Great Economic and Resource News from GFDA

The Great Falls MSA (Cascade County) reached record employment in 2022Q4 according to data released today by Chmura Economics’ JobsEQ. Employers added 1,217 jobs in the twelve months ending in December, a growth rate of 3.3%.

Our average annual wage increased by 9.6%, almost twice the national average of 5.0% over the twelve month period. Our average wage reached $51,568, equal to 74.9% of the national average. This is the highest we have ever reached compared to the national average. Not too many years ago when GFDA was created our average wage was 63% of the national average.

Total wages earned in the Great Falls MSA in the four quarters ending in 2022Q4 increased $233 million over the previous four quarters, a 10.54% increase.

Manufacturing employment grew by a healthy 5.9% over the 12-month period. Construction employment was up an outstanding 29.3%! Note to the Montana University System — we need to bring back a construction trades program in Great Falls!

We have a long way still to go to get our average wage to match our cost of living which is 87.4% of the national average, but we’re closing the gap!

We also have a long way to go to grow back Great Falls’ historic industrial job base. Manufacturing jobs have climbed from 2.0% of our overall jobs to 3.35%, but that pales in comparison to Billings with over 15%.

Now, more great news. Yesterday the CDFI Fund of the U.S. Treasury awarded GFDA a loan capital grant of $1,948,632 from its Equitable Recovery Program. We were one of only two awards in Montana. The Native American Development Corporation received $500,000.

We will put these funds to work to support the production of more housing to try to keep our region affordable.

I believe we won this grant based on our lending track record and the strong local investment made by GFDA Investors and the significant funds invested in our work by the City of Great Falls and Cascade County. THANK YOU!!!

Go Team Great Falls!!


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Our Mission

Grow diverse economic opportunities that enhance quality of life.

Great Falls Region Community Vision

The Great Falls Region will be a proud, positive, and vibrant community, which welcomes new people, new investments, and innovative opportunities while celebrating its authentic and diverse Montana culture. Our community will be a safe and inclusive place to raise families and will offer opportunities for individual growth and quality of life, which retains and grows our population.

GFDA Organizational Vision

Great Falls Development Authority will be a change agent, catalyst, and facilitator in the Great Falls region, fostering collaboration and partnerships to support diverse economic opportunities, innovation, and growth. Our economic development organization will be a high performing leader in attracting new investment and talent. Our work providing access to capital, consulting, training and resources for entrepreneurs, businesses, developers, and nonprofits will transform Great Falls and the surrounding 13-county trade area into a thriving regional economy that enhances the standard of living for our people.

GFDA is a certified Community Development Financial Institution and a 501(c)3 charitable organization. High Plains Financial is a certified Community Development Corporation that offers SBA 504 loans statewide. GFDA and High Plains Financial are Equal Opportunity Employers and Lenders.

GFDA is proud to host a Montana Small Business Development Center, a Montana Procurement Technical Assistance Center, and a Montana Food & Ag Development Center. We are also proud to provide office space for MSU’s Montana Manufacturing Extension Center and an SBA Women’s Business Center in partnership with the University of Montana and the Montana Native Growth Fund.

GFDA was the first economic development organization in the Rocky Mountain West to earn accreditation from the International Economic Development Council.

For more info, click to our website.

Great Falls Development Authority |
Great Falls Development Authority | 405 3rd St NW, Suite 203, Great Falls, MT 59404

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