Missouri Department of Economic Development evaluates strategy, resets to focus on better serving the state

Jefferson City, MO (STL.News) – “It had been more than a decade since we evaluated our economic development strategy, and it was time we took a hard look at how we could provide better solutions in our state,” Missouri Department of Economic Development Director Rob Dixon said, noting that the Department’s year-long strategy assessment led to a “complete overhaul and new pathway for growth in rural and urban areas.”

Governor Parson signed Senate Bill 68 into law in July, bringing forth comprehensive economic development legislation that included key components – Missouri One Start and the Missouri Works Deal Closing Fund – designed to meet employer needs and help Missouri compete for business expansions.

“A top priority of our administration is to skill-up Missouri’s workforce for the jobs of the future,” Governor Parson said. “To move our state in the right direction, we had to roll up our sleeves and get to work, and that’s what this day represents. Today is a culmination of the collaborative efforts involved with achieving this historic reorganization – something that hasn’t happened in decades but was needed to better serve our citizens.”

Missouri One Start is a new resource that will allow Missouri to contend with the country’s top workforce training programs by helping businesses recruit, onboard, and train job applicants during expansions through customized workforce solutions.

The Missouri Works Deal Closing Fund will give Missouri a negotiating tool to close deals with companies by granting tax credits up front during a business expansion, rather than over a multi-year period, and includes a claw back provision.

“The Department’s mission is to help create greater opportunities for Missourians to prosper, and this reorganization positions us to concentrate on becoming even more customer centric, regionally targeted, and data driven,” Dixon said. “Our aim is to move Missouri forward through delivering solutions to fuel workforce development and economic growth in our state.”

The multi-department reorganization included moves within the following agencies: the Missouri Department of Economic Development, the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance, and the Lt. Governor’s Office.