Plans for commercial scale vaccine manufacturing facility moving forward near

“There’s been a lot of work that went into creating this,” Chilcott said. “The catalyst was Julie (Foster) and the RCEDA … They brought us all to the table and showcased Ravalli County, Hamilton, Montana as a good place to do business. We are excited at becoming a hub for pharmaceuticals, science, bio-science, and research facilities.”

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“I think we are going to see a real symbiotic relationship develop between those firms,” he said.

Chilcott acknowledged that housing is going to be a challenge.

“The pressure we’ve seen in the Bitterroot over the last 18 months has been pretty extraordinary,” he said. “We’re looking for solutions to that and we’ll find them.”

One possibility may be building workplace housing in the Target Economic Development District.

Having a new business that creates good-paying jobs is also a step in the right direction, said RCEDA Board President Ryan Oster.

“From a historical perspective — since I was a kid — I’ve heard people say that my kids will never be able to stay here,” Oster said. “They say there’s nothing for their kids here … we’ve worked very hard for a lot of years to make this a possibility.”

“It all started with people trying to replace the economy we lost,” he said. “The natural resources economy, the timber. To make it possible for my kids to have an opportunity to stay here. This is a very unique place. People want to stay. It’s also easy to recruit people to come live here if there are good jobs.”

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