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FVCC Awarded $46 Million Worth of Software for High-Tech Training
Award announced by German ambassador in Kalispell
Flathead Valley Community College. File photo Lido Vizzutti | Flathead Beacon
The Flathead Valley Community College has been awarded $46 million worth of computer software to train students for high-tech jobs. German Ambassador to the United States Peter Ammon made the announcement in Kalispell during a tour of Montana in advance of Sen. Max Baucus’ Economic Development Summit in Butte next week.

Siemens PLM Software, based in Germany, is awarding the software that Baucus said would play a major roll in Montana’s future. Baucus, who is leaving office at the end of his sixth term in 2015, laid the groundwork for the award in 2012 when he met with Siemens officials during a trade mission in Germany.

“This software will help FVCC train the next generation of scientists, engineers and business leaders right here in Montana,” Baucus said in a statement. “Siemens has nearly 300 manufacturing locations worldwide and leveraging their know-how and experience for Montana workers will helps us maximize high-tech manufacturing jobs in our state.”

The announcement was made at an event with the ambassadors and the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce at Applied Materials on Friday morning. Applied Materials and FVCC have partnered in the past to develop training programs for students in the Flathead Valley. Applied Materials Vice President and General Manager Bill McClintock called the software award an “incredible opportunity” that will help both local students and businesses in Montana.

FVCC President Jane Karas said the two-year community college was excited about the award and what it will do for the students.

“FVCC is committed to providing Montana students with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in today’s job market,” she said. “Siemen’s investment will help us train even more Montanans to fill the high-paying, high-tech jobs of the future.”

Joining Ammon on the ambassadors tour this weekend are diplomats representing China, Japan, Peru and Canada. The tour ends in Butte on Monday, when Baucus’ two-day economic symposium begins.

Baucus has hosted the event every three years and it is billed as a booster for Montana’s businesses. This year’s summit, being held at Montana Tech, is sure to be one of the most memorable, with headliners that include Google’s Eric Schmidt, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, Ford Motor Company’s Alan Mulally, Hewlett Packard’s Meg Whitman, Tesla Motors’ Elon Musk and former Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman.

For more information about the summit, visit online. The keynote addresses will be telecast live online.

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