Gov. Gianforte seeks public comment on use of ARPA Economic and Workforce Funds across Montana

Submitted by Office of the Governor


Helena, MT—On Thursday, July 22, Governor Greg Gianforte announced the Economic Transformation and Stabilization and Workforce Development Advisory Commission seeks public comment on how to best use about $130 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds which the commission

“We’re focused on making long-term
investments that will help create sustainable, good-paying jobs and bring greater
opportunities to Montanans,” Gov. Gianforte said. “Hearing directly from Montanans
yields the best results for our communities, so I encourage folks to have their voices heard to help guide the commission’s decisions.”

The Economic Transformation and Stabilization and Workforce Development Advisory Commission is
focused on developing programs across four main areas: affordable housing, workforce development, value-added agricultural infrastructure, and business innovation.

Now through August 9, 2021, Montanans may submit their public comment here. More information on the programs may be found by visiting Econ-Workforce-AC-Categories-7-21-21.pdf (mt.gov).

At Thursday’s commission meeting, members received an update from the Department of Labor and
Industry (DLI) on the state’s return-to-work bonus program. The department reported they have received 3,600 applications for return-to-work bonuses.

“Some 3,600 Montanans have applied for return-to-work bonuses and already we’re seeing increased
participation in our labor force,” DLI Commissioner Esau said. “Yesterday’s commission meeting builds on
the progress already made in utilizing federal ARPA dollars to get more Montanans back to work and build
the foundation of a prosperous Montana economy for decades to come.”

The commission also received a status report from the Department of Commerce on the state’s Emergency Rental Assistance program. To date, the state has assisted over 2,000 Montana households struggling to pay rent due to the pandemic and has distributed over $11 million to renters and landlords. Financial assistance is still available and eligible individuals can apply online at housing.mt.gov.

FEC outreach assistance program seeking altruistic

 supporters to help in achieving 2021 outreach goals

Submitted by

Flathead Electric Cooperative

Flathead Electric Cooperative (FEC) is seeking those who would consider making a monetary
donation and/or making an
appointment to donate a pint of blood during their annual Pulse Project event, scheduled for
September 8 and 9. The Pulse
Project is designed to meet two basic needs in our community,
first by providing energy assistance for members in need, and second, by collecting donations for our two local blood
service organizations, the American Red Cross and Vitalant. The goal is to collect 100 pints of blood, making the Pulse Project one of the state’s largest community blood drives.

FEC members who receive Pulse Project funds are typically experiencing a temporary financial crisis and may not qualify for traditional low-income assistance. FEC does its best to help, but as a member-owned, not-for-profit Cooperative, their resources are limited. Since its inception in 2018, the Pulse Project has raised over $50,000 in energy assistance funding, helping hundreds of local families pay their bills through challenging times such as medical emergencies, job layoffs, and life-changing traumas. It became even more meaningful over the past year as the COVID-19 pandemic left many FEC members struggling to make ends meet.

In addition, the Pulse Project has collected a total of 360 pints of blood (which could save up to 1,080 lives) for our local blood service organizations.

One project goal is to attract brand new blood donors who will continue to make the life-saving choice to give blood. To-date, the Pulse Project has attracted 91 first-time blood donors.

To successfully meet the Pulse Project’s goals again this year, the Co-op will need the help of community individuals and businesses. Financial contributions will enable FEC to greater assist more members of our community, and those who sign up as a blood donor may even save a life.

For more information or to support the project, call 751-4483 or visit:

U.S. Air Force Veterans
Eternally Remembered

After years of work, in 2020 Senator Steve Daines’ bill to rename the site of a tragic crash that took the lives of four Air Force members in 1962 to

“B-47 Ridge,” and allow for the placement of a

memorial plaque at the site, was signed into law.

On Saturday, July 24, Daines unveiled the memorial plaque that will ensure the four Airmen who

tragically lost their lives when their B-57

crashed will be forever remembered:

Capt. Joseph “Bill” Faulconer,

1st Lt. Lloyd G. Sawyers,

1st Lt. David T. Sutton, and

1st Lt. Frederick J. Hixenbaugh.

Following the unveiling, Senator Daines presented signed copies of the bill that made this possible to each family who lost a loved one in the fatal crash.

Discounted Fair Carnival Tickets Now Available

A limited number of discounted “Pay-One-Price”
tickets for the carnival at the 2021 Northwest Montana
Fair & Rodeo are on sale now at all Whitefish Credit
Union branches, the fairgrounds office and the CHS
store in Kalispell.

Purchased in advance, tickets cost $25 each and can
be exchanged at carnival ticket booths for a wristband,
allowing one person unlimited rides on most attractions
for one day. The tickets can be used any one day of the
carnival from Aug. 18-22 and are the lowest-priced way to experience the rides. Fairgoers can purchase the tickets until 5 p.m. on Aug. 17 or while supplies last. Wristbands will be available at all carnival ticket booths during the fair for $35 each.

Fairgrounds Manager, Mark Campbell, said North Star Amusements has
stringent sanitization measures in place to protect the health of both guests and
workers. All rides and touchpoints will be sanitized between uses. Hand sanitizer will be available at the entry and exit of all rides and handwashing stations will be located throughout the carnival area and fairgrounds.

Admission onto the fairgrounds is a separate fee at the gate and costs $8 for adults and teens, $5 for seniors ages 65 and over, and $5 for children ages six to 12. Children ages five and under are admitted free of charge. Fairgoers can save money by purchasing admission tickets until Aug. 20 or while supplies last at any Whitefish Credit Union during normal banking hours. Advance admission tickets are $5 per person, regardless of age.

For more information visit www.nwmtfair.com.