Safety training coming in May to Miles City


A program offered by the Montana Department of Labor and Industry that offers free safety training to all Montana workers is coming to Miles City.

SafetyFest MT, a program started in Helena in 2010, will be offering a three-day seminar May 20-22, hosted by Miles Community College. SafetyFest MT Coordinator Casey Kyler-West spoke at Thursday’s monthly meeting of the Miles City Area Economic Development Council, outlining for board members what attendees can expect from the intensive seminar. She also solicited input from the board so that event organizers could tailor their curriculum to the specific needs of the area.

“We’re going to hold three days of training at MCC with several different classes, such as First Aid, Hazwoper (hazardous materials refresher course), ergonomics, things like that,” Kyler-West said. “OptiBlend has requested a Confined Spaces class, and we offer a young workers class as well. But one of the reasons I wanted to meet with this board is to find out if there is anything that you know of you’d like to see a class about. We don’t want to just roll into town and say ‘Here’s our classes.’ We want to find out what the community and its businesses want.”

More than 500 people attended each of the first two SafetyFests in Helena and Missoula, according to the program’s website. The seminar is designed for anyone interested in working safely, including business owners, contractors and those in service industries. It will provide a variety of topics, and will assist in implementation of effective safety and health programs.

“We want to make sure that businesses, especially small businesses who may not be able to afford to send their staff to training, have the opportunity to receive the training they need,” Kyler-West said. “We are hoping to have the final agenda ready and registration open by the second weekend in April, because the classes do fill up fast. Whatever it is you need, let us know, we’ll do our best to make it happen for you. Safety training is expensive, and it’s really expensive when you add travel on to it. This is our chance to bring it to you, so you should get what you want or need.”

SafetyFest MT is an educational outreach of the Montana Department of Labor and Industry in partnership with WorkSafeMT – a non-profit whose goal is to reduce Montana’s high rate of workplace injuries and deaths. SafetyFest MT hopes to raise awareness of Montana’s poor safety record, promote effective safety programs and provide free safety training.

Also on the agenda of Thursday’s meeting were updates on the various local projects MCAEDC is involved with. Custer County Commissioner Keith Holmlund spoke about the Custer County Detention Center.

See “EDC,” page 5

“I think Mike Stevenson (of Stevenson’s Design) is pulling out his hair, but we’re getting there,” Holmlund said. “We’re looking to have bids out by March 21, and we’re still eyeing an April 25 target date for construction to begin.”

MCAEDC Executive Director Mike Coryell also gave his monthly Director’s Report.

“I’ve been meeting with commissioners and Julie Korkow on Tuesday mornings to assist with ongoing work with the RID1 Sewer Project, Valley Drive East Water Line Project, Detention Center Project, as well as other projects that need EDC assistance,” Coryell said. “Funding is being worked out for the majority of these projects. We’re just hammering out the details so we can get started as soon as possible.”

Jack Regan then gave an update on the latest Leadership Miles City class.

“We held our February meeting out at the Town & Country Club,” Regan said. “It was Retail Day, and it went really well. We had a nice cross-section of local businesses, and Mike talked about how MCAEDC partners with the banks. Chamber Executive Director John Laney led a panel discussion with four or five business people, and it was a really good day with good feedback.”

The next meeting of the MCAEDC Board of Directors is scheduled for Thursday, April 3 at 7 a.m. at Stockman Center West.