GlaxoSmithKline – Hamilton, Montana
GSK Vaccines Hamilton Announces Big Sky Economic Development Grant
Hamilton, MT: In July of 2011 the City of Hamilton received a $240,000 grant from the Big Sky Economic Trust Fund (BSTF) Program to assist GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) with the purchase of equipment. Receipt of the award was contingent upon hiring of up to 32 employees through July 2013. To date GlaxoSmithKline has created 26 new jobs that are scientifically based positions working primarily in the manufacturing center of the Hamilton facility.
The BSTF program is a Montana Department of Commerce funded program designed to aid in the development of good paying jobs for Montana residents to promote long-term stable economic growth in Montana. In order to qualify as a recipient of BSTF financial assistance, businesses must create net new eligible jobs that pay at least the average county wage. The new hires that will take place at GSK Vaccines are a welcome boost in job growth for Ravalli County. When the award was made to GSK unemployment hovered near 10% and today is still at 8%.
The grant funds will flow through the City of Hamilton. The City worked with the grant writing team of Ravalli County Economic Development Authority (RCEDA) and GSK to meet the requirements of the application.
City of Hamilton, Mayor Jerry Steele said Hamilton, Montana gives businesses and residents the benefit of living in a small town and with some amenities that one might expect to find in a larger community. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, has played an important role for some positive changes in our community. GSK is an anchor company for Hamilton that provides a stable source of good paying jobs with great benefits. Their highly educated workforce is engaged in social and civic opportunities helping to support the Performing Arts Center and other non-profit activities. Along with the Rocky Mountain Laboratories, NIH’s state-of-the-art biomedical research facility in Hamilton, and GSK, our small town has a unique place in the high-tech world as well as offering a superior quality of life. We are proud to have GSK in Hamilton and we very much appreciate the Montana Department of Commerce programs that have enabled the Town to provide support to GSK for infrastructure, equipment, and workforce training.
GSK expect to fill the remaining positions by July of 2013. All new job openings will be posted on the GSK web site. Interested job seekers can apply on-line at http://us.gsk.com/html/career/jobsearch.html. Search for all jobs listed under “Montana” under the “State/Region” drop down menu. Wages and benefits at the Hamilton site are well above those required for acceptance for this type of grant.
GSK’s Hamilton facility produces a key component used in GSK vaccines to prevent cervical cancer, hepatitis B, and several clinical vaccines including malaria, shingles, lung cancer and melanoma.
The Montana Department of Commerce as well as the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration has a long history of supporting one of Montana’s top pharmaceutical companies. Retaining GSK Vaccines, an employer of over 200 people in Montana, continues to be a collaboration of state, federal, local government and this community.
GlaxoSmithKline – one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies – is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For further information please visit www.gsk.com.
Montana CiderWorks – Darby, Montana
Montana CiderWorks North Fork cider received a Gold medal at the 2013 Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition. The blend includes hard-to-find traditional cider apples & crab apples alongside Bitterroot Valley apples.
Montana CiderWorks (MtCW) is an agricultural producer and manufacturer of mildly alcoholic cider, owned and operated by Lee McAlpine. The orchard and production facility are located on the McAlpine’s 42 acre property between the towns of Darby and Conner, Montana and have been in continuous operation since 2007. MtCW is the only commercial hard cider producer in Montana and maintains the only English/American cider-apple orchard in Montana.
RCEDA received a 2012 USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant to provide technical assistance to Montana CiderWorks.
Bella Valle – Hamilton, Montana
Laura and Hal Reichart started Bella Valle Italian Restaurant last year and though they had a thriving business, they needed a little more capital to properly cash flow the business. When they ran into a technical credit snag, they came to RCEDA and we were able to work out the issue and make the loan through the RCEDA’s, USDA Revolving Loan fund.
RCEDA’s revolving loan fund provides gap financing, the difference between what a business can borrow from a lending institution and what they need to effectively run their business. This particular loan fund, critical to small business loans in Ravalli County, was established with funds from Ravalli County, RCEDA, the USDA, and the Montana Board of Investments and requires the participation of a local lending institution.
Here is what Bella Valle’s owner Laura Reichart had to say.
We sought assistance through RCEDA for the purchase of restaurant equipment and for extra working capital. With RCEDA’s help we were able to lower our monthly payments that we had been currently making towards the equipment and also provide us with a cushion of working capital. Both of these items were a tremendous help for our business, especially being in our first year. The money we were able to save provided us with much needed “breathing room” and the ability to further build our client base through marketing and promotion we would have other wise not had the financial ability to do. We are extremely grateful to RCEDA and all of their hard work to make this happen for us, and they were there for us in a time when the traditional bank loans were not.”
GrainMaker – Stevensville, Montana
Wild West Machine received a USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) to assist with marketing and technology for GrainMaker. The USDA investment was matched by the company. Wild West Machine has a B2B relationship with Bitterroot Tool & Machine (BTM). Wild West Machine’s “GrainMaker” is one of the products manufactured by BTM that provides jobs for 20 employees. The company is located within the North Stevensville Tax Increment Finance District. Owners Bonnie and Randy Jones Come recently set up a new show room.
The latest success story announced by the company is that Williams Sonoma is now carrying the GrainMaker.
Bitterroot Tool & Machine – Stevensville,MT
Bitterroot Tool & Machine (BTM) LLC, located in Stevensville was founded on the basis of providing quality machine tools and parts for select industries. BTM continues to operate under a mission where the emphasis is on high quality, superior performance and outstanding customer service. They manufacture quality machine tools and parts for select industries one of which is a company that sells to impressive multi-national customers, parts produced in Stevensville, Montana.
BTM has also partnered with Wildfibre, an advanced technology company located in Hamilton, to produce bone shaped-fibers used to strengthen concrete. This breakthrough technology puts BTM and Wildfibre in a strong position to take advantage of the US government priority of $1.6 trillion in comprehensive infrastructure improvements in the next 5 years.
Bitterroot Tool & Machine became one of only 25 companies in the state of Montana to receive their ISO 9001 Certification. A USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant written by RCEDA provided $33,000 in matching funds that was used for technical assistance for the company to contract with the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center.
Visit the Bitterroot Tool & Machine web site for further information on this Montana company.
Retaining Montana Rail Link service in the Bitterroot
Dan Huls runs the largest dairy, Huls Dairy, in the Bitterroot Valley on his family farm started by his father and grandfather in 1951. He and his crews milk 350 cows in a high tech operation that is powered by electricity generated by burning methane from the operation’s supply of manure. In addition to producing milk, the methane digester also produces high value compost that Huls is marketing under the name “Afterburner”. Consumer response has been enthusiastic.
“The Ravalli County Economic Development Authority played a pivotal role in the Huls dairy methane digester project. Without the assistance we received from the Ravalli County Economic Development Authority the project surely would have been delayed and may not have gotten started at all.” Dan Huls
The Belgian pharmaceutical giant GSK Biologicals recently completed a $137 million, 130 thousand sq. foot expansion of its Hamilton adjuvant manufacturing facility. GSK acquired the facility, formerly Ribi Immunochem and then Corixa, to capitalize on its history of pioneering work on the MPL adjuvant that greatly increases vaccine effectiveness. The facility employs 290 people with a base salary of $40,000 and plans further expansions. RCEDA provided assistance with a Community Development Block Grant for hiring and training purposes. RCEDA previously submitted successful application for infrastructure (sewer) in the amount of $2 million dollars that enabled and Corixa to remain in the Bitterroot Valley.
Sleeping Child Farm
Sleeping Child Farm (SCF) is a restaurant, bed & breakfast, and farm stand owned and operated by Darla Coleman. Located in the Sleeping Child valley near Hamilton, SCF grows sustainable vegetables, berries, and flowers for use at its on-site restaurant, and for sale at its farm stand and local farmers markets.
Naturally grown produce in an aesthetic setting provides an engaging and educational venue for local residents and tourists visiting the Farm Table Café and Farm Stand. This business model takes advantage of the growing interest in agri-tourism, such as the “farm-to-table restaurant”. The Farm Table Cafe is the first of its kind in Ravalli County.
RCEDA for authored a successful USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant for with a water and sewer project necessary to meet the expected customer volume in the spring of 2009. SFC had its successful Grand Opening in May of the same year.
Catalyst Physical Therapy
Owner Rebekah Stamp has 10 years experience in orthopedic physical therapy and musculoskeletal disorder evaluation and treatment. She started Catalyst Physical Therapy in 2006. Rebekah was in need of funding assistance to obtain training in Musculoskeletal Disorder prevention, Ergonomics Certification and work risk analysis. With this training she could expand her business into the area of work-injury prevention and consulting to reduce the risk of workers compensation claims for area employers.
RCEDA was able to secure $9,300 in matching funds from USDA Rural Development for her to obtain this training. She is now successfully providing pre-screening and injury risk prevention consulting to a number of area businesses, diversifying her business and providing added staff.
BVS Inc. (BVS)
BVS Inc. (BVS) located in Florence, Montana is to pursuing a proven, multi-phase approach to commercializing a control method for the Mountain Pine Bark Beetle and the Southern Pine Bark Beetle. The U.S. Forest Service is the primary customer for this product. BVS Inc. has secured, through a tech-transfer, a unique technology that has positioned BVS, Inc as the only company that can do the testing with the agent and meet the Forest Health Protection (FHP) requirements. BVS Inc. is the only company that the US Army has licensed and established a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to use the Integrated Virus Detection System (IVDS) that is integral to this testing.
Funds are being used to contract with the US Army, Edgewood Biological Chemical Center, to validate a representative sub-set of product in order to receive certification from Forest Health Protection for application of this product. The prototype biological control to be validated is manufactured by a Florence, MT company that makes a product to kill beetles. This validation is necessary for FHP, The U.S. Forest Service and private forest entities to consider a new technology to mitigate bark beetle damage. A USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant submitted by RCEDA that provided $30,000 as well as a loan from the RCEDA Microloan Fund were used to assist this project.
Mountain Spirit Inn
The Mountain Spirit Inn is located in the town of Darby, Montana, situated in the scenic Bitterroot Valley in Western Montana. RCEDA provided technical assistance in the form of business plan development, assistance with financials preparation for loan write up which resulted in obtaining a loan from the RCEDA USDA/MBOI IRP in partnership with a local lender.
Ravalli Entrepreneurship Center
RCEDA began this project with a business plan funded by the Big Sky Trust Fund and the CDBG-ED Planning Grant. The business plan for the Ravalli Entrepreneurship Center, a 10,000 square foot business incubator and training facility was funded in part by the Economic Development Administration in June of 2008 with a $1.6 million dollar grant. The additional $1.8 million dollars was made up of a $200,000 CDBG-ED, and local match.
The Ravalli County Economic Development Authority (RCEDA) had its Grand Opening of the Ravalli Entrepreneurship Center (REC) on January 21st, 2010. The RCEDA with its anchor tenant the Bitterroot Jobs Service along with the Bitterroot College have been sharing the facility since their move in date on November 13, 2009. The REC has become a one-stop business services facility for technical assistance, financing, and work force needs, training and development.
Call the RCEDA Office at 406.375.9416 or email RCEDA General Information