Computer science, workforce development, Envision 2026: 19th annual Business Days at the Capitol held in Helena

Jan 9, 2019|Press Release

HELENA — Computer science, workforce development and Envision 2026 were all topics discussed during the 19th Annual Business at the Capitol event Monday and Tuesday at the Best Western Premier Helena Great Northern Hotel in Helena.

Business Days at the Capitol brings together business leaders and government officials to talk face-to-face and participate in a variety of educational and networking events. This event takes place at the beginning of January every year.

“This was one of best years as far as turn out at for Business Days at the Capitol,” said Cary Hegreberg, president/CEO of the Montana Chamber of Commerce. “We were really excited to have so many great speakers and leaders at our event. It was another great way to start off a legislative session in Helena.”

The event kicked off Monday with an opening luncheon featuring Sen. Steve Daines, Rep. Greg Gianforte and a video from Sen. Jon Tester. Gianforte spoke about entrepreneurship in Montana and the high tech sector.

“Tech adds diversity to our economy, ” Gianforte said. “It’s a great compliment to agriculture and tourism in Montana.”

Gov. Steve Bullock closed the event with the ‘Last Word’ luncheon. Bullock touched a variety of topics including Medicaid expansion and how it would positively impact small employers in Montana.

Tuesday began with the popular ‘Eggs and Issues’ breakfast that included Senate President Scott Sales, Senate Minority Leader Jon Sesso, House Speaker Greg Hertz and House Minority Leader Casey Schreiner. During the discussion, legislators touched on a variety of topics including infrastructure, workforce development and taxes. Schreiner, who is the state workforce investment board director for the Montana Department of Labor & Industry, talked about how workforce and infrastructure can work hand-in-hand.

“If we want employees to stay here we have to grow them on our own,” Schreiner said. “We need to stop viewing them as just structures, but what the structures are intended for.”

Another keynote speaker was Greg Bianchi, Senior Program Officer, Microsoft Philanthropies. Bianchi spoke about computer science education and where Montana stands compared to other states. According to Bianchi, last year only 40 high school students took an Advanced Placement (AP) computer science class.

There were also presentations on infrastructure, entrepreneurship, the four key strategic goals of Envision 2026 and a presentation on the Montana Chamber of Commerce’s tax analysis.

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ABOUT THE MONTANA CHAMBER
Since it’s formation in 1931, the Montana Chamber of Commerce has been the state’s leading business advocate, representing members from the state’s largest businesses, to Main Street “mom-and-pop’s.”

OUR VISION:
As the leading business advocate, the Montana Chamber of Commerce envisions a business climate that is optimal for Montana business prosperity.

OUR MISSION:
To create and sustain an optimal business climate, business prosperity, and a strong Montana economy, the Montana Chamber of Commerce, through advocacy, education, and collaboration works to provide an empowered and educated workforce, reduce business growth obstacles, and advance positions that promote success for Montana businesses.

For Immediate Release
Jan. 8, 2019
Media Contact: Communications Director Alexandria Klapmeier
(C) 406-437-4634 or Alexandria@MontanaChamber.com

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