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Friday Five: October 5, 2018

Check out these five stories from across Montana that highlight entrepreneurship, the high tech sector, and everything else that makes Montana great!

S’mores at Triple Creek Ranch in Darby

1. Downtown Digs: ClassPass to Occupy First Interstate Building, Grow to 175 Employees

One of Missoula’s newest high tech companies to roll into town is ClassPass.

Earlier this week, ClassPass announced its move into the First Interstate Bank building next year. ClassPass selected Missoula last year for its third North American office after vetting 900 U.S. cities in 25 states. The local office opened in January. What began as a plan to hire 50 employees has since grown to 100 with a plan to expand to 175 employees.

“Here we are, less than a year later with over 100 employees in town, and it’s exceeding our expectations,” said Bryan Mitchell, head of talent acquisition at ClassPass in a Missoula Current story. “It wasn’t just about getting us here. It’s the continued support [Gov. Steve Bullock] has given us once we were here.”

Click here to read more about ClassPass.

2. UM Computer Science Tech Camp Introduces Montana High School Students to Possibilities of CS Degree, Campus Life

For three days in July, the University of Montana Computer Science Department hosted 45 students from across the state for an overnight Tech Camp in Missoula.

This was the first overnight camp of its kind at UM, according to the Montana High Tech Business Alliance article. The camp brought students from Box Elder, Whitefish, Kalispell, and Helena to experience campus life and to get exposure to the computer science degree. Students chose between three different education tracks which included mobile app and game development, web design, and hardware.

“It’s one of the most satisfying careers, and you have a chance to make a lot of money in this field,” said Trish Duce, a computer science professor in the article. “There so many different ways you can connect it to whatever you’re passionate about.”

Click here to read more.

3. Public Gets a Peek at Billings Airport’s Expansion Plan

As Montana continues to grow, so does its airport infrastructure.

[perfectpullquote align=”right” bordertop=”false” cite=”Bryan Mitchell, Head of Talent Acquisition, ClassPass” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Here we are, less than a year later with over 100 employees in town, and it’s exceeding our expectations.[/perfectpullquote]

This week, Billings Logan International Airport revealed plans for its $40 million dollar expansion project. The updates include increasing the number of gates, concessions, restrooms, and overall square acreage of the facility. Construction could begin by July 2019. Floor plans show that additions will be made along the northern end of the airport’s current structure.

Click here to read more.

4. Rankin Looms Large in Downtown Mural

Jeanette Rankin accomplished a lot of great things during her lifetime. She was the first woman in Congress and a woman’s rights activist. Now, a portrait of her with a quote adorns the side of the Kalispell Brewing building.

On Sept. 25, work began on the mural with a special type of masonry paint. The work took about a week to complete and was aided by a projector on the wall with the mural’s computer m9ock-up created by Heck. For the mural, Heck and Kalispell Brewing co-owner Maggie Doherty, decided to portray her as an older woman to honor her tenacity to avoid the ageism that seems to favor women at a younger age, according to a story in the Daily Interlake.

Click here to read more and see photos.

5. Five Ways to Enjoy Autumn in Northwest Montana

Are you planning a trip to northwest Montana but don’t know where to start? Check out this list of suggestions from the Flathead Beacon that include traveling the Going-to-the-Sun Road or taking a hike.

Click here to read the full list. What would you add to the list?

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