BOZEMAN, Mont.- Since 2011, Gallatin County’s Workforce has increased by almost 5 percent, quite a bit higher than the state’s 1 percent.
Montana State Univerity, Gallatin College, the city of Bozeman, Bozeman Chamber of Commerce and the Montana Department of Labor came together to study the workforce needs within Bozeman and Gallatin County.
In the report, detailed from 2012-2017, the top industries for growth were retail, food service, construction and healthcare.
“What makes them unique though is how fast they are growing,” said Economist Emily Klungtvedt. “The construction industry at an annual rate of 10.3 percent compared to 3.7 percent in Montana.”
With the growth in the valley, there are a lot of jobs still needing to be filled, especially for trades that don’t require a Bachelors Degree.
“I wanted to touch on this tonight because we address workforce training needs if we don’t know where the jobs are being added,” said Klungtvedt.
The labor report stated there is an expected need to fill about 150 bookkeepers, 100 truck drivers, and more than 70 auto mechanics by 2027.
Gallatin College Dean Stephanie Gray said the plan is to add more programs to help fill these jobs.
“So we are going to sit down with the chamber and they are going to help us organize industry groups,” said Gray. “We are going to start meeting around these occupations and what those groups will do is help us really figure out what skill sets need to be in those occupations.”
Gray said some position can be added quite easily by just introducing a couple of classes but others, like auto mechanics, will require finding space for training.
Reporting by Mederios Babb for MTN News