May 4, 2023
Montana's 68th Legislative Session
May 2, 2023
A good day to sine die - 68th Montana Legislature adjourns...Read here.

There has been a disturbance in the Force with the somewhat abrupt sine die of the 68th Montana Legislature, however it did not stop us from delivering results for you and your business. Watch for a recap of the 87-day session from our Government Relations team in the coming weeks and thank you for being our partners in policy. We are honored to serve you.

PLEASE NOTE: The weekly Montana Business Brief e-Newsletter will move to bi-weekly.
  • Small Business Persons of the Year- Neli and Dimitar Nikolov, The Corral Burger and Lodge- Gardiner
  • Woman Owned Small Business of the Year- Shellies Country Cafe- Helena
  • Veteran Owned Small Business of the Year- Willie's Distillery, Inc.- Ennis
  • SBA Young Entrepreneurs of the Year- Asia Caluori and Dustin Anglen, Pearl Boba Tea- Missoula
  • Small Business Exporter of the Year and Rocky Mountain Region VIII Exporter of the Year- Penta Machine Company- Bozeman

U.S. Small Business Administrator Guzman Announces 2023 State Small Business Persons of the Year
Montana's Small Business Champion: Wayne Nelson, Stockman Bank, Billings
Read full article here.

Montana Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen receives award for making it easier to do business in Montana
Read full article here.

Tuesday, May 2, 2023
On Tuesday, May 2, Pizza Hut marketing and operations representatives along with Montana Chamber staff listened to 15 student groups pitch a marketing promotion for heart shaped pizzas. First, second and third place winners were selected and honorable mention from each of the two classes. A big shout out to Skyview High School Business & Entrepreneurship Teacher Molly Barta for all she does to prepare her students to enter the world of work and/or business ownership.
2023 Spring Conference
May 22, 12:30 PM – May 24, 12:30 PM
Northern Hotel , 19 N Broadway, Billings, MT 59101

Check out the conference agenda and Register today!
Tickets are $225 + $5.63 service fee per person
To Celebrate National Travel & Tourism Week
THURSDAY, MAY 11, 2023
11:30 AM - 2:00 PM
Yellowstone Valley Lodge & Grill, Owl's Rest Event Barn
3840 Hwy 89 South, Livingston, MT 59047
Join us, the Montana Chamber of Commerce, and 150+ fellow tourism industry stakeholders at our Inaugural Convergence Luncheon in celebration of National Travel & Tourism Week - #NTTW (May 7-13) as we work to move #TravelForward.

We will recognize Tourism as one of our state's leading industries, and its intersection with film and outdoor recreation as vehicles to harness the power of place as an economic driver for communities across the Treasure State.

Tickets: $75 per person - Member of any local Chamber, CVB or TBID
FRIDAY, MAY 12, 202
10 AM - 1:00 PM
Gardiner Chamber | Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel

On Friday, May 12 at 10 a.m., we will convene at the Gardiner Chamber of Commerce Offices to celebrate the ‘Community Connection’ with AMB West, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and the Park County Community Foundation alongside National Park Service Superintendent of Yellowstone Cam Sholly, Deputy Superintendent Mike Tranel, and Duane Bubac, Chief of Facility Management & Operations.

Then, we will board Yellowstone Forever shuttles with an interpretive tour provided as we make our way on the newly constructed road to Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel. Individuals may drive their personal vehicles if they prefer. There, hear the compelling story of ‘Recovery and Resiliency in the Greater Yellowstone’ following the 500-year historic flooding event that occurred in June 2022 which led to the complete closure of YNP for eight days, destruction of the road between Gardiner and Mammoth Hot Springs, and a nearly full season closure of the North and Northeast Entrances. But most importantly hear how together, the Park and the Gateway Communities persevered and are ready to play host to visitors as we kick off summer.
Flathead Valley Community College | 6:00 - 9:00 PM

Tickets: $100 / pp
The Montana Chamber Foundation is kicking off the 34th Annual Governors’ Cup Golf Tournament with the Glacier Bank Ace in the Hole Reception & Barbecue. The public is welcome to attend this business development and networking event held at Flathead Valley Community College, to connect with golfers, business leaders, and policy makers. Golfers do not need to register.

Reception and golf tournament sponsorships are selling out quickly. Don’t miss out on promoting your organization at this premier statewide networking event. 
FOR SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES: Contact Stacye Dorrington, Events & Office Manager | 406.439.4220
Thank You to Our Sponsors:

ADF Legal; Applied Materials, Blackfoot Communications, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana, Century Gaming, Delta Dental, FAST Enterprises, Fidelity Diagnostics, Glacier Bancorp, Inc., Reach Higher Montana, Logan Health, Pinion, Republic Services, Signal Peak Energy, SMA Architecture + Design, and UBS
Strategic Employee Development with Career Paths and Ladders

Ryan Callan, HR Business Partner

This article is not going to detail the present and long-term limitations that North America faces with alluring talented candidates and maintaining staffing in the foreseeable years ahead. This feature aims to highlight an existing practice infrequently deployed by employers. Every company has in their operation two things to help retain and grow current talent and establish a competitive advantage in attracting new talent… strategic employee development.

What is Strategic Employee Development? It is purposeful planning and regular communication with an employee regarding what their Career Path or Career Ladder can look like and what to expect.

A Career Path is a progression plan that outlines a role’s evolution while an employee holds that position. The plan generally begins with noting required KSAs (Knowledge, skills, abilities, etc.) for the candidate to take on the role (be hired), and continues noting how one will be professionally trained, educated, coached, licensed and / or certified. Providing such information prepares the incumbent on what to look forward towards, and plan for as they strive to progress to optimally perform in that role. Depending on the role and industry, these expectations may include experiences such as formal trainings, attending conferences, coursework with proctored testing, supervision hours, licensure / certification levels, and an accumulation of work tenure to complete the development functions and apply the learned skills and knowledge to daily work tasks. The career path is a transparent tool communicating that the role is not “just a job”, but that the company has thoughtfully planned phases and recognizes the importance of the employee’s development journey in that role. Formal timeframes can be critical for some positions, but general references to timing for the employee’s development may be more appropriate (industry/role dependent). Timeframe references are not to communicate an automatic progression, as the onus remains on the employee to perform and demonstrate their successful evolution.

A Career Ladder summarizes your incumbent’s progression across successful completion of multiple Career Paths. Visualize a ladder’s rungs. The plan outlines advancement opportunities ‘potentially available’ (not guaranteed), when an employee reaches growth capacity in a single role’s career path (completed all they can on rung #1, for example a Teller at a Bank). Once the incumbent has acquired sufficient qualifications and the skill level required for the 2nd rung’s role (Credit Analyst), if that role has a vacancy or the company has room for another employee in that role, they can enter that next role (Credit Analyst). This type of progression can be visualized by repeating this pattern through to the upper level of the banking industry (such as a Senior VP level, or a Managing Director role). The height of your proverbial ladder can be as short as a two-step ladder, or as tall as your organization can facilitate. The career ladder is a tool, like the career path that transparently communicates that the employee has opportunities available to them through a well-planned system. Of course, not all employees advance through to a director level, but the opportunity to be part of an organization with a soundly planned career map can allure more talent and reliable candidates over to consider your company vacancies and bolster retention with current staff. A critical note with both tools; compensation and rewards can also be defined as part of the progressions through these development tools. Providing such detail has been found to increase engagement. Additional benefits to establishing these development tools beyond over-coming the frequently discussed “sansdemic” (without people), includes increases with employee engagement, job satisfaction, job performance, and customer satisfaction. Also, retention of valuable institutional knowledge is an understated benefit.
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Governor Gianforte Expands Access To Individualized Learning for Montana Students...Read here.

Governor Gianforte Signs Pro-Freedom, Pro-Free Enterprise Bills Into Law...Read here.