Economic outlook seminar planned Feb. 6 in Kalispell

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The Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of Montana is bringing its 43rd annual economic outlook presentation to Kalispell on Feb. 6.

This year’s keynote address, “The Future of Higher Education in Montana,” will be presented by Montana University System Regent Vice Chairman and Glacier Bank Market President Robert “Bob” Nystuen. He will discuss the five primary challenges impacting higher education in Montana – enrollment, funding, student completion, student debt and traditional mindsets.

“For 125 years Montanans have chosen to invest in accessible and affordable high-quality education that allowed generations of students to find jobs, make sizable economic, social and cultural contributions and create the one-of-a-kind fabric of our state,” Nystuen said in a press release. “But the public’s perspectives on the value of education – most notably higher education – have certainly become more varied and not necessarily in a good way.”

Also in the program, Bureau Director Patrick Barkey will discuss some of the issues with the state’s budget and provide insight into why lagging revenue collections required a recent special legislative session last November.

“The popular perception that the state’s economy is strong and thriving will be discussed during the program,” Barkey said. “What is the role of higher education in the state’s economy? Does Montana have a housing affordability problem? Where is the growth coming from in Montana? These and other questions concerning all Montanans will be addressed throughout the program.”

The seminar also will present the United States, Montana and local area economic outlooks, as well as outlooks for other important economic sectors, such as real estate/housing, health care, manufacturing, energy, tourism and the wood-products industry. The programs also will feature a local expert reporting on the local economy.

Registration costs $90, which includes the “Montana Economic Report 2018,” a book of the black-and-white PowerPoint presentations, lunch and a one-year subscription to Montana Business Quarterly, the Bureau’s business journal. Continuing education credits are available. Groups of five or more can receive a discount by registering online at http://www.economicoutlookseminar.com.

The seminars run from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn in Kalispell.

For more information or to register, visit http://www.economicoutlookseminar.com or call 406-243-5113.

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