Springtime Greetings from Montana

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Happy Spring!

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A true story! 

Mr. Kingsley Burnett accidentally flew to Sidney, Montana instead of Sydney, Australia as reported by the DailyMail.com. Sidney, Montana is known as Montana’s Sunrise CityBack in 2021, the Sidney Young Professionals produced a video showcasing some of the neat features of their town. You can watch that video here.

Ken Wooley

Meet a Montanan:

I grew up in Chester, Montana where I started working summers on local farms at a young age. As I got into high school, I worked in the local service station making small repairs and pumping fuel. Working under the station’s master mechanic gave me a passion for learning and improving how machinery works. I built on this knowledge when I attended Montana Tech where I studied engineering and played football for the legendary coach Bob Green.

Upon graduation, I worked for an Architectural/Mechanical firm in Pocatello, Idaho where I designed mechanical systems in food processing and minerals processing plants. I left this firm in when I joined Rio Tinto’s maintenance team at the Cordero Mine in the Gillette, Wyoming. Still with Rio Tinto, I earned my first General Manager role in 2002 when I assumed leadership of the Spring Creek Mine in Montana.

After a quick couple years I moved back to Gillette and assumed leadership of Rio Tinto’s five maintenance departments in their Kennecott Energy mines. After a few more years, I transitioned from surface coal mines to underground hardrock mines. I transferred to Rio Tinto’s Greens Creek Mine in Alaska and then to their Eagle Mine in Michigan. Wanting to get closer to Montana, I left Rio Tinto after nearly 17 years and moved back to the Gillette area with Peabody’s North Antelope Rochelle Mine. I worked another decade with them before I finally got another chance to return to Montana. I was excited to be selected to lead Westmoreland’s Rosebud Mine in Colstrip when the GM role came open two years ago. 

Over my career, I’ve been part of mining just over 1.9 billion tons of coal. While at Peabody, NARM produced fuel that powered nearly 7 percent of the country. What I’m most proud of, however, is the safety and environmental performance of the teams that I’ve been part of. The mining industry is full of employees obsessed with doing the right thing. In an industry that is regulated more than most, the teams I’ve been part of have always gone well beyond what is required. 

Outside of mining, I enjoy spending time with family, fishing and hunting. While I enjoyed the places that my career has taken me, I’m am very grateful to be back in Montana.

Ken Wooley, Sr. General Manager
Westmoreland Rosebud Mining, LLC.
Colstrip, MT

TDS Missoula Ribbon Cutting

Expanded to Montana - High Speed Success Story with TDS Telecom:

TDS Telecom (TDS®) provides innovative voice, internet, entertainment services and leading-edge business technology for customers in hundreds of rural and suburban communities nationwide.

“We love Montana – it’s open for business and has great people who make even greater TDS associates,” Petersen said, explaining why TDS chose to expand its fiber network to Montana. “Frankly, you have similar values that we do – work hard and work as a team – we also value integrity, good schools and strong communities.”

Representing a $160 million investment by TDS, the deployment of the fiber network will create more than 70 Montana jobs.


Introducing the Mountains and Plains University Innovation Alliance

“Along with my colleagues in Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming, I’m thrilled to announce the formation of this partnership among so many incredible institutions,” said Montana Commissioner of Higher Education, Clayton Christian. “Each institution brings its own strengths and capabilities, including incredible research talent and expertise. By working together and leveraging shared knowledge, I strongly believe we can expand our high-tech industry and economic growth for our states as well as the region.” 

This new alliance represents incredible opportunities for future workforce recruitment from a six-figure student population. Site selectors and companies planning future expansions may have first mover advantage if they act fast enough tapping into this newly established alliance.

Japan Trade Office:

Did you know we have an office in Japan? 

The Japan Trade Office is located in Kumamoto, which is Montana’s sister state, promotes investment, trade, tourism, education, and cultural exchange activities between two sister states by exhibiting trade shows, conducting seminars, managing and maintaining website, producing publications and providing visitor supports. Our Japan Trade Office is managed by Ms. Mako Sakaguchi. Her e-Mail address is mako.sakaguchi@mt.gov and the website is www.bigskyjapan.com.

Montana Fast Facts:

  • Montana Senate Bill 124 signed by Governor Gianforte transitions Montana to adopt a single-sales factor apportionment model.
  • A historic tax package was passed which includes raising the business equipment tax exemption to $1 million and paying off all general obligation debt to make Montana debt-free in 2023.
  • According to a study by World Population Review, Montana has the highest high school graduation rate of 94.0 percent in 2023. 

Upcoming Events 

SelectUSA Investment Summit
National Harbor, MD | May 1-4, 2023

Meet the Consultants Summit
Atlanta, GA | May 8-9, 2023

Choose Montana Special Event
San Diego, CA  | May 18, 2023

34th Annual Governor’s Cup Golf Tournament
Kalispell, MT | July 27-29, 2023

Las Vegas, NV | January 23-26, 2024

Contact us

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Frederick Van Den Abbeel 



Jaimie Charon


Jaimie Charon



Cameron Johnson

Cameron Johnson