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Old 01-04-2017, 12:06 PM
 
Location: Lexington KY
3 posts, read 3,071 times
Reputation: 15

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Hi all, this is my first post so I apologize if I'm not following proper ettiquette or anything.

I am a 23 year old college student in KY, and recently got engaged to my girlfriend of 4 years. She is going to have a degree to become a Radiology Tech within the next few years, and I am about to complete my BA and move on to getting my Masters Degree in History so I can teach at the college level, or at private schools. We have lived our whole lives in the KY/WV area, and love it. We love the culture, the people, and the mountains most of all. But at the same time we feel like when we finish school we need to strike out on our own and make our own lives, and so we have been looking for places we think would match up eith our vakues and lifestyles.

We love hiking and camping, shooting, and would love to one day own our own land. We've done a lot of research and Montana is beautiful, and seems like a perfect fit. I understand the winters will be much harsher than we're used to, but I'm okay with that and am definitely willing to do the research needed to prepare for them.

I'm mostly curious about job opportunities, and if it is a good place to raise a family. I am not picky - I would honestly almost prefer working at a small community college rather than a major university, due to the constant political tensions. (Not trying to get political, just explaining that I would love to be able to actually teach my subject instead of having to mediate arguments in my classrooms all day). I know my fiancee can get a job most places due to it being a medical degree, so were more curious about the private school and community college systems in the state. Are there also any regions or towns in particular you'd recommend? We are homebodies, and definitely prefer the small town lifestyle (to give an example, we think Lexington KY is a little too fast paced for us!). We also would like to start a family once we establish ourselves-is Montana a good place for children?

Sorry for the long post, and I apologize for any spelling errors since I'm on my phone. Thanks for all the help, and hopefully I'll be living near some of you in a few years!
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Old 01-04-2017, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Lexington KY
3 posts, read 3,071 times
Reputation: 15
Bump? No one?
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Old 01-04-2017, 06:37 PM
 
4,659 posts, read 3,977,591 times
Reputation: 9737
Montana is a swell place to raise a family if the economics work for you. It would be no fun if money was short. The COL will be higher than KY/WV especially housing/real estate. Once you finish your education, see what you can land here job-wise. You should spend time traveling around the state to see what appeals to you.
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Old 01-05-2017, 10:17 AM
 
83 posts, read 86,119 times
Reputation: 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by historyguy42 View Post
Hello there!

Concerning your last post, give it some time for some more responses; the MT forum is usually low traffic.

As to your questions, some of my random thoughts....

Quote:
We have lived our whole lives in the KY/WV area, and love it. We love the culture, the people, and the mountains most of all. But at the same time we feel like when we finish school we need to strike out on our own and make our own lives, and so we have been looking for places we think would match up eith our vakues and lifestyles.
I certainly get the sentiment about striking out on your own, but IMO, based on your love of KY/WV, it may not be in your best interests to leave your home. Especially long term. Right now since you're both young, it seems you have the "bug" of adventure and seeing what else is out there. Totally understandable; we've all been there. Even myself (I'm not that old...a Gen Xer. ). But you defeinitely want to make the most educated and patient decision with this. And if it was me, and I loved my lifelong home and environment like you guys do, I probably would ultimately decide against moving.

Quote:
We love hiking and camping, shooting, and would love to one day own our own land. We've done a lot of research and Montana is beautiful, and seems like a perfect fit. I understand the winters will be much harsher than we're used to, but I'm okay with that and am definitely willing to do the research needed to prepare for them.
As for matching your values/lifestyles, it seems like in that department you would enjoy MT. One will get the most enjoyment up here if one embraces all the outdoors has to offer.

Concerning the winters, one can't really get a full understanding of the winters out west here unless one experiences it firsthand. Especially right now as I type this; it's single digits here where I am in Kalispell with a windchill much below that. I recommend you guys come visit in Winter and spend at least a few days here so you can see yourself. From what I've seen, many from the South come out West here for various reasons and it's a shock to the system in terms of climate. Yeah, there's woods and guns and open spaces here (REALLY open spaces compared to out East), but it is definitely different.

Quote:
I'm mostly curious about job opportunities, and if it is a good place to raise a family. I am not picky - I would honestly almost prefer working at a small community college rather than a major university, due to the constant political tensions. (Not trying to get political, just explaining that I would love to be able to actually teach my subject instead of having to mediate arguments in my classrooms all day). I know my fiancee can get a job most places due to it being a medical degree, so were more curious about the private school and community college systems in the state. Are there also any regions or towns in particular you'd recommend? We are homebodies, and definitely prefer the small town lifestyle (to give an example, we think Lexington KY is a little too fast paced for us!). We also would like to start a family once we establish ourselves-is Montana a good place for children?
Flathead Community College is quite popular here in Flathead County. And this area is famous (infamous and deplorable according to Liberals...) for being the most conservative in the state. But it's also the fastest growing in the state and rentals/real estate is HIGH. And speaking of real estate, prices in this state are overall much higher than in the South where you're from. Don't come up here blind there for sure, do your research to see if you can get the type of land/property you want.

Job opps? Sure, there are some, but you'll of course have more selection if you focus on the larger towns: Missoula, Billings, Bozeman, etc. IMO it'll be much tougher if you want to live in a town smaller than those. Raising children? Sure, MT is great in that department.

To sum up, I still think your initial admission that you love your current home and area is quite telling. Seems to me like your heart is and may always be there. Maybe just look for cities and communities smaller than Lexington to call home? That way you get your small town and still get to keep your culture?

Best of luck, whatever you decide!
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Old 01-05-2017, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Lexington KY
3 posts, read 3,071 times
Reputation: 15
Thanks for the responses, they have been really helpful! I'll definitely look into visiting during the winter so I can really understand what I'm getting into. I think I may have not explained my reasons for wanting to move very well though. I love what Appalachia used to be. Once again, not wanting to start a political argument, but once all the coal jobs were taken away the whole area collapsed. I grew up in a small village with a pop. of 5000 people, and they get at least one heroin overdose a day. It breaks my heart, but where I come from doesn't exist anymore, there are no jobs and the drug problem is overwhelming. Im only 23 and at least 10 people I can think of off the top of my head from my senior class have OD'd. That's another reason I want to move-you can't raise children here, they're all snorting pills by 7th grade. So that's why I was interested in moving, I think Montana shares many of the values Appalachia used to have -family, tradition, self-reliance, etc.
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Old 01-05-2017, 10:37 AM
 
Location: Billings, MT
9,524 posts, read 7,793,423 times
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Yes, Kalispell would appear to be a good fit for you, OP. Flathead Valley Community College (FVCC) is a growing school, and the Kalispell Regional Medical Center is one of the top hospitals in the state. North Valley Hospital in Whitefish is pretty good, also.
However, I must be honest; although my wife and I were brought up in the Valley, and lived there many years, we could never live there. The lack of sunshine in the winter just isn't something we can live with now that we are older. Yes, I know, there are electric lamps that can alleviate that problem, but we prefer natural sunlight. Just something to think about.
You might look at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, also. Billings has two medical centers, so opportunities in the medical fields are usually readily available. We are close enough to the mountains that fishing, hunting, camping, skiing, snowmobiling, ATV riding, etc. are readily available. Just make sure to respect the rights of property owners.
One caution I always state to people moving to Montana is: Avoid saying "Well, back home we did THAT, THIS way!" Saying that is quite likely to get the response "Perhaps you should go back there, if it was so great!" or something similar.
We welcome those who want to move to our state, but please, leave your "Other State" lifestyle behind.
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Old 01-05-2017, 11:13 AM
 
4,659 posts, read 3,977,591 times
Reputation: 9737
You posted in Missoula, but I would suggest you look at other parts of the state. People who live in Missoula & Kalispell will likely disagree with my position. I find that area to be glorious in the summer and fall, but that's it.
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Old 01-05-2017, 03:02 PM
 
3,815 posts, read 4,003,285 times
Reputation: 2566
There are a couple of links to the MT colleges for your future employment. m o ntana communty college system locations - Google Search



And info on private high schools montana private high schools - Google Search


What size community do you prefer? MT has 7 metros of roughly 50-200,000 and then most everywhere else is pretty small town or rural.


Check the medical and teaching pay scales. MT tends to be near bottom, alongside KY. WY tends to pay better. Check out Sheridan, Cody, Laramie, etc.


If both of you get good offers in same city, give it a try. Can try to change city later if you really prefer another.


For buying a house, Helena and Billings will probably be somewhat more affordable than Missoula, Kalispell or Bozeman especially. Butte and Great Falls probably even more affordable.


Does the political lean of the community matter to you? That could could direct to some rather others.


With hundred of past threads available, you can browse as much as you want and pick up useful bits here and there. And / or ask more questions as needed.

Last edited by NW Crow; 01-05-2017 at 03:38 PM..
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Old 01-05-2017, 03:03 PM
 
83 posts, read 86,119 times
Reputation: 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redraven View Post
However, I must be honest; although my wife and I were brought up in the Valley, and lived there many years, we could never live there. The lack of sunshine in the winter just isn't something we can live with now that we are older. Yes, I know, there are electric lamps that can alleviate that problem, but we prefer natural sunlight. Just something to think about.
Excellent point. I thought about touching on the sunlight issue, as well, but it's been covered elsewhere in detail in the MT forum if the OP is interested. And historyguy42, I do recommend you look into it, ESPECIALLY if you consider the Flathead Valley. It's very bleak here in winter and the lack of sunshine effects me too.

Quote:
I love what Appalachia used to be. Once again, not wanting to start a political argument, but once all the coal jobs were taken away the whole area collapsed. I grew up in a small village with a pop. of 5000 people, and they get at least one heroin overdose a day. It breaks my heart, but where I come from doesn't exist anymore, there are no jobs and the drug problem is overwhelming.
That's always sad to hear; sorry to hear that. But even in the smaller, "idyllic" Flathead Valley, we have drug related issues and crimes, as well. Meth is a problem here and crime has gone up with an increase in the population. So from what I have seen, increasing drug use and crime is an issue anywhere you move to. I used to naively believe in "perfect places" around the States, but they're just not there. And I'm not calling you personally naive, just stating my viewpoint.

Quote:
So that's why I was interested in moving, I think Montana shares many of the values Appalachia used to have -family, tradition, self-reliance, etc.
Indeed, I think MT does share similar values. I do think, though, that there is a difference between the typical southern hospitality and the type you will find in MT or ID, etc. The kind here IMO is more of a live and let live/libertarian approach. Sort of a more independent type of hospitality. Sure, many people are still willing to lend a hand and such, but it's just a little different than the southern approach.
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Old 01-05-2017, 10:05 PM
 
Location: Missoula, MT
1 posts, read 959 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
looking for places we think would match up eith our vakues and lifestyles
https://www.amazon.com/American-Nati.../dp/0143122029

Quote:
A: I'm mostly curious about job opportunities, and if it is a good place to raise a family. ...Not trying to get political, just explaining that I would love to be able to actually teach my subject instead of having to mediate arguments in my classrooms all day. ...We are homebodies, and definitely prefer the small town lifestyle. ...We also would like to start a family once we establish ourselves.
Check out Jonathan Haidt's work and his HeterodoxAcademy.org | to increase viewpoint diversity in the the social sciences for finding a school. Think Colin Woodard's 'The Midlands' region of the country from the book linked above. That area seems to match up best with the goals you mentioned. It is the most moderate part of the country so that's a good clue if you care about how politics in schools are handled. Use the money you save living in the middle of the country to travel as much as possible. You'll be spending most of your time with your spouse-children-work, anyway.

Universities must choose between truth or social justice, not both: https://youtu.be/Gatn5ameRr8?list=PL...hHsyQ4-6n805lU
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