Flathead County’s history is rich with manufacturing success, and it’s future may be even brighter.
For decades, the Columbia Falls aluminum plant provided the best paying jobs in the valley, and our timber industry has been a cornerstone of the local economy for over 100 years. Today, we have seen many new industries choose the Flathead for their operations, resulting in high tech jobs such as those at Applied Materials, niche industries such as Nomad Global Communications, and the regional hubs that have developed around firearms and alcoholic beverages.
So it is no wonder that the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce has focused so much of its attention on spreading the good news about local manufacturing to the rest of the world and to our own workforce. The chamber proudly touts the fact that manufacturing is the fasting growing industry in the valley, with more than 500 manufacturers turning out some kind of product here. Manufacturing, of course, is also still the source of some of the highest paying jobs around.
You can learn more about local manufacturing first-hand by taking part in the chamber’s annual Flathead Manufacturing Month. What started out as a local celebration of Manufacturing Day a few years ago has now grown into a weeks-long series of events. We encourage our readers to take part in the many tours of local manufacturers that will be happening during the first week of October. Visit this website to register for any of 19 tours, https://kalispellchamber.com/programs/flathead-manufacturing-month, or to check out the other activities scheduled over the next six weeks.
One of the tours you can sign up for is held right here at the Daily Inter Lake. Yep, printing is also a type of manufacturing, and we are pretty sure that we are the oldest continuous manufacturer in the Flathead Valley, having gotten started in 1889!
We turn tons of newsprint into your daily newspaper every week and we are happy to share our story with you during the tour here on Wednesday, Oct. 3. Just remember to sign up at the chamber’s website.