Northwest Montana was hit so hard by the recession in part because much of the economy relies on a single industry, tourism.
Congressman Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., says he hopes by expanding other sectors, especially those with high paying jobs like the tech industry, a future setback can be avoided.
"Certainly in the Flathead tourism is important but also we need to make sure the other sectors are growing and expanding. It’s hard to live in Montana, it's even harder when you don't have a good paying job,” Zinke said.
Officials at Applied Materials say their Kalispell location can be both a blessing and curse.
The cost of living is considerably lower than other tech hubs in the United States like California and Washington.
But they say getting skilled workers to move to Montana is a challenge.
A challenge zinke would like to see remedied.
"You look at what the requirement is and what we need I think we need to provide incentives to ensure we have people filling those jobs and we can do that,” he said.
The first step?
“We have to make sure our education system is appropriate to the future jobs,” he said.