The Montana Chamber’s Youth Entrepreneurs Coordinator, Tiana Yates, hosts a zoom meeting with Youth Entrepreneurs (YE) teachers from across the state every month. These meetings are used to update teachers on everything YE-related and discuss various YE topics. Teachers also have time for Q & A, networking with peers, and sharing success stories from their classrooms.
This week, Matt Olson, Montana Chamber’s Director of Network Development, and Tiana thought it would be a fun holiday surprise to bring a special guest onto the zoom. They reached out to Governor Gianforte, a huge champion for the YE program, and he graciously agreed to join.
Governor Gianforte began by sharing some words of encouragement for the teachers. That led to him stressing the importance of entrepreneurship. “Government doesn’t create jobs. Businesses do”, Gianforte said. “Expansion of good-paying jobs in Montana rely on entrepreneurs.”
Youth Entrepreneurs is a curriculum teachers can use to instill entrepreneurship in students, and the Governor expressed his support for expanding the program into all 56 counties across Montana.
Before going into Q & A, Governor Gianforte shared information on the new position at the Department of Labor and Industry created to foster more public-private relationships with education and industry leaders around apprenticeship and workforce development opportunities.
After the Governor departed, Matt and Tiana took the rest of the meeting to highlight student-run businesses coming out of the YE classrooms. These student businesses will be submitted to the Montana Chamber’s annual high school pitch competition, The Prospects. With the goal of awarding $100,000 in cash and scholarships, students who enter their ideas into the contest could win big! The 2022 prize purse is currently at $51,000, and last year, over $50,000 in cash and scholarships were awarded.
The Montana Chamber of Commerce and the Youth Entrepreneurs teachers would like to thank the Governor for his time and support of YE in Montana.