Governor to kick off economic development initiative with roundtable discussions

May 13, 2013

Gov. Steve Bullock (center) unveils the new Main Street Montana Project Monday with D.A. Davidson & Co. CEO Bill Johnstone (left) and Washington Companies CEO Larry Simkins (right)
Credit Dan Boyce

Gov. Steve Bullock, D-Mont., on Monday announced a new economic development initiative aimed at developing a blueprint for job creation based upon the suggestions of Montana businesses.

“Montanans have shown that they’re national leaders in business, ingenuity and hard work,” Bullock said. “I think those qualities really helped us come out of the recession stronger than most states.”

Bullock wants to draw on the experiences of business owners to create a plan to tackle challenges faced by those companies and identify steps to attract and retain new businesses. The governor said it would be a bottom-up approach. He was joined at the press conference unveiling the initiative by its two co-chairs, CEO of The Washington Companies Larry Simkins and CEO of D.A. Davidson & Company Bill Johnstone.The project will start with a series of roundtable discussions:

  • Billings–Tuesday, May 28th, 2:00 PM at the Broadway Downtown Center, 2804 3rd Ave. N.
  • Missoula–Tuesday, June 4th, 2:00 PM at the UM University Center, 3rd Floor Meeting Room Foyer and Room 330-123
  • Great Falls–Wednesday, June 12th, 2:00 PM at the Great Falls Civic Center, Missouri Room
  • Miles City–Wednesday, June 19th, 2:00 PM at Miles Community College, Room 106-107
  • Bozeman–Tuesday, June 25th, 2:00 PM at the MSU Strand Union, Ballroom A

“Everything is on the table,” Simkins said. “The idea is we want to gather as many facts as we can before we sit down and start talking about what’s necessary for economic development.”

Simkins said the project hopes to publish a report outlining specific metrics to improve the state’s business climate sometime in early 2014.

Learn more about the Main Street Montana Project on their website.