In many communities, we are seeing workforce challenges in all sectors. Despite significant efforts to train workers, according to the 2018 Montana Labor Day report, the state does not have enough people in the workforce pipeline to fill projected worker demand. This is true in many rural communities, where job posting can go unanswered and finding a skilled workforce can be challenging.

Much of the workforce effort at the Governor’s Office of Economic Development has been aimed at attracting Montana natives who have left the state to find work and those who visit Montana as tourists. Specifically, the Choose Montana initiative was created to address the workforce shortage needs of our state by highlighting Montana’s quality of life, as well as job and business opportunities.

The Montana Department of Labor and Industry also offers several programs to expand the skills of Montana workers, and to launch individuals into the workforce faster through accelerated and work-based training. The Registered Apprenticeship program offers workers a chance to earn while they learn, while also offering employers a way to retain workers with skills customized to their business needs.