We believe that one of the most effective ways for GFDA to achieve its mission is to work in partnership with other local and regional organizations and agencies to tackle longstanding challenges and pursue new opportunities. Everything we do involves partnerships, whether it involves a small business client and her bank or credit union, or a local developer and a commercial real estate broker.
Some pursuits require more formal partnerships. We have helped create and support several of these key community partnerships:
Montana Defense Alliance
The Montana Defense Alliance works to sustain and enhance existing military missions and pursue future missions. As home to Malmstrom Air Force Base and the Montana Air National Guard, defense missions are an important part of the Great Falls regional economy. GFDA helped form the Alliance and continues to be a key partner and financial supporter. Key partners also include Cascade County, the City of Great Falls, Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Great Falls International Airport. Visit MontanaDefenseAlliance.org.
Downtown Development Partnership of Great Falls
The Downtown Development Partnership works to revitalize and promote downtown Great Falls. It has earned designation as a fully accredited National Main Street program. Partners work together to implement the Downtown Master Plan. GFDA helped form the partnership and continues to be a key partner and financial supporter. Key partners also include the Great Falls Business Improvement District, City of Great Falls, NeighborWorks Great Falls, Downtown Great Falls Association, Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, Great Falls Public Schools, Neighborhood Council 7, and Cascade County. Visit ExploreDowntownGF.com.
Great Falls Montana Tourism
Great Falls Tourism works to promote the community and surrounding region to visitors to grow our tourism industry, develop Great Falls as a destination, and advocate for tourism businesses. It is a partnership of the Great Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Tourism Business Improvement District with support from GFDA and the Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce. Great Falls Tourism works in partnership with Central Montana Tourism and statewide tourism efforts. Visit VisitGreatFallsMontana.org.
Kids Education Yes
Kids Education Yes (KEY) advocate for public school funding in Great Falls by educating the community about the positive impact of high-quality education. It is formed as a community led non-partisan Political Action Committee (PAC). GFDA is proud to be an active supporter and financial contributor to KEY. Visit KidsEducationYes.com.
Great Falls Air Flight Initiative
The Air Initiative works to retain and pursue new commercial airline flights to Great Falls International Airport (GTF) to expand air service and lower average flight cost. The Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce leads this effort, working in coordination with GTF. GFDA helps to financially supports the effort. Visit GreatFallsChamber.org/low-cost-airfare-initiative/.
Montana Economic Opportunity Workgroup
The Montana Economic Opportunity Workgroup (MEOW) is our newest partnership that we created in 2019 to improve the Golden Triangle’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. MEOW brings together a wide array of public, private and non-profit leaders who provide a variety of entrepreneur and business support services in the region.
Some of our early partnerships achieved their objectives and no longer meet on a regular basis.
Great Falls AgriTech Park Task Force
We created the task force to take on the challenge of creating a rail-served heavy industrial park to provide lots for existing companies, startups and businesses expanding into the region. The Task force met intensively for three years to find a location and put together the development plan and resources to create what today is the Great Falls AgriTech Park. Key partners included BNSF, Cascade County, the City of Great Falls, Energy West, Northwestern Energy, and many local business and community leaders.
North Industrial Area Task Force
We created this task force to improve road access and infrastructure for the north industrial area north of Black Eagle. The task force was successful in putting together plans and securing resources to make infrastructure improvements. The North Industrial Area is now home to such leading companies as Loenbro, MaltEurop, ADF and Cargill. Key partners included Cascade County, the City of Great Falls, Montana Department of Transportation, property owners in the area, and local business and community leaders.