


Governor Steve Bullock is creating a bipartisan working-group to develop a plan to reduce premiums for people who buy health insurance on the federal marketplace.

A Montana Healthcare Foundation study found that reinsurance programs insulate insurers from very high claims and save consumers money.