Three Montana Businesses Selected for the 2022 MSEC Employers of Choice Award

  • — June 03 2022

MONTANA- The Montana Department of Labor & Industry announced today that two Montana businesses in Flathead County and one in Missoula County are the winners of the 2022 Montana State Employers’ Council Employers of Choice Award. The award is given each year to employers that demonstrate exceptional dedication to attracting and retaining workers. Bigfork SLITERS Lumber & Building Supply and Kalispell Lowe’s were among the three winners of this year’s award. Missoula Partnership Health of Missoula County is the other winner this year.

“With unemployment in Montana at historic lows, it is more important than ever that employers go above and beyond to attract and retain talent,” said Laurie Esau, Commissioner of the Montana Department of Labor & Industry. “Offering competitive benefits and wages, fostering a positive workplace culture, and encouraging employee development and growth can all help employers build the workforce they need to meet their customer’s needs. Congratulations to Bigfork SLITERS and Kalispell Lowe’s on earning recognition of their work in these areas.”

About the Winners:

Kalispell Lowe’sBigfork SLITERS Lumber & Building Supply, and Missoula Partnership Health Center were chosen as the state’s best in each of three size categories. The criteria assessed included employee benefits and initiatives, leadership and workplace culture, employee training and development opportunities, and community orientation. 

Bigfork SLITERS Lumber & Building Supply is the smallest of the three employers, winning in the up-to-50-employees category. The company has been in business since 1933, owned for generations by its founding family.

Besides offering a competitive wage, “SLITERS offers benefits that are - bar none - the best a small employer in the valley can offer,” according to nominating employee Glenn Dutton. Benefits include insurance and retirement plans, an employee discount, flexible schedules, and extra days off around the holidays for employees to spend with their families.

Kalispell Lowe’s is the winner of the mid-sized employer in the 51-150 range. It was nominated by multiple employees and others who mentioned the full complement of benefits offered to staff and management’s coaching style that encourages, recognizes, and rewards employees’ good work. Several employees said how much they appreciate the mentorship possibilities that are open to them. The store has a learning lab where associates can spend time off the floor, learning how to assist customers better.

According to Zach Mount, an employee who wrote a nomination, “It is a fun and inspiring place to work with a great atmosphere… would recommend it to any person looking for a job.”

With 267 employees in seven locations, Missoula Partnership Health Center is the largest employer honored this year. Serving over 16,000 patients per year, PHC offers primary medical, dental, behavioral health services and a full retail and clinical pharmacy. The non-profit organization provides health care to all who need it, regardless of their ability to pay. It has been in business for 30 years as an entity of Missoula County.

“PHC leadership believes that achieving our vision of ‘healthy people, strong communities’ begins internally with a healthy and engaged workforce,” said Kristi Harman, director of staff engagement.  

About the Montana State Employer Council: Montana State Employer Council's (MSEC) collaboration with business and community leaders across the state is supported by Job Service Employer Committees (JSECs) in 23 Montana communities. The council is made up of a representative from each local JSEC, serving as a liaison between employers and Job Service Montana staff. Annual meetings offer an opportunity for JSEC representatives to gather and discuss pertinent, local issues; set MSEC goals; conduct trainings; and ensure that Montana's workforce development system continues to be responsive to the needs of state employers and business communities.



Contact Jessica Nelson: Public Information Officer, Department of Labor and Industry
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