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Great Falls Development Authority has big plans for 2022

Great Falls Development Authority has big plans for 2022
Posted at 8:43 AM, Jan 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-07 10:54:14-05

GREAT FALLS — The Great Falls Development Authority is looking forward to 2022, and is hosting its sixth annual "Ignite" event on Friday, January 7, to highlight upcoming projects and plans of numerous businesses and organizations.

The participating organizations represent a range of industries such as education, healthcare, and food and agriculture, and more.

The free event will be at Meadow Lark Country Club on Friday starting at 8 a.m. and is open to all. For more information, call the GFDA at 406-564-0957, or click here.

GFDA spokesperson Jolene Schalper explained, "We try to create momentum and excitement for the year ahead by allowing entrepreneurs, businesses, and others who are developing projects in Great Falls in the upcoming year to share their projects. There will be some project updates that people have heard about before, and then there will be brand new announcements of projects that people haven't heard of before."

GFDA CEO Brett Doney compiled a “top 10 forecast” list for development possibilities in the year ahead:

  1. Attract developers to build high quality production housing on a large scale.
  2. Keep growing our population (and workforce), engaging the entire community in marketing Great Falls.
  3. Launch new workforce training programs through efforts of the Chamber, leading businesses, Great Falls College MSU, Great Falls Job Service, and Great Falls Public Schools.
  4. Use city, county and state ARPA and remaining CARES Act funds to make a number of significant one time investments that will generate community dividends for years to come. Work together to win as much competitive ARPA and Infrastructure Bill funds as possible.
  5. Help existing businesses move forward with expansions and retrofits that will position them to grow and thrive.
  6. Attract investment in exciting downtown projects and businesses.
  7. Spur a great number of entrepreneurial startups.
  8. Attract commercial development to revitalize underutilized properties, commercial corridors, and the urban riverfront.
  9. Continue to expand our regional agri-processing, advanced manufacturing, tourism, healthcare, education, and back office industries.
  10. Strengthen our partnerships and develop new ones, and strengthen our entrepreneurial ecosystem.

MTN’s Shannon Newth talked with Doney about the list and specifically asked about a few of the development possibilities. She asked him about how Great Falls can grow in population and workforce, what kind of workforce training and programs and needed, and what’s being done to take advantage of Great Falls’ riverfront properties.

GFDA outlines 2022 plans