Our best strategy to sustainably grow Missoula is to cultivate priority sectors that complement our strengths and create high paying jobs. These industries are particularly successful in Missoula.
Successful Industries in Missoula
The Missoula Economic Partnership works to foster business diversity, sustainability, and job growth across all industries in the Missoula area. While we're here to help businesses in all industries grow and thrive in Missoula, we have identified several industries that demonstrate particular success in our community and benefit our community's human, environmental, and cultural assets and values. The industries highlighted below are primary targets for our recruitment efforts, and reflect extensive analysis of Missoula's sector-specific assets including available talent, geographical location, infrastructure, and other elements key to business success.
Creative Professional and Business Services
Creative Professional and Business Services is a broad category of businesses ranging from financial institutions to insurance agencies, architecture and engineering firms to legal services, film and video production to business support services. Missoula’s quality of life paired with access to quality broadband and fiber networks make Missoula attractive for talent in these fields and businesses alike. Missoula has a vibrant, thriving arts community as well as a well-established pipeline for talent suited to employment in these industries. UM’s College of Business, Media Arts program, Creative Writing program, and the Alexander Blewett III School of Law graduate students with business, marketing, creative, legal, and accounting skills that create and sustain this talent pipeline.
Bioscience is a rapidly growing industry in Missoula and across the state of Montana. Supported by the Montana Bioscience Cluster Initiative, a program comprised of stakeholders from the private sector, UM, MEP, Montana Bioscience Alliance, Montana World Trade Center, and MonTEC to enhance the bioscience ecosystem and workforce in the state, Missoula’s bioscience companies have seen recent successes and rapid expansion in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Montana’s tech industry is growing exponentially, and Missoula is one such hub of that growth. According to the Bureau of Business and Economic Research, the tech industry in Montana is growing nine times faster than other sectors. In Missoula, larger tech companies like Submittable, onXmaps, ClassPass, LumenAd and Cognizant-ATG collectively employ close to one thousand people, and plenty of smaller companies are showing rapid growth potential here as well.
Missoula’s manufacturing industry is strong and growing, thanks to access to a skilled workforce, apprenticeship programs, low utilities cost, and convenient access to rail, air, and trucking. The COVID-19 pandemic posed challenges to the industry here, but also provided opportunities for local manufacturers to pivot their businesses and meet demand.
Missoula’s natural beauty, outdoor recreation opportunities, and vibrant downtown scene create memorable experiences for visitors and residents alike. Restaurants, music venues, river guides and outfitters, retail, farmer’s markets, and other personal services provide amenities that enhance quality of life, play, and adventure. Businesses that contribute to the authentic Missoula experience are vital to its dynamism, and embody the heart and soul of our place of possibility.