Stream flows out of state

Montana State Roundup

Published November 1, 2003  | November 2003 issue

Despite a $4 million incentive package and being named 2002 Montana Company of the Year by Gov. Judy Martz, Stream International shut down its Kalispell operation in August, after only three years of operation in that location. The company, a computer-user help call center, laid off 330 when it closed, down from peak employment of about 900.

Citing a downturn in the economy, and admittedly lower costs at foreign call center locations, Stream not only pulled out of Kalispell, but also downsized its Beaverton, Ore., location.

Stream has promised to honor its contractual obligations to pay taxes, a lease and a loan—to the tune of about $3.7 million. Nonetheless, the city of Kalispell and the Flathead County Economic Development Authority are also left with some financial obligations, not to mention more than 300 unemployed residents.

Kathy Cobb