Trust grants may add 200 jobs in Missoula County

Bret Anne Serbin

Companies seeking support from the Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund plan to create more than 200 jobs in Missoula County in the next two years.

Tech company Cognizant, DJ&A engineering firm and TOMIS software company have applied for this quarter’s award from the trust fund, which operates through the Montana Department of Commerce.

The program provides up to $5,000 for every job created that pays higher than the county average wage in support of clients or products based outside the state.

The idea, according to Nicole Rush with Missoula Economic Partnership, is to look beyond Montana’s borders to bring money back into the state.

The Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund was established in 2005 as a perpetual trust set aside by the Montana Legislature.

Missoula County acts as the go-between for the companies applying for the award, and Missoula Economic Partnership contracts with the city to manage the grants once they are awarded.

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Rush said this structure creates more certainty and familiarity for the state in distributing the awards.

“It’s an extra level of vetting,” she explained.

She said it’s common for the Department of Commerce

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