April 30, 2008



Kim Gillan, Workforce Development Coordinator, 896-5878
Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — Montana State University Billings is assisting the governor’s office in a May workforce development conference that will address a myriad of issues related to the state’s vibrant and diverse economy.


The governor’s workforce conference titled “Meeting the Challenge: Montana’s Workforce on the Move,” will be held Wednesday and Thursday, May 21-22 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Downtown Billings. It will feature discussions on dealing with an intergenerational workforce; helping employers train new workers; developing partnerships between labor and education; and building Montana’s “green collar” workforce.


The cost is $35 for the two days and includes a Wednesday evening reception.


Kim Gillan, workforce development coordinator with the MSU Billings College of Professional Studies and Lifelong Learning, is helping with implementation of the conference.


The agenda for the conference is below:


Wednesday, May 21 -- Crowne Plaza Hotel

1:00-1:15 pm
1:15-2:00 pm
Governor Brian Schweitzer
2:00-3:00 pm

Opening Plenary
Wendy Samson -- "Culture Clash: Managing the Intergenerational Workplace"

3:00-3:15 pm
3:15-5:00 pm
Workshop Break-outs

An Economic Study of Montana’s Early Childhood Industry -- Building A Ready Workforce for Tomorrow
Moderator: Mike Halligan, Executive Director, Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation

New Partnerships in Apprenticeship: Labor – Education – Business
Moderator: Mark Maki, State Director of Apprenticeship, Montana Department of Labor and Industry

Helping Employers Train New Workers
Moderator: Andy Poole, Deputy Director, Montana Department of Commerce

Montana’s 21st Century Workforce
Moderator: Dore Schwinden, Deputy Commissioner Montana Department of Labor and Industry

5:30-7:00 pm
Sponsored Reception



Wednesday, May 21 -- Crowne Plaza Hotel

7:30-9:00 am
Policymakers' Breakfast
9:00-10:30 am

Connecting the Dots: Services through Montana’s DLI
Moderator: Keith Kelly, Commissioner, Montana Department of Labor and Industry

Bringing Montana Workers Home
Moderator: Chris Aageson, Governor’s Office of Economic Development

Linking Education and Industry: Assessing and Certifying Work Skills
Moderator: Tommy Thompson, Executive Director WIN

Montana’s Green Collar Workforce: What We’ve Started

Moderator: Hal Harper, Chief Policy Advisor, Governor’s Office

10:30-10:45 am
10:45-12:00 noon
Closing Plenary - Center for State Innovation: Growing Montana's Workforce
12:30-2:30 pm
Local Industry Educational Sites

For more information, see the registration and agenda form online or call Gillan at 896-5878.