Growing Safety Awareness

Montana State Fund’s (MSF) safety team was busy this fall traveling throughout the state handing out safety equipment to high school students.  Through MSF’s high school personal protective equipment (PPE) grants program, 25 construction trades and industry classrooms received the items.

The selected classrooms were awarded up to $750 for the purchase of the PPE which could include safety eye protection, fall protection gear, gloves, and ear protection, suitable for the area of study. Instructors were further supported with safety materials and talking points to use in their classrooms.

Beaverhead  County High School students show off their safety gear

These grants are part of Montana State Fund’s Growing a Safer Montana initiative. The grants are a way for MSF to help improve Montana’s workplace safety culture. One way is to teach and reinforce positive safety in the classroom, before these young people enter Montana’s workforce. Since the program’s inception in 2017, $30,000 worth of safety gear has benefited more than 4,600 students.

According to the National Young Worker Safety Resource Center individuals younger than 25 years old are two times more likely to be in an accident at work.

“That is why it is important for them to learn at an early age how to be as safe as possible while at work, said Sophie Magnuson Montana State Fund Safety Management Consultant. “The goal is to reinforce safety habits for the next generation of Montana’s workforce.”

Helena High School’s welding class receives grant

Below is a list of the high schools, classrooms and teachers who received the safety equipment

Anaconda High School Construction-Automotive
Teacher: Brian Riley

Anaconda High School Welding/Machining
Teacher: Ryan Pesanti

Arlee High School Woods & Welding
Teacher: Michael Craig

Beaverhead County High School (Dillon) Agriculture Education
Teacher: Caleb Igo

Belgrade High School Welding
Teacher: Eric Kinnaman

Belgrade High School Woodworking
Teacher: Randy Radke

Bozeman High School Welding Fabrication
Teacher: Rick Hedlund

Bozeman High School Woodworking
Teacher: Daniel Brown

Butte High School Welding
Teacher: Denise Bordeleau

Dawson County (Glendive) Welding Ag
Teacher: Leanne Hoagland

Drummond High School Carpentry & Welding
Teacher: Alex Bolotsky

Havre High School Automotive Tech
Teacher: Tyler Kropf

Havre High School Welding, Basic Metals
Teacher: Christopher Comp

Helena Capital High School Industrial Technology
Teacher: Tom Kain

Helena High School Welding
Teacher: Cindy Galbavy

Jefferson High School (Boulder) Welding
Teacher: David Heimann

Jefferson High School (Boulder) Woods
Teacher: Mike Robbins

Missoula Hellgate Building Trades, Math for the Trades
Teacher: Charles Rinehart

Missoula Hellgate High School Welding
Teacher: Alan Pfister

Missoula Sentinel High School Carpentry & Welding
Teacher:Dave Burtch

Park County High School (Livingston) Industrial Technology
Teacher: Jamie Isaly

Powell County (Deer Lodge) Cabinet & Carpentry
Teacher: Clint Stevenson

St. Regis High School Carpentry & Welding
Teacher: George Cheesman

Superior High School Construction/Drafting/Welding/Woods
Teacher Jeff Schultz

Whitehall High School Welding & Carpentry
Teacher: Casey Harris

The other part of the Growing a Safer initiative is academic scholarships for higher education students in the trades, such as welding, automotive and construction and those studying industrial hygiene or occupational safety and health. These scholarships will be distributed in January 2020. 

For more information about the Growing a Safer Montana program contact Sophie Magnuson (406) 495-5397 or  Mark Rosenleaf (406) 495- 5334.

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Making Contact

Providing quality customer service is our number one priority at Montana State Fund. If you ever have a question or need assistance please feel free to call a customer service specialist who will be happy to assist you.

Important MSF Contact Information

Customer Service
406-495-5001 (Direct Line to Select Service)
406-495-5006  (Direct Line to Premier Service)

Main Website Address

Safety Website Address 

Return to Work Resources/Young Worker Safety

Safety Seminars
800-332-6102 Extension 5361 (Kirk Smith)

ACE Program 800-332-6102 Extension 5292 (Rita Naylor)

Fraud Hotline 888-MTCRIME 888-682-7463