MISSOULA – The Montana High Tech Jobs Summit hosted by — and for — tech companies to encourage the development of the tech sector within Montana is underway.

The event at the University of Montana is being hosted by U.S. Sen. Steve Daines wrapped up on Monday in Missoula.

“We have some of the leaders in technology here in Missoula…from across the country. The president of Microsoft is with us [Monday]. We’ll talk about how do we take these learnings from these companies and apply them right here in Montana,” Sen. Daines said.

“We have a lot of Montanans sharing ideas with one another. We want to take these ideas and translate it into action. The action is creating more good-paying technology jobs that pay twice the state average,” Sen. Daines added.

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Representatives of both public and private companies met until 6 p.m. on Monday.

Speakers at a weekend reception included Se. Daines, Interim UM President Sheila Stearns, and Montana Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Webb Brown. Representative Greg Gianforte was also in attendance and stressed the importance of expanding tech sector in Montana.

“This sector complements our existing sectors in the economy. Its growing seven times faster than the rest of the state though. So this is an exciting new element of our economy,” Gianforte said.

MTN’s Lauren Heiser