Growing the Next Safety Generation

Helena High Welding Class 2019 School Year Presentation

Montana State Fund’s (MSF) safety team busily mailed personal protective equipment to 37 construction trades and industry high school classroom across the state. This was made possible through MSF’s high school personal protective equipment (PPE) grant program.

Traditionally, the MSF safety team personally visit the classrooms to convey the importance of safety in their classrooms and in the workplace. But with the uncertainty of Covid-19, an online safety video was produced.

The selected classrooms were awarded up to $850 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. New this year, teachers were able to use a portion of their grant money to order safety equipment for their classroom such as machine guards, welding curtains or specialized PPE.

The grants are part of Montana State Fund’s Growing a Safer Montana initiative to improve Montana’s workplace safety culture. The initiative teaches and reinforces positive safety in the classroom before these young people enter Montana’s workforce. Since the program’s inception in 2017, over $64,000 worth of safety gear has helped more than 5,000 students.

Montana’s injury rate has decreased from 4.4 injuries for every 100 workers in 2017 to 3.9 injuries for every 100 in 2018. While that number is an improvement, it is still higher than the national average of 2.8. It is critical that we continue to teach and instill safety in the next generation of Montanan’s to help keep our injuries rates trending downward.

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 2021. 

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