BUTTE — The Montana Connections industrial park is just southwest of Butte and easily overlooked from Interstate 15, but it could be key to the Mining City’s economic future as it continues to grow.
“We’ve seen the end result of that with new businesses popping up all the time and a tremendous amount of new interest in companies sitting there,” said Executive Director of the Butte Local Development Corporation Joe Willauer.
The 800-acre industrial park is home to large companies and small businesses such as Septic Net, which has been operating there for five years. The company, which builds special septic equipment, is housed in one of the pre-built garages. The owner said it’s a great location.
“The easy access to the interstate and the infrastructure that’s available here made it a pretty easy choice to come out here,” said Steve Anderson of Septic Net.
Economic officials report Butte is seeing more interest from big companies wanting to relocate in Montana. Butte’s industrial park is a good sell with its tax increment financing district. It’s a promising prospect if Butte can lure in more manufacturing companies that can produce higher-paying jobs.
“I mean, this is what separates Butte from a lot of other places, I think, this investment in this and I think we’re going to see a lot of growth in this area in the near future. I think if you don’t invest in manufacturing I think you’re missing the boat at this point,” said Anderson.
And the types of jobs that would be offered are usually higher pay and would fit the skill-set of the working class folks over in Butte.
“It’s high-skilled manufacturing labor for the most part and those tend to be better-paying jobs that have a bigger impact within town on, of course, the individual level for the employees that work there, but those dollars circulate throughout our community,” said Willauer.