Impact of Giving: Yellowstone Building

Yellowstone Hall

Yellowstone Science and Allied Health Building – Meeting the Needs of Students and the Region

Recent projections by City County Planning for Billings anticipate that within the next 20 years we will have at least another 70,000 residents living in Yellowstone County – nearly double the current population. As the population grows and the local economy expands, the need for a well-educated, well-trained workforce also grows, particularly in health and science. With two hospitals and numerous other healthcare facilities, Yellowstone County is the major healthcare provider in the State of Montana, serving people in Eastern Montana, as well as Wyoming and North Dakota. Billings alone has approximately 13,000 skilled healthcare positions, a number that is expected to grow along with our aging population. Locally, the economic impact of current healthcare exceeds $1 billion annually.

MSU Billings graduates comprise a major portion of the health-related local and regional workforce. In filling that need, MSU Billings not only offers teaching degrees in science, the University offers an additional 11 non-teaching science majors and minors. We educate health administrators, clinical rehabilitation counselors, mental health and addiction counselors, and health and human performance specialists. Our science and health graduates go on to train as medical doctors, veterinarians, chemists, biologists, directors of healthcare facilities, and clinicians to name a few. MSU Billings has a long history of educating associate degree nurses and is in the process of developing an RN to BSN completion program.

Currently it is estimated that nearly 12,000 MSU Billings/EMC graduates work and live in Yellowstone County. These trained and educated graduates are found in all industries: from service to management; from medical to legal; from private to public; and all areas in between. In the Billings Gazette’s 2016 selection of the “40 Under 40,” nearly a third of the honorees were MSU Billings graduates. MSU Billings is the third largest campus in the state of Montana serving as many students as the next two largest campuses combined. Locally, MSU Billings employs around 1,000 people. The economic impact of this University on the economy is undeniable. We should all agree that an investment in MSU Billings is an investment in the future of Billings and Eastern Montana – where the majority of our graduates stay and work.

Recognizing the need and importance of MSU Billings to our future, the Montana State Legislature approved a funding measure to renovate and expand the science building on campus. Its working title is Yellowstone Science and Allied Health Building, the cornerstone for MSU Billings’s Foundation for the Next Century. The state agreed to enter into a public-private funding partnership for this project, a model we expect to see repeated. This measure gives us the opportunity to build a first class science and health facility on campus to serve not only the University’s needs, but the current and future needs of the area and the region.

We all need to invest in this project. Visit the Foundation’s website to check out the plans for the renovated and expanded building. Every dollar invested in MSU Billings comes back to our communities threefold, particularly as the needs grow in the coming years. Finally, it cannot go without saying that the new facility will draw more students to our campus, garnering additional, well-deserved respect for MSU Billings, and the possibilities of expanded programs and offerings. Be a part of that future.

For more information about contributing to this forward-thinking project or to find out about available naming opportunities, please contact the MSU Billings Foundation at 406.657.2244, 888.430.6782, or

  1. Candi Millar, City County Planning Director, Yellowstone County
  2. Big Sky Business Healthcare Summit Economic Report, prepared by Bryce Ward