POLSON—The Montana Chamber of Commerce began its 31-city Montana Business Agenda (MBA) Tour this week as it traveled through western Montana. During the tour we stopped in Missoula, Hamilton, Kalispell, Whitefish, Columbia Falls, Eureka, Libby and Polson.
The two focuses of the trip were sharing our ten-year strategic plan, Envision 2026, and finding out what concerns businesses had. One topic that came up in several locations was the state of the workforce and how to recruit young workers to Montana.
“We need to change the mindset in Montana about employees,” said Webb Brown, president/CEO of the Montana Chamber. “Today’s workforce requires a whole lot more flexibility than in the past. Apprenticeships, flexible hours, and work/life balance are options employers should consider.”
Another topic discussed during the week was providing the right tools for students to consider looking beyond the typical four-year degree.
“The old ‘college degree is a sign of success’ mentality doesn’t fit these days,” Brown said. “Certificates, skills training, and continuing education are becoming more the pathway to success in many industries.”