Over the last twelve months, the Missouri Chamber has worked with Gallup and economic strategists to collect the data that is the foundation of Missouri 2030. Gallup surveyed more than 1,000 Missouri CEOs and asked critical questions about how Missouri can better compete. Gallup also gathered insight from site selectors from around the nation and key workforce development professionals. In addition, the Missouri Chamber held regional meetings and spoke with hundreds of Missouri employers, chambers of commerce and local leaders to gather input to include in Missouri 2030.
“What we found is that in many key economic measurements, Missouri is slipping,” said Missouri Chamber President and CEO Dan Mehan. “The goal of Missouri 2030 is to turn that around and make Missouri a global leader in job creation, wage growth, economic productivity and output – measurements that matter to the future economy of our state. At a time when other states are taking strategic and intentional actions to address the rapidly changing economic landscape, Missouri needs to do the same if we want to compete.”
From December 2004-December 2014, employment growth in Missouri totaled 2.5 percent, ranking Missouri 42nd among the 50 states. Among neighboring states, only Illinois’ employment grew slower than Missouri.
Between 2003 and 2013, National Real Per Capita GDP grew by 7 percent, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. During that time, Missouri’s GDP grew by .8 percent, 43rd best among the 50 states. At the same time, all of our neighboring states grew faster, with Oklahoma, Iowa, Nebraska and Arkansas ranked in the top ten states nationally.
Missouri’s poor performance among key economic indicators compelled the Missouri Chamber to reach out to Missouri employers and find out if they shared the same concerns and, most importantly, to gather their input on what should be done to turn these disturbing trends around.
The resulting Missouri 2030 plan addresses four areas employers believe are critical to Missouri’s economic success:
- Uniting the business community around a long-term economic plan
- Preparing our workforce for the jobs of the future
- Competing for jobs by keeping our business climate strong and fostering entrepreneurs
- Connecting employers to markets and resources through cutting-edge infrastructure
The Gallup survey showed frustration by the business community over the lack of long-term vision and leadership on critical employer needs.
“By the time we reach 2030, the Missouri General Assembly will have seen three generations of legislators and at least three governors come and go due to term limits,” said John Sondag, President of AT&T Missouri. “Missouri 2030 will transcend political cycles, term limits and parties and provide a long-term plan with goals to hold leaders accountable.”
Preparing our workforce for the jobs of the future
Gallup found that the quality of Missouri’s workforce is the leading concern of Missouri employers. According to the Gallup survey, only 15 percent of Missouri business owners believe high school graduates are ready for the workforce. Although colleges and universities fared better, still just 42 percent of business leaders agree that college graduates are ready to go to work after graduation.
“We must do better,” said Rudy Farber, Chairman of Community Bank and Trust in Neosho during the press conference. “This is not an indictment of our education system. Rather it is a wake-up call to business. We need to do a better job of letting educators know what business needs from our schools, colleges, universities and training programs.”
Competing for jobs by keeping our business climate strong and fostering entrepreneurs
Gallup dug deeply into key areas that impact Missouri’s business climate and found that less than one in four employers is satisfied with Missouri’s litigation climate, tax environment or government regulations. The inconsistency of Missouri’s tax policy was a key concern, according to the Gallup. Less than 1 in 5 employers surveyed believes tax policies are stable enough to allow for year-to-year growth planning.
Gallup also found that creating more ways to help start-up businesses is a must for Missouri.
“While protecting the business climate for existing businesses is important, we must also foster an environment that allows entrepreneurs, like my family, thrive,” said Bob Orscheln, Co-Chair of Orscheln Industries, a company started by his family in Moberly three generations earlier.
Connecting employers to markets and resources through cutting-edge infrastructure
Gallup concluded that leveraging Missouri’s location through strategic policy making and investment would be a smart move for the state. Their research revealed that basic infrastructure, such as roads and bridges is a prevalent concern of employers, especially industries that depend on roads and airports for movement of goods.
“The quality of infrastructure can define a city, region or state. Missouri’s central location provides a clear logistics competitive advantage. However, Missouri needs infrastructure investment to leverage those strengths,” said Dirck Clark, chief strategy office at Mosaic Life Care in St. Joseph.
Mehan stressed during the press conference that the launch of the plan was just the beginning of the work on Missouri 2030.
“Turning around the trends in these critical areas will take time,” Mehan said. “It took an incredible amount of time, effort and resources to create this plan. But we are just getting started and the clock is already clicking. It’s time to get to work.”
In August 2014, Amendment 7, a 3/4-cent transportation sales tax, was defeated by voters of Missouri. Passage of the amendment would have enabled funding of several projects throughout the state, including the reconstruction of Interstate 70 across Missouri. As a result of the failure of Amendment 7, MoDOT has suspended the I-70 study, along with others, because of their dire financial situation.
In 2017, MoDOT will only have about $325 million available statewide to fund state roads and bridges - a system that requires $485 million to maintain.
Mr. Nichols stated that a completed study would create an expectation that construction would follow and MoDOT if afraid this would misrepresent their financials situation.
The Chamber understands MoDOT's funding situation - that is why we supported Amendment 7 along with many other Chambers across Missouri; however, the I-70 corridor is looking tired in St. Charles County. The corridor does not provide for the mobility and safe commute that Missourians expect from what should be a 21st Century Interstate. Not completing the study is not preparing us for the future with shovel-ready projects when a funding source is identified.
Since Mr. Nichols recently announced his retirement, we encourage members to write to Mr. Stephen Miller, the Chair of the Missouri Highways and Transportation, P.O. Box 270, Jefferson City, Missouri 65102 or Stephen.R.Miller@modot.mo.gov.
Below is correspondence between the Greater St. Charles County Chamber of Commerce and MoDOT.
Right now, the future is looking bleak. We must find a solution to fund Missouri roads and other infrastructure if we want continued economic growth.
Check out MODOT's Financial Snapshot - You will see why a new sources for additional funding for transportation are necessary and why additional taxing and toll roads should all be considered.
I-70 Tolling Report
Missouri's 325 System
Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP) - 2015-2019
Show-Me Heroes is the state’s premier workforce development initiative that has already connected more than 4,100 businesses with more than 7,100 highly-skilled, highly-trained military job seekers.
We encourage you to take the pledge to also support Missouri Veterans. For more information or to pledge to become a Show-Me Heroes employer, visit http://showmeheroes.mo.gov.
For far too long, Missouri has rated as a mid-range state - at best - in many economic and competitiveness rankings. As a result, our economy is struggling compared to the nation and our neighboring states.
Missouri actually lost more than 17,000 jobs from 2002 to 2012 and our state ranked 39th in job growth during the last decade. Over that time, our economy has grown at the 47th slowest rate among all 50 states.
We need leadership to turn this around. With Missouri 2030, the Missouri Chamber is asking the state's business community to step into this leadership role and help move our state forward.
Over the past 10 months, the Missouri Chamber has been working alongside nationally-respected economic planning expert Ted Abernathy as well as the industry-leading Gallup organization. The chamber has also collaborated with Missouri CEOs and local chamber executives as we began laying the groundwork for Missouri 2030.
Today, we unveiled the first piece of the Missouri 2030 plan, a groundbreaking Gallup survey of more than 1,000 Missouri business leaders. Click here to read the full report from the survey.
Here are a few highlights:
- Only 15 percent of Missouri businesses believe Missouri's high school graduates are prepared for the workforce.
- Fewer than one in three businesses thinks that Missouri attracts top talent.
- Only 37 percent of business leaders said they are satisfied with Missouri's basic infrastructure, including roads.
- Businesses said their three biggest obstacles to growth are government regulations, the availability of a skilled workforce and the state's tax environment.
- Only 20 percent of Missouri businesses agree that Missouri politicians are committed to improving the state's business climate.
As members of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, you are critical to the success of this plan. We welcome you to share your thoughts about this plan and let us know how you would like to be involved.
Please watch for more updates on Missouri 2030 as we move forward.
Watch Missouri Chamber President and CEO Dan Mehan introduce Missouri 2030 in this video.
The nominees must have contributed to the community by being a successful and profitable business. In addition, the business must be a member of the Chamber and have been involved in community projects by giving time, energy and resources. If your business meets these guidelines, or you would like to nominate another deserving Chamber member, please complete and return the nomination form no later than February 13, 2015.
*Must be a current member and in good standing with the Greater St. Charles County Chamber of Commerce and have fewer than 50 employees.
*Must have been in existence since January 1, 2014.
*Must have experienced growth or other measurable indicator of business success in the past twelve months.
The recipient of the award will be honored at the Greater St. Charles County Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year/ City of St. Charles Employer of the Year Awards Luncheon on Friday May 8, 2015 at the St. Charles Convention Center, One Convention Plaza Drive, St. Charles, MO 63303. For more information please call the Chamber at (636) 946-0633.
Call the Chamber or log on to the chamber website www.gstccc.com to register. We will not be able to accommodate walk-ins.
$30.00 per person. (Table of 10 $300)
Deadline is May 1, 2015.
Click here to attend or for information on sponsoring this event.
NerdWallet considers availability, affordability and growth
As renting becomes less affordable, NerdWallet wanted to give potential homebuyers a look at the current housing market. NerdWallet based its rankings on the following criteria:
- Homeownership rate
- Selected monthly homeowner costs
- Monthly household income
- Population growth
NerdWallet ranked Dardenne Prairie as the best place in Missouri for homeownership. This city northwest of St. Louis is an affordable area with the state’s highest homeownership rate of 98%, and median monthly homeowner costs are $1,907. Homeowners here spend just 22.7% of their median household income on monthly mortgage and utility costs. Dardenne Prairie grew by 10.2% between 2010 and 2012.
Wentzville, O’Fallon, St. Peters and Lake St. Louis all ranked among the top 20 as well, ranking second, fifth, 13th and 15th, respectively. Wentzville experienced the greatest population increase of any place on the list, growing 13.8% from 2010 to 2012. Residents of every St. Charles community in the top 20 spend less than 28% of their median household income on monthly homeowner costs.
Other cities that made the top 20 include Raymore and Eureka. Read the full study online.
For more information about NerdWallet, visit nerdwallet.com/cities.
NerdWallet is a consumer-friendly financial literacy website that helps consumers make better financial decisions and save money on CD rates, checking accounts, credit cards and more. NerdWallet has been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Reuters; our products have been recommended by consumer advocates Liz Weston, Clark Howard and Consumer Action.
A Leadership Training Program Produced by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
“Institute graduates are recognized across the country as leaders in their industries and organizations,” said Raymond P. Towle, IOM, CAE, the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s vice president of Institute for Organization Management. “These individuals have the knowledge, skills, and dedication necessary to achieve professional and organizational success in the dynamic association and chamber industries.”
Since its commencement in 1921, the Institute program has been educating tens of thousands of association, chamber, and other nonprofit leaders on how to build stronger organizations, better serve their members and become strong business advocates. Institute’s curriculum consists of four weeklong sessions at five different university locations throughout the country. Through a combination of required courses and electives in areas such as leadership, advocacy, marketing, finance, and membership, Institute participants are able to enhance their own organizational management skills and add new fuel to their organizations, making them run more efficiently and effectively.
Institute for Organization Management is the professional development program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. It is the premier nonprofit professional development program for association and chamber professionals, fostering individual growth through interactive learning and networking opportunities.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF) is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness by addressing developments that affect our nation, our economy, and the global business environment.
The Greater St. Charles County Chamber of Commerce today joined with organizations from across the country in sending a letter urging Congress to swiftly reauthorize the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im). The bank, which provides loans and loan guarantees when other financing is not available, will see its charter lapse on September 30 unless Congress acts. The letter, led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Manufacturers, was signed by more than 800 chambers, companies and associations across the country, showing the overwhelming support for Ex-Im from American companies of every size, sector, and region.
“The benefits that the Export-Import Bank provides for businesses in Missouri are vital for maintaining competitiveness and expanding opportunities for growth,” said Scott Tate. “For these companies, especially small businesses, to be able to compete globally, they need Ex-Im’s help to reach foreign markets and customers. If Congress fails to reauthorize Ex-Im, American companies would be put at a disadvantage in global markets, resulting in lost sales and lost jobs. We are urging members of Congress to act quickly to support American jobs and reauthorize Ex-Im.”
As the letter states, last year Ex-Im supported $37 billion in exports that in turn sustained more than 200,000 American jobs at 3,400 companies. The Bank’s support is especially important to small and medium-sized businesses, which account for nearly 90 percent of the Bank’s transactions. More information on how Ex-Im benefits state and local economies is available here.
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