The Bitterroot Valley is a separate community from Missoula, with its own economy, public challenges - even weather.

those unique issues will be discussed at the "Bitterroot Community Symposium" all day Friday, November 3, at Hamilton's Bitterroot College UM.

The theme this year is "Sensing Opportunity," which will attempt to identify and move toward solving critical issues in the Bitterroot.

Larry Swanson, Director of the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West at UM is the keynote speaker. The 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. gathering will include a networking luncheon and breakout sessions for affordable housing, business development, apprenticeship, entrepreneurship and work force development.

Victoria Clark, director of the college at 9th and Main in Hamilton, said that a goal is to further cooperative efforts of local government, nonprofit organizations and the public to tackle some of the needs of the valley.

The registration fee is $15, which includes lunch. Teachers attending will be eligible for continuing education credits.

For more information, contact the Bitterroot College UM at 375-0100 or check their website.