Missouri creates a plan for job growth by 2030

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COLUMBIA - New research shows Missouri is falling short when it comes to job growth and economic performance, compared to other states.

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry has released its plan for Missouri's economic growth between now and 2030, based in part on the research performed by Gallup across Missouri during 2014.

The study showed Missouri needs to "invest" in its own workforce. Gallup reports "only 44 percent of Missouri business owners are satisfied with the state's availability of skilled workers. Employers survey cited weakness in the states ability to "prepare, attract, and retain workers."

The report from Gallup said, "Only 15 percent of Missouri business owners agree that high schools are preparing students for the workforce. 42 percent of Missouri businesses agree that colleges provide preparation for the workforce. And 30 percent of Missouri business owners agree that Missouri attracts the top talent and retain top talent."

Gallup conducted one-on-one interviews with CEO's from some of the state's largest employers. More than 90 percent of the CEO's said action is needed to improve education and workforce preparedness.

The study looked at Missouri's work force and found "people in Missouri between the age of 25 and 44 years old are decreasing in the work place three times faster than the national average."

The plan found many of those surveyed believe "Missouri is not effectively promoting the social and economic value of industrial careers that may not require two and four year degrees." One of the recommendations for the future included training grants and reimbursement programs for Missouri employees.

Employment growth was evaluated from December 2004 to December 2014. In the 10 year time span, Missouri's employment growth increased by 2.5 percent (see chart). The small increase resulted in Missouri ranking 42 among the 50 states in employment growth. States surrounding Missouri performed a lot better. Click here to read more.

The Heat Map below shows the rank of employment growth across the country. The No. 1 exhibiting the highest employment growth between December 2004-2014 and 50 exhibiting the lowest employment growth.

When it comes to growth, the national gross domestic product increased by 7 percent from 2003 to 2013. During that time Missouri only grew by 0.8 percent, leaving it at 43 among 50 states.

The Chamber said its Missouri 2030 plan would "empower Missouri employers" and drive Missouri to "better job creation, wage growth, economic productivity, and output."

The plan includes four areas of focus.

  • Preparing the workforce
  • Competing for jobs
  • Connecting through infrastructure
  • Uniting the business community

The stated goals for Missouri 2030 include:

  • Missouri performance for gross to domestic product growth employment growth and income growth will be above the national average
  • Missouri will be a top 15 State for new business formations
  • Missouri's post secondary educated 22 to 44-year-olds ranking will improve to a top 10 state per capita
  • Missouri will be ranked among the top third of states for business climate and best places to do business
  • Workforce credentials at all levels will increase faster than labor force growth
  • Exports per capita from Missouri will grow faster than the national average
  • Business satisfaction surveys concerning the skills of the available workforce will show significant improvements within five years
  • Missouri's image among site selection professionals will be among the top tier states
  • Missouri will improve and rankings measuring quality-of-life

Karen Buschmann, Vice President of Communications at the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said, "We decided that wasn't good enough for Missouri so we decided to put together a plan."

One of the programs that the chamber said it wants to implement across the state is "Certified Work Ready Communities."

Buschmann said, "The first drive, preparing the workforce, there are programs that we will be working to scale up. We want to try to employ the certified work ready communities. It shows that a student or employee is ready for a particular job and, if they're not, it points them in the direction of where they need to go to get training in order to become certified. That's a program that is being used with success in a number of Missouri communities right now, we would like to see that spread statewide."

Centralia resident Mindy Swanson said she found out about the Certified Work Ready Communities program through Job Service when she was unemployed.

"It was one of the programs that I had the ability of going through," she said. "The program shows that they're willing to better themselves, and work toward improvement, and have the ability of learning."

Swanson said, "I think it's a good program. I think that even with the aspect of it being free and it's an ability to show yourself, what you know too, I mean it's a good program as far as going, involving yourself. There's a lot of things that you may feel that you don't remember from school, you'll find out that you know more than you thought you did."

Buschmann said Missouri 2030 is a 15-year plan with short-term goals and long-term goals.

"One of our short-term goals is to push some policy in the Missouri legislature and see if we can make changes that way. We will also continue to meet with business leaders," she said. "Meeting with leaders now are going to get a little deeper into the issue areas to try to get input on what our next paths would be.

Buschmann said "We will be digging into some of our entrepreneurship building parts of the plan. For more details go to WWW.mo2030.com to see what we will be working on in the near future."