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Empowering Montana’s Youth: A Partnership with Accelerate Montana

In September 2023, the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation awarded Accelerate Montana a $400,000 grant that will enable Accelerate Montana to continue its work aimed at bridging the opportunity gap for young people in rural and Indigenous communities in Montana by empowering them with valuable workforce development opportunities. The grant ensures that individuals in these underserved areas gain equitable access to vital resources for career advancement.

The mission of Accelerate Montana is to support inclusive economic prosperity for Montana’s workers, companies and communities. To accomplish this, Accelerate Montana partners with nonprofit organizations, high schools, and public and private colleges, including Tribal Colleges and Universities, across the state. This collaborative approach allows Accelerate Montana to create a holistic and inclusive ecosystem for skill-based training and workforce development. Its services include talent recruitment, business coaching, startup coaching and funding opportunities.

Accelerate Montana offers a diverse variety of programs to benefit businesses and individuals that prepare and provide participants with relevant, high-demand skills and training. Programs include Montana Code School, Women’s Entrepreneurship & Leadership Lab, Cyber Montana and the Rural Innovation Initiative, which delivers programming that supports rural and Indigenous problem solvers, innovators and entrepreneurs. Through this broad range of programs, Accelerate Montana strives to help build business capacity and support Montana’s economic development.

Accelerate Montana also offers an online rapid training program designed to help individuals get the skills they need to build jobs or careers in Montana’s fastest-growing and largest industry sectors of construction, manufacturing, technology, healthcare, film and media. These courses are designed to help build the skills industries need the most.

With this financial support from the foundation, Accelerate Montana can better analyze the impact of its rapid training programs, identify and overcome the barriers hindering access, understand the specific needs and opportunities of employers seeking young talent and bolster its organizational capacity to effectively meet the unique requirements of Montana’s rural and Indigenous populations.

This grant is a part of the foundation’s new Youth Development giving area. It’s a priority for the foundation to support an organization like Accelerate Montana as its mission aligns with our Youth Development strategy of scaling alternative pathways to economic mobility for young people in rural communities.

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