Many of Butte’s largest or most prominent employers have started meeting on a regular basis again to support economic development efforts in Silver Bow County.
The Major Employers Group adopted a resolution earlier this month supporting a proposed gold mine in the Highlands. Montana Resources, NorthWestern Energy, St. James Healthcare and public entities such as Butte-Silver Bow, the Butte School District and Butte Central Schools are among those who signed it.
Eighteen employers or organizations, including the Butte Local Development Corp. and the Montana Economic Revitalization & Development Institute, or MERDI, signed the resolution.
The group met for the first time in years in December and plans to meet again on Feb. 4, with monthly meetings after that to be hosted by a different employer.
“We don’t want to interfere with any existing groups, we want to support them and support the city with some of its issues” said Don Peoples, who served as Butte-Silver Bow’s chief executive from 1978 to 1987 and is on MERDI’s board of directors.
It is an informal group with no formal structure, no bylaws and no plans to adopt any, he said. Its primary purpose is one of support, not to throw any weight around, Peoples said.
“That is the last thing we want to do,” he said. “It’s in everybody’s best interest to expand the workforce and expand the tax base.”