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Montana tech industry has more jobs than people who can work them


Montana’s high tech industry is booming. But experts worry that growth will slow if businesses can’t find the skilled employees they need.

Jason Dougal, president of the National Center on Education and the Economy, told state lawmakers Tuesday that while Montana’s tech industry has lots of job openings, there aren’t enough skilled workers to fill them.

“That’s both a scary proposition and a wonderful opportunity,” he says.

Dougal says tech industry growth is a great opportunity for schools to offer training on the skills needed, like coding. He talked with lawmakers who are studying the state’s changing economy and how policies can adapt.

According to the Bureau of Business and Economic Research, Montana’s tech industry is growing seven times faster than the statewide economy and industry wages are higher than most other jobs in the state.

Dougal says that if businesses can’t find the employees they need here, they’ll likely move elsewhere.

Copyright 2021 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.

Shaylee is a UM Journalism School student. She reports and helps produce Montana Evening News on MTPR.