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Missouri governor makes economic development announcement at ATSU

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Missouri Governor Jay Nixon held an economic development news conference from the Centennial Commons at ATSU on December 1 where he outlined eight strategic objectives that will create jobs and transform the state’s economy over the next five years.

Missouri’s initiative to identify the tools and industries that will transform the state’s economy for the 21st Century reached an important milestone this week, as the Strategic Initiative for Economic Growth submitted its initial recommendations to Gov. Nixon.

“To compete in the 21st-century economy, Missouri must strategically review where we are investing our resources to create the jobs of tomorrow,” Gov. Nixon said. “Refining our economic-development efforts to ensure the best return on investment is what this strategic initiative is all about. The final result truly will be a roadmap to jobs, economic growth and prosperity for years to come.”

Launched in May, Gov. Nixon established the strategic initiative to develop a five-year economic roadmap for Missouri. Under the leadership of Director of Economic Development David Kerr and an executive advisory board of private-sector leaders, the initiative submitted its preliminary strategic objectives to Gov. Nixon.

When he announced the planning initiative, Gov. Nixon instructed the steering committee to submit a set of preliminary objectives to spark growth in targeted industries by Dec. 1. Over the next three months, the steering committee will develop detailed tactical plans, which could include legislative and policy proposals, to carry out each of the eight broad objectives identified by the group.

The eight strategic objectives are:

– Missouri will attract, develop, and retain a workforce with the education and skills to succeed in a 21st-Century economy
– Missouri will support its local economic-development organizations in the retention and expansion of existing businesses and employers
– Missouri will optimize its tax, incentive, and regulatory policies to best support the growth of high-value target business sectors
– Missouri will invest in technology and innovation to attract, launch, and sustain the growth companies of the future
– Missouri will aggressively market the state to domestic and select international audiences
– Missouri will develop a best-in-class foreign trade initiative
– Missouri will develop a culture that encourages small- and minority-business development and entrepreneurship
– Missouri will provide the infrastructure necessary for companies and communities to be successful

Based on the data they have reviewed, the members of the steering committee believe these strategic objectives are important steps to create a business climate conducive for the development of the high-growth industries of the future, including:

– Advanced Manufacturing, including transportation equipment, aerospace and defense
– Energy Solutions
– Bioscience, including plant and agricultural technology; companion- and feed-animal science; and biomedical
– Health Sciences and Services, including health care innovation, services and sciences
– Information Technology, including software, hardware, systems design and data centers
– Financial and Professional Services
– Transportation and Logistics, including freight haulers, warehousing and wholesalers

The final plan will outline specific steps Missouri should take to create jobs in these industries over the next five years.

“As Governor, my top priority is creating jobs and putting Missourians to work in the high-demand industries of the 21st Century,” Gov. Nixon said. “By focusing on these critical industries, we are laying a granite foundation for economic growth in our state.”

The strategic objectives are the product of three meetings of the statewide steering committee and six regional planning forums, which took place in every region of Missouri in September. The next step in the planning process will involve a second series of regional forums, in which local leaders will be asked to help formulate detailed tactical plans to execute the strategic objectives. Those regional meetings will take place in early January.

After the second round of regional meetings, the statewide steering committee and executive advisory board will finalize the detailed tactical plans. Those plans will be submitted to Gov. Nixon by March 31, 2011.

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