This week, the Montana Department of Commerce announced the recipients of more than half a million dollars’ worth of Workforce Training Grant funds.

"This grant program is a small amount of money compared to the total cost to a business to hire someone and train them, but the hope is to put a little bit of money in the pockets of business owners to go ahead and make the big decision to hire someone and get them trained up," said Montana Office of Business Development spokesman Sean Becker."The legislature set aside about $600,000 a year to support this program, which will assist in the creation and training of close to a 150 new jobs."

Eight different businesses statewide received grant awards, one of the largest went to wrought-iron fireplace manufacturer Ironhaus out of Hamilton.

"Ironhaus is adding 21 new employees and those are technical positions, you know, maybe the local work force doesn't quite have the skills necessary to get up to speed right away for that organization, so this program will provide a small amount of money, about $5,000 per employee will be reimbursed for the training costs," Becker said.

White River Contracting LLC, also in Hamilton received funds for 17 new full time jobs. Up in Missoula County, Elite One Source Nutrition received funds for 19 new jobs and Tru-Home Montana received funds for three new positions.

Below is the full list of grant recipients:

  • Elite One Source Nutritional Services, Inc. received $91,200 of WTG funds to train 19 new full-time jobs. The business, which has production facilities in Lolo and Missoula, manufactures high-quality nutritional supplements.
  • Foundant Technologies, Inc. received $16,000 of WTG funds to train 20 new full-time jobs. The Bozeman business develops grant management software for the philanthropic community.
  • Mesa Laboratories, Inc. received $156,870 of WTG funds to train 32 new full-time jobs. The Bozeman business develops, manufactures and markets high-quality process validation and monitoring instruments.
  • Ironhaus, Inc. received $105,000 of WTG funds to train 21 new full-time jobs. The Hamilton business fabricates high-performance wrought iron fireplace inserts and stoves.
  • White River Contracting LLC dba Rocky Mountain Homes, LLC received $81,704 of WTG funds to train 17 new full-time jobs. The Hamilton business is a vertically integrated design-build and manufacturing company.
  • Synesis7 Corporation received $88,240 of WTG funds to train 18 new full-time jobs. The Butte business specializes in aerospace technology and data conversion.
  • Down Range Solutions Group, LLC dba U.S. Optics received $80,528 of WTG funds to train 17 new full-time jobs. The Kalispell business manufactures and assembles firearm scopes.
  • Tru-Home Montana, LLC received $11,728 of WTG funds to train three new full- and part-time jobs. The Missoula business designs and manufactures pre-built homes.