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Old 08-29-2011, 01:24 PM
5 posts, read 9,017 times
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Hi all.. I have a couple questions about living and working in Montana that some might call open-ended. I realize their more subject to opinion but the opinions of Monta-nites are highly valued my me.

1. If one wanted to relocated from MS to MT and the potential weather was not a factor, what would be a good town/city if one of the children had a form of Autism? Meaning wanting support groups, public edu system with experience dealing with such.
2. Adding to the first question somewhat, what towns/cities would be best for IT-related jobs? Corp, field, large or small either or is fine.

A little background.. Ever since I was 10 years old I've wanted to live in Montana just for the sheer beauty that state holds. As I've grown up Montana remains on my very short list of destinations along with Wyoming, North/South Dakota and Idaho all for their inherent beauty as well as the mild summers and low population density. Alas coupled with that low population density is a potential low job growth rate especially in tech fields. At least to my knowledge so far.

Anyway I've found that ND has an oil patch boom which could provide both employment opportunities as well as housing difficulties. I've heard Wyoming has it's share of Natural Gas "booming" areas.. is anything similar happening in Montana that may provide employment possibilities? Or any large scale employers that I have not stumbled across yet? Which would be pretty much zero at this time

Thanks for your time!
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Old 08-29-2011, 03:20 PM
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
4,883 posts, read 5,764,575 times
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Welcome to the Montana Boards Ben.Hart;

For specialty services treating afflictions such as autism, your best bet is to look at the larger towns in Montana as they have more infrastructure and services available. Depending on what you need, Billings has the best overall medical care in the state. Bozeman, Missoula, Butte and Great Falls also have pretty good medical care and schools for special needs kids.
While the medical staff at St.Petes in Helena are mostly pretty good, the management is at odds with the staff and community so I will not reccomend them until something changes there.

For an IT jobs, the larger towns would again offer the most opportunity.
Helena is the center for State and Federal government jobs, and probably offer the most chance of a stable job.

Billings and Great Falls have refineries and the chance at a job for Exxon or one of the other larger companies.

Bozeman and Missoula are college towns so you would have a lot of competition from students.

The Bakken Oil field does run under a large part of Montana, but don't look for much action there as the eco-nuts have a chokehold on resource development jobs so drilling is very limited here, and no hope for improvement in the immediate futer either I am sorry to say.

Good paying jobs in Montana are always in short supply, so look before you leap and make sure you have a job to come to before you make your move, or you may have to move back.

Good luck.
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Old 08-29-2011, 04:37 PM
Location: Bozeman, Montana
1,191 posts, read 2,565,041 times
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For help with an autistic child, I recommend Helena, with this specialized children's hospital
SHODAIR CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL | Child & Adolescent Psychiatry | Genetic Services | Helena, Montana

For IT jobs, I recommend checking into Right Now Technologies, Zoot Enterprises, and many of the other IT companies in Bozeman. For an autistic child in Bozeman, look at Eagle Mount Bozeman Eagle Mount

I agree that you should secure a job before making the move, as the job picture in Montana is not very promising right now.
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Old 08-30-2011, 09:22 AM
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For help on the Autism spectrum, you'll want to be in the larger towns / college towns - Billings, Missoula, Bozeman, Helena, Great Falls. I'm in the Missoula area, and we have found some good doctors here, but I've been disappointed in the lack of parent support groups. I believe there is more of that available in the Billings area. In the areas closest to the oil field employment, you will not have a lot of access to specialized services for autism. Also, if your reason for moving to Montana is for the beauty the state holds, that's probably not the area you're looking for, as most of the popular scenic areas are in the western part of the state.

If you do make the move, I would highly recommend contacting PLUK. They are based in Billings, but have advocates in all of the larger cities, and do a fabulous job at helping parents of kids with disabilities navigate through the school system and other available services.
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Old 08-30-2011, 12:15 PM
Location: Oklahoma
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I have been studying the Bakken very hard for the last week or so. There are a multitude of companies up there however it appears that most of the work is for oil field hands.

The main player in the Bakken is Continential Resources which is out of Oklahoma City but there are certainly others. I read one article that said Halliburton was hiring 11,000 this year mostly in support of the Bakken play.

The main play in Montana is in the Elm Coulee field which is around Sidney, Montana.

However, Williston, ND is where the bulk of the action is. Be forewarned, it is cold and desolate in that area and a good 3-4 hours to Billings and the edge of what would be considered the "scenic" part of Montana.

As has been stated above, Montana's government hasn't been very proactive in developing the fields but it WILL happen at some point. Apparently, the oil companies are about ready to go into a field called Spanish Forks and will be working out of both Dickinson, ND and Baker Montana.

From what I've read, geologists think there is a boatload of oil in Northeast Montana all the way over to Cut Bank.

As far as autism goes I'm sure that Billings would have some support, however there are no towns of any real size east of Billings toward the oil fields.
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Old 08-30-2011, 12:29 PM
297 posts, read 666,241 times
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There is excellent advice here already. For an IT job, I second the idea of RightNow Technologies which is headquartered in Bozeman and has offices worldwide. Also, Bozeman or Missoula, being university towns are IMHO more fun than some other places.

Have you visited Montana before? I would highly recommend doing so before moving here, because what a place looks like on paper or on a web site can be very different from reality. You mentioned "mild summers," but much of Montana has very hot, dry summers. Or you can get a snowstorm in any month!

Btw, residents are called Montanans.
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