The High Wage Job Puzzle:

Finding Montana's Place in the New Geography of Jobs

Presented by NorthWestern Energy and the UM Bureau of Business and Economic Research.



  • Helena - January 24, 2017 (Tuesday) - Best Western Great Northern Hotel

  • Great Falls - January 25, 2017 (Wednesday) - Hilton Garden Inn

  • Missoula - January 27, 2017 (Friday) - Hilton Garden Inn

  • Billings - January 31, 2017 (Tuesday) - Crowne Plaza/Doubletree

  • Bozeman - February 1, 2017 (Wednesday) - The Commons at Baxter & Love

  • Webcast - February 1, 2017 (Wednesday) - Accessible online, requires separate registration.

  • Butte - February 2, 2017 (Thursday) - NorthWestern Energy General Office

  • Kalispell - February 7, 2017 (Tuesday) - Hilton Garden Inn
    Note Kalispell seminar is from noon until 5:00pm

  • Sidney - March 14, 2017 (Tuesday) - USDA ARS

  • Miles City - March 15, 2017 (Wednesday) - Sleep Inn & Suites

New for 2017: Webcast

If you are unable to make one of our live seminars we invite you to register for our Webcast of the February 1 (Wednesday) Seminar.


In the past, natural resources drove local economic prosperity. Economies thrived where soil was fertile, timber and minerals were abundant, and where transportation by water was easy (e.g., at the confluence of rivers or at natural ports). Today, knowledge matters more. Natural resources and access to markets still matter, but many industries and occupations are increasingly concentrated in a few places where skilled, creative workers are abundant. This program examines what these changes might mean for Montana's economy. Can Montana -- particularly its entrepreneurs – figure out how to develop a more robust "knowledge" economy – an economy that allows more of Montana's young, creative, and ambitious people to remain in Montana?


Program may vary because we will be highlighting local economic sectors important to each area we visit.

7:45 - 8:00

Coffee and Registration

8:00 – 8:10

Introduction and Overview – Patrick Barkey, Director, University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research (UM BBER)

8:10 – 8:50

The High Wage Job Puzzle: Finding Montana's Place in the New Geography of Jobs - Bryce Ward, Associate Director, UM BBER

8:50 – 9:30

U.S. and Montana Outlooks – Patrick Barkey, Director, UM BBER

9:30 – 9:40

Coffee Break

9:40 – 10:10

Local Outlook

10:10 – noon


       Health Care
       Housing & Real Estate
       Wood Products

noon - 12:10

Lunch (provided)

12:10 – 12:40

Reaction and Discussion Panel with Local Experts

12:40 - 12:50

Wrap Up, Patrick Barkey


Presentations from the Seminars are made available after the seminars.

Local Presentations

Local Presentations will be posted the day of the presentation for each city if available.


Past Seminar presentations are available here.


Bureau of Business and Economic Research
fax: 406.243.2086