Kalispell Chamber Foundation

The Kalispell Chamber Foundation is the 501(c)(3) affiliate of the Kalispell Chamber. By leveraging charitable giving, the Foundation connects the best minds in Kalispell business with the most innovative thinkers to help solve important community challenges in the areas of community and economic development, economic research, and community leadership.

We believe everyone in Montana should have the right skills to fill the jobs of today and have the ability to adapt for the jobs of tomorrow. Please consider supporting the Kalispell Chamber Foundation as we set out to develop a solution for our area’s most pressing education and workforce needs, begining in 2020.

Donate to the Kalispell Chamber Foundation

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Education & Workforce Development

Begining in 2020, the Kalispell Chamber Foundation will be implementing a tranformational program to address the Flathead Valley’s education and workforce needs. Access to trained and skilled employees has been the top pain point for most area businesses for the last several years and an inhibitor to growth for many of our key industries. The Kalispell Chamber Foundation will deploy a talent pipeline managemnt program that will

  1. Identify required skills and abilities needed by current businesses in three priority industries
  2. Closely align business needs with school curriculum
  3. Expand potential learning opportunities for teachers and counselors to better understand available options for students
  4. Develop a clear pathway for students to understand and succeed in many of the rewarding careers available here in Northwest Montana

2020 PRIORITY INDUSTRIES

The initial phases of the Kalispell Chamber Foundation’s Talent Pipeline program will focus on three priority industries, which have been identified by their contribution to the Flathead County econonomy through recently increased wages, employment, and growth statistics. To review our review our research, take a look at our Flathead Valley Workforce: Economic Trends and Demographics report.

Manufacturing & Occupational Trades: Manufacturing payroll increased 147% and employment increased 102% between 2007 and 2017 in Flathead County
Biotechnology & Bioscience: Flathead County is in the top 5% of healthcare growth in the nation
Tourism & Hospitality: Nonresident tourism spending accounts for $503M annually in Flathead County

“By working with the Kalispell Chamber I have had access to employers and employer sites I otherwise might not have, which has helped me provide students with the opportunity to investigate potential careers to see if that’s they way they actually want to go,
– Mike Kelly, Flathead High School Career Counselor

“I attended one of the Kalispell Chamber programs promoting manufacturing, which led me to being interested in the industry and applying for a job at Nomad Global Communication Solutions. I’ve not been here for two years and am passionate about he products that are made here in Northwest Montana,”
– Anna Easley, Nomad GCS Solutions Sales Manager

Recent Foundation Successes

The Foundation serves as an organizing force and advocate for the development of a robust economy in Northwest Montana and Kalispell.

Ongoing: Manufacturing Trades Scholarships $3,000 annual commitment
In an effort to take on the workforce shortages being faced by the one of our largest industries, the Kalispell Chamber Foundation works with other area community organizations and businesses to provide $3,000 in scholarships to Flathead Valley Community College students enrolled in the Manufacturing Trades and Brewing Sciences programs.

2016: Economic Impact of Healthcare in Flathead County $25,000 commitment
The Foundation commissioned the Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research to assess the economic impact of the health care industry in Flathead County. Health care employs the most number of people and is the fastest growing industry in Flathead County with $1 billion of personal income attributed directly or indirectly to this sector. The report demonstrates the scope and caliber of the valley’s health care services and how they will impact our area in years to come.

2015: Kidsport Youth Athletic Complex
$100,000 commitment
Kidsports consists of 30 developed ball fields for soccer, baseball, football, softball, and other field sports. It has a $7.6 million annual economic impact for the Flathed Valley from the tournaments it holds and is a tremendous asset for area youth.

2014: Glacier Airline Enhancement and Retention Outreach (AERO) $25,000 commitment
The Foundation has provided funding for the expansion of commercial airline service to the Flathead Valley.  Together with the funding from the Kalispell Chamber, the Tourism Business Improvement District, and other cooperating partners, a fund of $250,000 has been formed for Minimum Revenue Guarantees resulting in new seasonal direct service to Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

2010: Workforce 2020 $25,000 commitment
Workforce 2020 was designed to build a competitive, promotable, and sustainable workforce by addressing the issues of recruiting, training, and retaining skilled workers in the Kalispell region. Outcomes included comprehensive research on the Flathead County workforce, and two day-long Workforce Learning Academies for 200 businesses.

Joe Unterreiner, President and CEO

Kalispell Chamber Foundation
15 Depot Park
Kalispell, Montana 59901
(406) 758-2804
[email protected]

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