Montana High-Tech Companies Increasing Footprint in State, Hiring UM Students

August 12, 2015

MISSOULA – Montana has quietly increased its footprint in high-tech businesses, growing at a pace that exceeds statewide growth and providing high-paying jobs for University of Montana students and graduates, according to an article published this summer in Montana Business Quarterly.

From rural areas of Montana, companies are doing business with Fortune 500 firms around the world, according to the article “High Growth for High Tech: Fast-Growing, High-Paying Industry Cluster is Outpacing Other Sectors of Montana’s Economy” written by Patrick Barkey, John Baldridge, Christina Henderson and Shannon Furniss.

In Missoula, companies like Advanced Technology Group Missoula Solutions Center, or ATG, are hiring UM alumni and paying competitive salaries. Tom Stergios, vice president of ATG’s Missoula Solutions Center, started the business in 2011, and the company has grown to more than 60 employees. The article says more than half of them are UM graduates from the business school and computer science department.

“ATG is an example of a high-growth technology company that provides an opportunity for students to stay home after they graduate and earn a salary that is competitive nationally,” said Larry Gianchetta, dean of UM’s School of Business Administration. “Tom and I both are very proud of the high percentage of University of Montana graduates who are on ATG’s workforce.”

The article summarizes a UM Bureau of Business and Economic Research study that found that Montana’s high-tech industry is expecting growth rates eight to 10 times of statewide growth. The Montana High Tech Business Alliance, a member-driven group of more than 200 high-tech businesses, asked BBER to collect information and insights from its alliance members so that a better assessment of its economic footprint and its prospects for continued growth could be made.

Other articles in the summer issue of the Montana Business Quarterly include:

  • A look at central Montana’s vibrant manufacturing center that supports nearly 500 manufacturing jobs in the Lewistown area.
  • An outlook for Montana’s manufacturing industry.
  • An article about the economic reach of the Bakken oil fields.
  • A look at how restoration of national forests benefits local Montana communities.

The Montana Business Quarterly is published by BBER. Annual subscriptions are available for $35. For more information or to subscribe, go to or call 406-243-5113.

Contact: Patrick Barkey, director, UM Bureau of Business and Economic Research, 406-274-6212,; John Baldridge, BBER director of survey research, 406-243-5113,