Senator Steve Daines and Governor Greg Gianforte welcomed world and national economic leaders to Bozeman on Thursday for the ‘Montana on the Rise’ economic summit.

Daines kicked off the summit with a story of contrasts between the Montana of the 1970’s and today. In the 1970’s he said he met people who looked on him with pity for having to live in Montana. Not so today.

“Now when you sit on an airplane or you visit somebody in a coffee shop or you see somebody in a restaurant and they find out you’re from Montana, it's a very, very different response.,” said Senator Daines. “It's no longer the ‘I'm sorry, you're from Montana’ from the 70's. To the contrary they say, ‘I want to move there. I want to live there. We love vacationing there. You live in the greatest state.’ This is the shift that we have seen over the course of the last several decades, and it has been profound.”

Governor Greg Gianforte recalled his days running Right Now Technologies, when he realized it was much easier when it came to business to influence clients by bringing them to Montana.

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“We were paying our staff to fly all over the world to go see customers,” said Gianforte. “So we just flipped it on its head. It was the version ‘one dot o’ of the Red Carpet program. We said if we're going to pay to fly our people there, why can't we offer to fly them here? So we put together these one-day seminars and we made sure there was a float on the river and a big beef steak and as well as the technical conversations and the business discussions, and it totally changed our relationship with our clients.”

One of the panelists,  Bill Moseley, CEO, of GL Solutions stated that working from home in Montana is far more desirable than in a crowded urban setting.

“Many are refusing to go back to the office, because working at home is so much more productive and it's a better quality of life,” said Moseley. “And you know, I think in many respects, people here in Montana understood that. It doesn't mean you're working less hard and it doesn't mean that you're less productive. It actually just means you're more productive with your own time, which I think is important, especially if we want greater productivity out of people in this workforce.”

Another prominent guest,  Cristiano Amon, President and CEO of Qualcomm Incorporated, had advice for Senator Daines on Montana’s educational system.

“Number one, to incentivize STEM education,” said Amon. “That's very important. I think, even starting from K to 12. We have to incentivize stem and education. But I also want to think about semiconductors. If you want to bring semiconductor manufacturing to the United States, you need to build an ecosystem around it. You need the labor force, you need different suppliers that will form so that's also a very important topic.”

Click here to find out more about the Montana on the Rise Economic Summit.

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