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Networking Key to Job Summit

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BUTTE -

The Montana Jobs Summit is famous for creating jobs under the Big Sky. Many of these jobs come out of partnerships forged with one little meeting.

"People may be making business deals and we don't even know about it," said Webb Brown-- President and CEO of the Montana Chamber of Commerce. Brown said these networking meetings are what the Montana Jobs Summit is all about. Previous summits have brought hundreds of jobs including 200 at a GE facility in Billings. Butte casting company SeaCast Inc. tripled it's workforce after the 2010 Summit. And, because of a meeting at the last jobs summit there is now work on a shipping hub in Shelby.

Many of these partnerships start with networking meetings held at the summit. On Monday, several Montana businesses were meeting with key business leaders.

Dave Wilkins chairs ViZn Energy, a Kalispell energy storage company that could have big impacts on the future of energy development.

"Senator Baucus has brought together some of the best business minds of the century and I think listening to Elon Musk or some of the founders of the other Fortune 500 companies (provides a lot of education) that will help young companies like ours ensure that we're extremely successful and grow to companies like theirs," Wilkins said.

Also instrumental in that growth is knowing the right people. Representatives from ViZn got to meet with Elon Musk and representatives of Boeing -- two companies that could take this 35-person Montana company to a global manufacturer.

"It's significant," Wilkins said. "This is really about developing relationships. It really is important to develop the relationships."

Wilkins said he hopes to know more about the results of these meetings in the next six months.

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