College Students Find Ways to Improve Missouri City
COLUMBIA - Students from Columbia College presented an economic development plan Thursday intended for the city of Cuba, Missouri. The students worked for eight weeks with the city, brainstorming ways to improve the town.
The students are all enrolled in the class of assistant professor Sean Siebert. Siebert said, "Although they were required to do this project for a grade, the students took it more seriously than a class project. They really rose to the challenge. This year's class, more than ever, really tried to connect with the people of Cuba." Siebert said, "And since I am from there I was happy to see the students making connections in my home town."
Siebert divided the class into six different groups: education, marketing, job creation, small business development, development of a farmer's market, and examining business opportunities for an existing technology park. The main focus of all of the groups is community development in Cuba. "Service learning truly creates a win-win environment for the students and the community. The students are able to see the real world in action and the community gains detailed analysis and fresh perspectives at no cost," said Siebert.
Representatives from Cuba attended the presentation on the campus of Columbia College, as well as Mike Downing, director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development, and several other business leaders from Mid-Missouri.
Siebert said, "Now that business leaders in Cuba have heard the students ideas, the next step is in their hands. But they will definitely keep in touch with the kids."