Havre Daily News - News you can use

By Tim Leeds 

Economic Outlook Seminar set for March 17 in Havre


Last updated 3/6/2020 at 11:36am

Tiffany Melby

Experts are coming to Havre this month to show a snapshot of the local and state economy.

The Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of Montana is bringing its 45th annual Economic Outlook Seminar series to Havre Tuesday, March 17.

"It's time to take a step back and think about where economic growth is heading across the state," BBER Director Patrick Barkey said in a press release.

The schedule includes Tiffany Melby, Bear Paw Development Corp.'s director of loan services, leading a discussion of local economic conditions

The release said Melby will discuss the economic impact the regional economic development organization had on northern Montana in 2019 and challenges and opportunities for economic growth the region is currently experiencing.   

The half-day seminar, which starts at 8 a.m. March 17 in Hensler Auditorium in the Applied Technology Center on the campus of Montana State University-Northern, highlights the latest economic trends for local economies and the state of Montana.

In the annual economic outlook seminar, industry experts give their outlooks for Montana's major economic sectors including health care, forestry, travel and tourism, real estate, manufacturing and agriculture.

This year, the seminar also will include the outlook for high-tech and start-up industries, the release said.

The theme for this year reflects one drawback of a growing economy: "Finding Good Workers: New Challenges, New Solutions."

Barkey said in the release that, after more than a decade of economic growth that has featured strong hiring and steadily falling unemployment rates, many Montana businesses are having difficulty finidng a supply of suitable workers for their job openings.

Some businesses even are questioning how they can continue to fill orders, let alone capitalize on new opportunities, he added.

"As economic problems go, this may be a good one to have - too many jobs," Barkey said. "But finding solutions to Montana's workforce shortages will require creative thinking. While boosting worker salaries may address some of the workforce issues, it won't solve the problem."

Registration for the seminar, which will end by 1 p.m. and includes lunch, is $90, or $25 for Montana University System faculty, staff and students. Attendees will receive a copy of the 2020 Montana Economic Report, a book of the PowerPoint presentations and a one-year subscription to Montana Business Quarterly, BBER's award-winning magazine.

Continuing education credits are available, and groups of five or more can receive a discount.

For more information or to register, people can visit http://www.economicoutlookseminar.com or call 406-243-5113.


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