Historically, manufacturing has been the underpinning of the Butte economy providing quality jobs and contributing significantly to our economic diversification. According to the Economic Policy Institute, one manufacturing job supports an additional three jobs. Because of Butte’s deep-rooted entrepreneurial and innovative spirit, the manufacturing sector of our economy has grown to include companies conducting precision manufacturing who are supporting industries in aerospace and defense, medical device firms, transportation, solar, electronics, energy-related companies, mining, and more. And, Butte high-tech manufacturing firms are continually innovating and iterating to provide new products as industry demand dictates.
One of Butte’s premier innovative precision manufacturing companies is Montana Precision Products (MPP). Montana Precision Products was created in 2013 when SeaCast, Inc., owned by Butte natives Mike and Bert Robbins, and General Electric formed a 50-50 joint venture. The combined expertise of GE Aviation and SeaCast resulted in a company that manufactures precision parts for jet engines and other industrial customers. Their high-tech plant is located in the Montana Connections Park just west of Butte. One of the many precision products MMP manufacturers is used in a new generation of GE engines called LEAP. LEAP engines are expected to be installed in Airbus’s A320neo, Boeing’s 737 MAX and the C919 from Comac.
Mike and Bert left Butte years ago and founded SeaCast manufacturing in Seattle in 1985. Their love for their hometown led them to expand their Seattle operations to Butte, and in July of 2010 they opened their Butte SeaCast facility which has been expanding since. The company invested $1.5 million in new technology in 2016 and plans to grow its workforce by 50 percent in the next three years to meet growing demand for more fuel-efficient LEAP jet engines. With this, Montana High Tech News Business Alliance has ranked Montana Precision Products as the 10th high-tech and manufacturing company to watch in Montana. The Butte plant is known world-wide for their titanium vacuum melting capabilities, among many other quality capabilities.
Montana Precision Products is manufacturing highly engineered, high-tech precision products for major companies in the United States and internationally. The economic impact this company has on the Butte economy is substantial. The owners, managers and their employees are committed to growing their operations and they are committed to the Butte community. They have strategic partnerships with Montana Tech and Highlands College. They are active partners in leading Butte’s manufacturing sector partnership which is currently focusing on training the next generation of Butte workers.