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Old 10-30-2012, 12:28 PM
 
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Our family has been blessed with a couple of different job opportunities (we're in the healthcare field), but now we have to decide b/w the locations.
I'd be grateful to those who maybe have lived in both these places, or have good knowledge of both, and can maybe help us compare and contrast.
A little background on us, just for context;
We're a young family of four, so good schools are very important, as is having a family friendly culture and activities. We enjoy the outdoors (hiking, camping, etc), but wouldn't say we're hardcore by any means. Scenery is important, but we're kinda torn b/w the rugged mtns of MT and the rolling plains of SD. Although I will say the Black Hills do seem to be a nice compromise.
We are bi-racial, so diversity is important, but I want to stress that we see people as people FIRST, not in categories/classes/boxes. As long as everyone gets treated with respect/fairness, that's what matters. Not looking for special considerations or acknowledgement. Politically, we're pretty moderate, although i think we're just conservatives in denial :-) but we do appreciate having different points of view, in fact where we live now is very liberal. so we could live in a place like Missoula that I hear is very liberal. As long as it's live and let live, we're fine. (unfortunately can't say that about where we're at now, part of the reason we're moving). Compensation for the MT job will be a little higher, and probably slightly more professionally satisfying (at least in the short term, there's plans for the RC position to grow), however, cost of living seems significantly higher there as well...

Anyways, anyone have any thoughts on these two? We were also considering a job in central WA (Yakima valley), but that's probably 3rd on the list, due to much lower pay and uglier scenery I think the most important thing for us now, is where our family can settle and the kids thrive.

Thanks for the responses!
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Old 10-31-2012, 10:35 PM
 
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I think Missoula is more color neutral than Rapid City.

On average Montanans tend to be conservative about spending, supportive of military, private about religion, sex, & political persuasion and very skeptical of Federal agencies.

This is a state where voters routinely split the ticket and vote for individuals.
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Old 11-01-2012, 07:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by historyfan View Post
I think Missoula is more color neutral than Rapid City.

On average Montanans tend to be conservative about spending, supportive of military, private about religion, sex, & political persuasion and very skeptical of Federal agencies.

This is a state where voters routinely split the ticket and vote for individuals.
I think this is true for Montana in general, but is this also the case for Missoula? From what I've read so far, it seems that town is quite different from the rest of the state.
thanks for the reply
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Old 11-01-2012, 12:28 PM
 
Location: A Very Naughtytown In Northwestern Montanifornia U.S.A.
1,088 posts, read 1,775,812 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SHAMMAH98 View Post
Politically, we're pretty moderate, although i think we're just conservatives in denial :-)
I like that expression !
I also think that you may be happy with Missoula although much of western Montana seems to be in a "Live and let live" state of mind.
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Old 11-01-2012, 12:50 PM
 
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Missoula is a place of many contrasts.
It is an old timber town with a university that has a school of law, journalism, and forestry. Most of its home grown residents are have a family history that is tied to lumber in that or neighboring small towns. They are people of the forest or Montanans that were drawn to the college & stayed after. Anyone with a family history in logging blames the demise of timber on Federal policy...hence are Libertarians. They still hold very conservative when it comes to spending &taxes.
All the old dope smokers are doctors, lawyers, and such near or in retirement. They are liberal professionals with Libertarian views on pot and sex but value education & the arts highly....so spending not a concern but personal freedoms are.
And then the current mix of college students which keeps the place politically active and racially & culturally a bit more diverse.
Any neighborhood could have an old logger living next door to a environmental activist. That is Missoula. They probably drink beer together.
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Old 11-01-2012, 03:20 PM
 
28 posts, read 53,989 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by historyfan View Post
Missoula is a place of many contrasts.
It is an old timber town with a university that has a school of law, journalism, and forestry. Most of its home grown residents are have a family history that is tied to lumber in that or neighboring small towns. They are people of the forest or Montanans that were drawn to the college & stayed after. Anyone with a family history in logging blames the demise of timber on Federal policy...hence are Libertarians. They still hold very conservative when it comes to spending &taxes.
All the old dope smokers are doctors, lawyers, and such near or in retirement. They are liberal professionals with Libertarian views on pot and sex but value education & the arts highly....so spending not a concern but personal freedoms are.
And then the current mix of college students which keeps the place politically active and racially & culturally a bit more diverse.
Any neighborhood could have an old logger living next door to a environmental activist. That is Missoula. They probably drink beer together.
Thanks again for the information! Sounds a lot like where we are now (Portland, OR), except Portland is probably more diverse but less integrated.

I read a lot about the air quality issues, is it really that bad? We're also concerned with the lack of sunshine. We can live with cold/snow/winter, but one of the things we're trying to get away from is the overcast. looking at the stats, looks like Missoula doesn't get much more sun than Portland/Seattle....
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:58 PM
 
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Hate to kick a dead horse, but decision time is here, and unfortunately I'm none the wiser. I'm still hoping something, somewhere will just click :-)

So I visited both places. Weather was nice so I actually got to see quite a bit. Although there was a little snow my last day in Rapid (didn't stick), and a lot more my last day in Missoula (that did stick). The Black hills weren't as big as I thought, still very pretty. Rapid very easy to get around, very friendly ppl. definitely felt like a "big" small town.
Missoula, gorgeous scenery. If it wasn't for the reputation of cloudiness and inversions, it would be a no brainer here. However, with the weather, I wonder just how much of that beautiful landscape one actually sees?. People were friendly, not so much as RC though. The town definitely felt more sophisticated (college town influence?), felt like a "little" city.

The job in Missoula pays about 20% more, and is likely a nicer establishment, possibly more rewarding (in the short term, the RC job is more potential), but both good groups of ppl to work with.

Considering tax/cost of living savings in SD, do you think I'd be silly to walk away from the 20% difference (cos when you factor those in, it's almost about the same)?

Thanks!
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:04 AM
 
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As difference in cost of living make both salaries about the same in buying power, which job has t he potential of giving you the best future increases and potential for job and income advancement?

With everything else being equal, that is the big question. Not only which is best today, but which offers the best future.

RC is near the oil boom, and there will be more related business and potential for higher incomes due to this from many standpoints not involved in the boom itself.
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:23 AM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
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You have got a tough decision to make. I grew up in Rapid City and have never spent any time in Missoula other than just driving through. I can tell you that Rapid City is an outstanding area to raise a family.

Something that bothers me about Rapid City is the amount of growth through the years. I was just down there and visited 2 weeks ago and could not believe the amount of people as compared to jobs. if you take a good hard look at Rapid City tell me where the manufacturing is. Where are all the people working? obviously they are but to me it appears that everything is service industry. A lot of my friends still live in that area and are very happy with the fact that they work in the furniture store, the motorcycle dealership, the lumberyard, etc... Aldo South Dakota gives a tax break you would think that the industry would move in and it is not. That could be a good thing good solid growth. 40 years ago Rapid City boasted that they had around 50,000 people. They are not much larger than that now in Rapid City proper.

Just food for thought.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:59 AM
 
28 posts, read 53,989 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtrader View Post
As difference in cost of living make both salaries about the same in buying power, which job has t he potential of giving you the best future increases and potential for job and income advancement?

With everything else being equal, that is the big question. Not only which is best today, but which offers the best future.

RC is near the oil boom, and there will be more related business and potential for higher incomes due to this from many standpoints not involved in the boom itself.
The missoula opportunity is somewhat affliated with the county, so would appear to be the more stable (the benefits are certainly better. BUt it's the govt, so who knows what the future will be like? The RC one is an established non-profit. so independent, but maybe not as financially robust. Missoula has the univ, so educational opportunities for the kids down the road. RC does have a good engineering school though, but I'm sure less opportunities down the road. As others have pointed out though, quality of life may be better in RC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElkHunter View Post
You have got a tough decision to make. I grew up in Rapid City and have never spent any time in Missoula other than just driving through. I can tell you that Rapid City is an outstanding area to raise a family.

Something that bothers me about Rapid City is the amount of growth through the years. I was just down there and visited 2 weeks ago and could not believe the amount of people as compared to jobs. if you take a good hard look at Rapid City tell me where the manufacturing is. Where are all the people working? obviously they are but to me it appears that everything is service industry. A lot of my friends still live in that area and are very happy with the fact that they work in the furniture store, the motorcycle dealership, the lumberyard, etc... Aldo South Dakota gives a tax break you would think that the industry would move in and it is not. That could be a good thing good solid growth. 40 years ago Rapid City boasted that they had around 50,000 people. They are not much larger than that now in Rapid City proper.

Just food for thought.
I remember watching a business interview where some SD manufactures were commenting how hard it is for them to get skilled workers. My suspicision is that many hear "South Dakota" and they think cold barren wasteland, or "there's nothing out there" maybe that's why manufacturing has never really taken hold there? Lord knows the tax climate definitely favors it.

Missoula was an industrial place, probably now stagnant, trending decline. more service/educational now. RC never did have a manufacturing base, mainly tourism, maybe it will in the future? Potential is there, but yeah, one does wonder why it hasn't grown more in certain areas
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