Adopted as an initiative in 2018, the Missoula Chamber began the quest to help local business connect to workforce. After creating a task force and exploring the issue, the Chamber started an event called Pathways to Careers that ran for two years. This event introduced school counselors to businesses that needed workforce and had creative ideas on how to get kids interested in working in their industries. With the help of Montana Department of Labor and Industry, the effort was bolstered by the development of a statewide website called WorkForce Connections that could accomplish the goals of the event year-round by allowing businesses around the state to share their own unique opportunities with the future workforce.
Over the last few years, The WorkForce Connections website has continued to grow and adapted under the administration of The State of Montana and is now part of the Montana Registered Apprenticeship Program. Apprenticeship is the oldest known form of skills training. Visit the website for more information or to apply for an apprenticeship.
Workforce Connections Development History
Workforce Connections website is LIVE - February 2021, Workforce Connections Website released to Missoula County Public Schools Career and Technical Education teachers and school counselors - March 2021, Workforce Connections and incentivized career paths was featured as the topic of the Chamber's annual State of Missoula Address
Download the summary of labor trends for Montana and Missoula County where the decline of workforce has been analyzed and is demonstrated in graphs.
Informational Video About Workforce Connections Website
The Montana Department of Labor & Industry worked with the Chamber to create a website that allows businesses to post unique "earn & learn" opportunities to entice the next generation of workforce. Learn more about the website and how to get involved below!
Watch the speakers from the Workforce Connections Across Montana Event speak about the role the Missoula Chamber played in the site's development and launch
Watch the 2021 Employer Town Hall where Governor Greg Gianforte and MT DLI Commissioner Laurie Esau discuss the new Workforce Connections website.
The Beginning- Pathways To Careers
In 2019, the Chamber convened more than 90 school counselors and 25 businesses to talk about alternative pathways into careers. From apprenticeship to on-the-job and continuing education, there are many ways people enter today's workforce outside of the 2-and-4 year college system. The Missoula Area Chamber of Commerce is collaborating with the Montana Department of Labor & Industry to assist Montana businesses fill the gap in workforce. We are connecting these businesses to the future workforce.
Watch The 2020 Event
In The News
Desegregating work and learning through ‘earn-and-learn’ models