By Tim Leeds
Experts presented information and projections about the economy to people from the Hi-Line at the Duck Inn on Wednesday.
It was the first time that the economic summit presented by the University of Montana-Missoula's Bureau of Business and Economic Research has been held in Havre.
The summit, which has been presented by the BBER for 25 years, presents detailed economic research for Montana communities, the state, the nation and the world, and how they are all inter-related.
Experts from UM-Missoula and Montana State University-Bozeman joined local speakers in the presentation.
The focus for this year's seminar is how the aging and coming retirement of baby boomers will impact and are impacted by local, state, national and international economies.
Debbie Vandeberg, general manager of the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce, said she thought the seminar was very well done.
"It was very professional," she said. "The information they shared with us was relevant. They defined how we fit in, from a global economy to how Montana fits into it, and how Havre and the Hi-Line fits into it."
Mike Rao, chancellor at Montana State University Northern, said the seminar was beneficial.
"I thought it was very helpful and important for giving North Montanans a sense of the important choices we have to make as we consider our economic future," he said.
Paul Polzin, director of the bureau, said they are trying to include more of the state in their summit tour.
"We're making a real effort to reach out to eastern Montana," he said. "Last year we went to Glendive and Miles City for the first time, this year Glasgow and Havre."
Polzin said the turn-out for the summits have been good, considering it's the first year at these towns and taking the population of the areas into account. He said about 15 registered for the Havre summit, and about 20 registered for the Glasgow presentation.
He said they intend to continue making the eastern presentations.
"We realize that we have an investment here and long-term commitment is important, and that's what were going to do," Polzin said.
He said they are considering a northern and southern split, going to Havre and Glasgow one year and to Glasgow and Miles City the next.