Nicknamed “Big Sky Country,” Montana is a colorful, scenic state with numerous mountain ranges, prairie terrain and badlands. Millions of tourists visit sites like Glacier National Park, Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument and Yellowstone National Park, and strong economic sectors in Montana include agriculture, government services, healthcare, lumber, mining and ranching.
Here is some background on eight of the state’s largest employers:
1. University of Montana
Go Grizzlies! The University of Montana was founded in 1893 and ranks fifth in the nation among public universities for producing Rhodes Scholars. The scenic campus in Missoula makes an effort to combine academic quality and outdoor recreation for its students, and today there are 13,000 students and an academic staff of 580.
The nation’s second-largest grocery company (behind Kroger) is Albertsons, with more than 2,200 stores nationwide. There are 29 stores in Montana, including six in Billings, four in Missoula, two in Helena and two in Great Falls, and all Albertsons stores are known for excellent fresh baked goods and their delicatessens.
3. Billings Clinic
As Montana’s largest healthcare organization, Billings Clinic serves a vast amount of the state as well as northern Wyoming and the western Dakotas. The system is led by Billings Clinic Hospital, which has 304 beds, a 20-suite Family Birth Center, a Level II trauma center and a 15-bed transitional care unit.
4. Aageson Farm
A family farming operation, Aageson Farm is based in Gildford and devotes about half its acreage to grain crops, and the other half to beef cattle. Crops grown at Aageson include corn, grain sorghum, small grains and soybeans, and about 3,000 employees work at the large operation.
5. Bozeman Health
Covering a service area throughout southwestern Montana is Bozeman Health, which has 2,000 employees who work at facilities such as two hospitals, several specialty treatment clinics, outpatient treatment centers and assisted living communities. The system's two hospitals are Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital and Bozeman Health Big Sky Medical Center.
6. Glacier Bancorp
With assets of more than $9 billion, Glacier Bancorp is headquartered in Kalispell and serves 88 communities in Montana as well as Colorado, Idaho, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. There are 134 banking offices that cater to individuals, small to medium-sized businesses, community organizations and public entities.
7. Kalispell Regional Medical Center
Known for its cancer program that is accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, Kalispell Regional Medical Center in northwestern Montana also features a top Neuroscience and Spine Institute and an award-winning Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Kalispell Regional has 3,400 employees and 400 surgeons covering 100 departments.
8. Community Medical Center
Headquartered in Missoula, Community Medical Center was established in 1922 and is licensed for 151 beds. Community Medical’s obstetrics and infant care program is one of the largest in Montana, complete with a new $17 million Women’s and Newborn Center, and the hospital also offers several care initiatives for the elderly.