By Tim Leeds
Havre is now part of the tour of economic seminars held by a University of Montana-Missoula research bureau.
UM-Missoula's Bureau of Business and Economic Research and the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce are sponsoring Winnebagos, Funeral Homes and Cruise Ships: the Graying of Baby Boomers in the New Millennium.
The economic seminar will be held on Wednesday, March 8 at the Duck Inn, starting at 8 a.m. with coffee and registration and ending at noon with luncheon speaker Vince Smith, Montana State University professor of agricultural economics.
The first speakers scheduled are Paul Polzin, director of the BBER, and Steve Seninger, director of economic analysis at BBER. They will present an analysis of the economic effects of the aging baby boomers part of the population.
Polzin will then present a national, state and local-area economic forecast.
Montana State University-Northern Chancellor Mike Rao will talk about local economic development and higher education and Norma Nickerson, director of the Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research will present industry forecasts on non-resident travel.
Seninger will present an analysis of the service sectors, and Myles Watts, professor and chair of the department of agricultural economics and economics at Montana State University-Bozeman, will discuss industry forecasts on agriculture.
Charles E. Keegan III, director of forest industry research at BBER, will present an analysis of manufacturing and forest products forecasts, and Dick King, executive director of Bear Paw Development Corporation, North Montana, and Debbie Vandeberg, general manager of the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce, will present local activities and issues.
The focus of this year's seminar is the effect the growing percentage of aging residents in the country will have on the economy. Seninger said the aging of baby boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, will have a dramatic effect on consumer spending, markets, Medicare, Social Security, taxes, employment and the workforce.
Baby boomers over age 65 are expected to represent nearly 44 percent of Montana's population over the next decade, Seninger said.
King said in their local and chamber of commerce report, he and Vandeberg will cover both current economic activities in the area and both opportunities and challenges for the community. He said one issue he will discuss is the proposed straw board plant and its effect on CRP in the area.
The BBER has been conducting an economic seminar tour for the last 25 years. They will present the seminar in Glasgow on March 7. This is the first year that Havre and Glasgow have been included in the seminar.
The bureau was founded in 1948 as part of the University of Montana's School of Business Administration. The BBER was founded to monitor the state's business and economic conditions.
The bureau provides in-depth analysis and forecasting of economic data from the state, as well as personal and nonfarm labor income. It also monitors many industries and indicators in Montana and the region.
The BBER provides comprehensive survey research services to public and private organizations.
The seminar held next week requires a $70 fee, which includes a comprehensive 32 page proceedings book and a one-year subscription to the Montana Business Quarterly, the bureaus' quarterly publication of nearly 40 years. Continuing education credits are available for an additional $20 processing fee.
To register or obtain a complete program schedule and list of speakers, call the bureau at (406) 243-5113 or visit the bureau's web site at www.bber.umt.edu. Brochures are also available at the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce, 265-4358.