The Sustainable Business Council Blog

Agencies offer incentives, financing and other help for employers
November 30, 2010, 10:20 PM
Filed under: Uncategorized

Agencies offer incentives, financing and other help for employers

A Business Boost, if You Know Where to Look

Casey Stratton, center, places small pieces of hard plastic into a large lathe while working at Precision Engineering in Kalispell. – Lido Vizzutti/Flathead Beacon

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Since launching in 1996, Precision Engineering has been doing a tidy business in Evergreen crafting parts used by Applied Materials, and before that, Semitool, among other firms.

“We’re basically a job shop that manufactures mechanical components,” Andy Upton, Precision’s quality manager and shop foreman, said. “Parts we build go together to build a larger component.”

Employing nine people at present, Precision Engineering is a good example of the type of “small business” politicians tend to refer to when arguing over tax policy and economic measures. Because it operates in such a specialized field, the company has highly specific needs.

“In this type of industry, we have a few complex pieces of equipment,” Upton said. Precision Engineering recently acquired a coordinate-measuring machine (CMM), which can precisely measure a part to ensure it matches the original design. But training on such a tool can be tough.

“Without that specific training, it’s such a complex piece of equipment, that we just didn’t have time to learn it ourselves,” Upton said.

That is, until Bill Nicholson, a field engineer with the Montana Manufacturing Center’s Kalispell extension office, informed the leadership at Precision they would likely qualify for the Incumbent Worker Training Program. Administered by the state Department of Labor, the program provides matching grants of $4 for every dollar put up by a business to pay for training that increases skills, productivity and wages – at up to $2,000 per full-time employee.

Incumbant worker grants

The Montana Manufacturing Center

Read More:
For more information on the programs available, contact Parson at 758-2802 or Jackson at 758-6252.


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