Our Mission and Story
The mission of JLDC is to improve Jefferson County's employment opportunities, incomes, and well being by identifying local economic needs and supporting, strengthening, and coordinating economic and community development activities throughout the county.
The primary focus is to leverage available business and government resources to provide information, assist with business finance solutions, and develop programs to encourage the growth of business in the county.
In 1998 a group of volunteers from all parts of the county formed an Economic Development Task Force, facilitated by the MSU Extension Agent for Madison and Jefferson Counties. The group was concerned about the economy because two mines in Jefferson County were preparing to close. After two years the Task Force evolved into the Jefferson Local Development Corporation, a non-profit, business membership organization. The Extension Agent was assigned to serve as a manager for this organization.
The county and MSU then added a second full-time Extension Agent to continue the agriculture and 4H educational programming for Madison and Jefferson Counties. A half-time position was later, added to assist with Economic and Community Development programming in Jefferson County.
As the lead economic development organization in Jefferson County, JLDC works closely with our regional economic development organization, Headwaters RC&D and others to secure assistance for the businesses in our area.
JLDC is governed by a volunteer board of directors selected from throughout the county including a county commissioner. JLDC staffing consists of an Economic and Community Development Extension Agent, serving as loaned faculty for the JLDC from Montana State University Extension (MSU-E) a half-time Economic and Community Development Extension Agent and a full time Administrative support manager.
JLDC has been instrumental in numerous projects that have increased the number and quality of jobs and tax base in Jefferson County, including:
- Redevelopment of two abandoned state buildings in Boulder that now house a business employing 35 with an annual budget of $2 million.
- Intensive business planning and finance assistance that helped a former one-person transmission rebuilder expand to a booming business serving the northwest region of the country with a staff of 8.
- Five new super efficient affordable homes constructed in Boulder with up to 10 new senior homes planned. Plans are being finalized for sixteen homes for Whitehall’s workforce and 16 condo units for seniors and people with disabilities, all homes are to be owned by occupants.
- Facilitated the land trade with the state where the Elkhorn Treatment Center in Boulder now stands. This innovative meth treatment facility helps women recover from their addiction while meeting their obligation to the state. The facility brought 35 new jobs to Boulder with an annual budget of $2 million.