An Israeli high-tech company has announced plans to open a U.S. office in Missoula and hire as many as 100 employees over the next several years, according to Gov. Steve Bullock’s office.
The company, called 4Cast, “will develop and sell their decision support predictive analytics solutions, which currently target security, defense, enterprise and health care personnel” in Missoula, according to a press release. They will begin hiring for sales and software development jobs this summer. Initial positions will be advertised on their website, due to be launched in June of 2018. The company is a spinoff of the Israeli technology company Eltel.
“In our search for a U.S. base, we were particularly impressed with the enthusiasm, responsiveness and cooperation we received from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the Montana World Trade Center and the Missoula Economic Partnership,” said Nissim Titan, the CEO of 4Cast, who was responsible for choosing the location of the 4Cast office in the U.S. “We believe that their support and cooperation, coupled with the availability of a talented and educated workforce in the area, offers an amazing opportunity to forge a strong and successful U.S. presence for 4Cast in the future.”
The Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the Montana World Trade Center and the Missoula Economic Partnership (MEP) took part in the process to work with Eltel throughout the process of choosing a location for 4Cast.
Jenni Graff, the MEP’s director of economic development, said Brigita Miranda-Freer, the executive director of the Montana World Trade Center, started the recruitment process at a SelectUSA conference in Atlanta last year.
“Brigita knew a lot about doing business in Montana and was able to answer a lot of their questions,” Graff explained. “They were considering Missoula, Billings and Bozeman. We played up the fact that we have two health care systems here that are linked to the largest healthcare systems in the nation. Both of those hospitals are interested in becoming innovation centers for their respective healthcare systems, and that’s something that (officials of 4Cast) certainly appreciated.”
Missoula is home to St. Patrick Hospital, which belongs to the huge Providence Health and Services system, and Community Medical Center, which is jointly owned by Billings Clinic and RegionalCare Hospital Partners.
Graff said that local business leaders also talked about employee retention and loyalty here.
“We talked about how you could be a big fish in this market,” she said. “We told them they could work really closely with academic programs, and training programs and other opportunities. That’s something they’re currently doing in Israel. That’s sort of the focus of their operations, and something they could continue here.”
Graff said it is yet to be determined exactly where in Missoula the company will be located. She said officials are based in Tel-Aviv and are a little hard to contact.
“Technology is increasingly defining the Missoula economy, and 4Cast will be a welcome addition to our highly connected, innovative and collaborative local business community,” said Jeff Fee, interim director of the Missoula Economic Partnership.
The tech sector in Missoula is rapidly hiring. A fitness tech company called ClassPass recently announced it intends to hire as many as 120 workers in town over the next few years.
“This kind of holistic approach is important because it helps to frame Montana’s message to the world and it helps decision makers achieve a comfort level that will allow them to quickly come to a positive decision for Montana,” said Miranda-Freer in a statement.
Governor Steve Bullock also touted the state's ability to attract new jobs.
“Montana is increasingly seen as an ideal choice for companies that not only value a strong business climate and educated workforce, but a place where quality of life matters,” Bullock said in a statement. “I’m thrilled 4Cast has chosen Missoula as a place to grow their business – a testament to the community’s cultivation of a high-tech industry that results in good-paying jobs.”
Graff said it’s a little hard to explain what the company does, but she said they “create simulators to assist with decision-making.” She also pointed out that Missoula is becoming more and more enticing as an option to large companies looking to expand.
“When companies visit Montana and see first-hand our talented workforce, robust education options, and the expanding collection of small, innovative companies that choose Montana as their home — the choice becomes pretty easy,” Graff concluded.