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Sen. Jon Tester: Montana aerospace business, Kalispell's Sonju Industries lands jobs partnership with Raytheon Missile Systems

October 7, 2011View for printing

Partnership with Kalispell's Sonju Industries announced at Tester's ninth Small Business Opportunity Workshop

A Montana aerospace business has been awarded a lucrative jobs partnership with defense giant Raytheon Missile Systems, Senator Jon Tester announced today amid his ninth Small Business Opportunity Workshop in Butte.

Kalispell's Sonju Industries is part of a new "Mentor/Protege" contract awarded by the U.S. Navy. A member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Tester worked closely with the U.S. Navy to secure the partnership.

Sonju Industries will manufacture specialized parts for Raytheon , which builds missiles and other weapons systems for the U.S military.

Raytheon joined other contracting giants including Boeing, Northrop Grumman and Pratt and Whitney in addressing participants of today's Small Business Opportunity Workshop.

"This is a positive partnership that will result in growth and success--and more jobs for Montana," said Dick Sonju, president and CEO of Sonju Industries. "Senator Tester played a major role in getting this partnership off the ground, and we appreciate his hard work in fighting for and bringing to Montana jobs, opportunity and more dollars from the aerospace industry."

More than 100 Montanans attended today's Small Business Opportunity Workshop. Tester organized the event to "give tools and resources" to Montana's businesses to grow and create jobs.

Tester's workshop also featured small business officials and contracting experts from numerous state and federal government agencies.

"These workshops offer Montana small business owners and entrepreneurs the opportunity to talk directly to the companies and contractors looking to hire," said Tester, who addressed the event via video due to late-scheduled Senate votes. "The connections made between Montana businesses, private contractors, and key state and federal agencies are exactly why these workshops make a difference for Montana's small businesses."

Tester's workshop also included a presentation about opportunities available specifically to businesses owned by women and veterans and a discussion highlighting Montana business success stories.

Tester's Small Business Opportunity Workshop was broadcast live online. Video highlights will soon be available online at

More than 1,600 Montana companies and individuals attended Tester's eight previous small business workshops in Great Falls, Bozeman, Kalispell, Billings and Missoula. Tester's previous workshops have offered loan, contract and growth, opportunities. They have also specifically focused on business opportunities for veterans and women.
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