Montana NextGen, a statewide project, is underway to complete an analysis of Montana’s economic and community development tools, programs, and funding mechanisms. This collaborative effort is being led by the Montana Economic Developers Association and the Montana Chamber Foundation. They have contracted with TIP Strategies, an economic strategy firm, to complete a comprehensive strategic plan. MEDA President and Exec Director of Big Sky Economic Development Steve Arveschoug explains.
“Let’s take a fresh look at what those community and economic development tools need to look like given how rapidly our economy is changing and how business does business,” Arveschoug said. “Things look so much different. We need to look at some of the emerging issues that our business and civic communities are facing across the state, both urban and rural, because things are so much different than they were 20 years ago.”
Arveschoug says an effort like this has not been conducted at the grassroots level for nearly 20 years.
“We thought now is the time, let’s get busy, do our homework, do this analysis, look at what is going on in Montana, what those tools are doing, and also look at best practices for a community in economic development, other