BLACKHAWK! Named 2017 Montana Manufacturer of the Year

BLACKHAWK!, the leading manufacturer of high-tech holsters and tactical accessories, was recently presented with the 2017 Montana Manufacturer of the Year Award at the Manufacturing and International Trade Day event, held by the Montana Manufacturing Association, a subsidiary of the Montana Chamber of Commerce.

“Our team is deeply honored and very excited to receive this recognition,” said BLACKHAWK! Factory Operations Manager Lamont Kotter. “This is a testament to the great work our employees do every day in our factory and in the community.”

The criteria for choosing a winner for the award included factors such as employee engagement, development opportunities for employees and operational excellence. BLACKHAWK! excelled in all categories, showing over 300 continuous improvement ideas generated from employees, clear career path progression for workers, a strong record of safety, as well as a growth of 140 jobs at the facility over the past six years. All of these accomplishments put BLACKHAWK! out front as the first choice for the award.

“We believe that as manufacturers and business leaders we have two purposes,” said Kotter. “First, to improve the business year over year. We work to drive out costs, improve the quality of our product, improve the safety and efficiency of our operation and bring the very best products to market. Second, to contribute to the improvement of our community. The entire team is committed to these two missions which guide the rest of what we do. We are excited to be recognized for our efforts and the progress we have made.”

BLACKHAWK! is an engaged community partner that supports efforts to bring people together, honor military and law enforcement, and advocate for the importance of manufacturing jobs. BLACKHAWK! employees work with local schools to help promote an interest in manufacturing and give young people an opportunity to learn first-hand about the profession. Working alongside other manufacturers, in 2017, BLACKHAWK! employees helped develop a 10-day curriculum on manufacturing and taught it in one of the local schools in the area. In addition, BLACKHAWK! hosts many student tours of the factory each year and mentors students on engineering projects, believing that young people are the future of the manufacturing business.

Pictured L to R: Webb Brown, executive director of the Montana Manufacturing Association, Lamont Kotter with Blackhawk! and Kevin Poulin, the chair of the Montana Manufacturing Association

The fly reel was hand-crafted by a group of students, who engineered and made all of the pieces to create the award.