Archive for Regional Growth – Page 2

Joplin’s Vision 2022 connects job growth and literacy strategies

The Joplin Globe newspaper provided strong coverage of Joplin’s Vision 2022 efforts, including WIB perspectives on education and job growth. Today’s edition featured Vision 2022’s Job Growth team that kicked off Tuesday night.

Update on Monday, January 30th:  Joplin Globe covered the second meeting of the Job Growth Team with analysis of occupation growth projections and economic factors that might affect projections and outcomes.

The goal of the Job Growth team is to support the citizens’ desire for a vibrant economy with a thriving workforce by growing the job market. The group’s first meeting Tuesday examined labor market and sector trends with discussions around key priorities. The group meets again January 26th to dig deeper on skill gap trends and issues. Globe journalist Jordan Larimore interviewed Job Growth Team co-chair Ryan Melton, Adam Bokker of Home Instead Senior Care, and Jasen Jones with the SW MO WIB.

The Education team met Monday, as noted in a separate article from the Globe. This team has two components of K-12 and adult education (including post-secondary). This team’s mission is to support the citizens’ desire for Quality Schools by developing a community of learners rooted in strong communications, collaboration, critical thinking, and creative thought to ensure an engaged and informed community.

More about Vision 2022 is available online or through their Facebook page. KCGS-TV at Missouri Southern State University also covered Vision 2022 in its Newsmakers program with video available online as well.  Other teams within Vision 2022 include Governance, Healthy Living/Wellness, Positive Marketing/Branding, and Quality of Life.




KODE-TV showcases progress at new training center

Gretchen Bolander with KODE-TV reported on progress at Joplin’s new Advanced Training and Technology Center during Monday evening’s newscast. Gretchen interviewed Rob O’Brian with the Joplin Chamber and Bubba Evansco with the WIB on the developments. The WIB’s regional headquarters took residence at the Center in October and tenants are beginning to fill in business incubator portions as an extension of the Newman Innovation Center. Additional work continues on a new parking lot just south of the building along with the arrival and installation of new equipment. Crowder College is set to begin classes at the center in August. Check out the full article and video online from KODE-TV.

Joplin adds sweet spot for state economy

The Missouri Partnership for the month of December is looking back at the Show-Me State’s top 31 economic development projects for 2016. Today’s feature includes HS Baking, which selected Joplin for its flagship bakery. On July 20, HS Baking, an advanced manufacturer of baked goods, announced the grand opening of their flagship manufacturing plant in Joplin, Missouri. The facility represented more than $8 million in investment and brought with it more than 60 new jobs to the region.

“This facility has a nearly 70-year history of baking quality products, and it is wonderful to see it coming back into operation so quickly after it was shut down,” said Joplin Mayor Mike Seibert. “We appreciate HS Baking for its investment in Joplin and for its sincere recognition of the proud history of this facility and its people.”

General Mills previously operated the facility and HS Baking cited the abundance of highly skilled and available talent as one of the leading reasons for their choosing of the Joplin site.

“Our whole team is excited to come to Joplin and kick the factory back into high gear with the help of members of the Joplin community,” said HS Baking Plant Manager Max Jones.


Missouri is a center for advanced manufacturing excellence with a robust food production sector supported by a cost-competitive, pro-business and innovative environment, exceptional talent and extensive training programs

“Investments by great companies like HS Baking are the reason why Missouri leads the Midwest in manufacturing growth and our unemployment rate has been below the national average for more than two years,” said Missouri Governor Jay Nixon. “Missouri makes what the world wants, and we are proud to partner with HS Baking as they create new jobs right here in Joplin.”

WorkforceZone Fall 2016: Expanding the Labor Market with Opportunities for All

wfz-cover-fall-2016The Fall edition of the WorkforceZone, the region’s quarterly journal for workforce development, features the theme of Expanding the Labor Market with Workforce Opportunities for All. The 16-page magazine-style format may be downloaded as a printer-friendly and tablet-friendly PDF. Check out individual articles online here at as well.

Joplin boasts Missouri’s lowest cost of living

All six of Missouri’s major metro areas have a cost of living lower than the U.S. average making Missouri the 8th lowest as a state nationwide for the third quarter of 2016. Joplin also topped the Show-Me state for the lowest cost of living.

Bar graph indicating Cost of Living for selected Missouri Cities, third quarter 2016

Chart indicating Cost of Living Indices for Participating Missouri Cities, third quarter 2016

In general, the most expensive areas to live were Hawaii, Alaska, the Northeast, and the West Coast. The least expensive areas were the Midwest and Southern states.  Missouri’s Economic Research Information Center (MERIC) pulls the cost of living index for each state by averaging the indices of participating cities and metropolitan areas in that state. Missouri’s cost of living index for the third quarter of 2016 was 90.4, down from the 2015 third quarter index of 91.2. Cities across the nation participate in the Council for Community & Economic Research (C2ER) survey on a voluntary basis. Price information in the survey is governed by C2ER collection guidelines.  Visit MERIC online to learn more about other state rankings.


WIB is on the move!

WIB entrance at Joplin's new Advanced Training and Technology CenterThe multi-year vision for Joplin’s new Advanced Training and Technology Center is finally a reality. The WIB became the first occupant of the center in mid-October. Located at 4th and Grand Avenue near downtown Joplin, the center will house high-demand job training programs for Joplin’s first-ever campus location for Crowder College. The building also houses an expansion of incubator space to house business start-ups in the tech sector.

Previously a pharmaceutical warehouse and distribution center, the building became a temporary location for Franklin Technology Center after the tornado. Once Franklin Tech returned to the new campus at Joplin High School, officials with the City of Joplin, Joplin Chamber, the WIB, and Crowder College sought federal disaster recovery funds to acquire and retrofit the building to continue its legacy of technology training.

The address for the building is 420 Grand Avenue, Joplin, MO 64801. The WIB is located in the east section of the building with the entrance facing Grand Avenue. The phone number and email contact information for the WIB is unchanged.

Google Map Location

Fiber-Ready + Work-Ready = McDonald County

One of Missouri’s newest Certified Work Ready Communities also attained its Fiber-Ready designation. McDonald County business and community leaders celebrated the accomplishments in ceremonies held September 30th at the Crowder College campus in the Jane/Pineville area.

“Today’s announcements serve as milestones in McDonald County’s strategic efforts to strengthen and grow its economy,” said Mike Downing, director of DED. “A talented workforce and state-of-the-art infrastructure are absolutely necessary in all corners of Missouri—from the rural areas to the urban areas—for the state’s economy to grow and thrive.”

The fiber-ready certification shows that the Pineville and Anderson communities are capable of serving world-class clientele, such as Wal-Mart, which has a large digital storage presence in McDonald County.

Read More→

Global trade growing at home

global trade connections cargo container ship

The Neosho Industrial Park is now an official magnet site of the Southwest Missouri Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ). The designation allows any approved company residing in the industrial park to become part of the FTZ. Together with new national rankings placing Joplin among the top 15 cities to watch for global trade, international business is on the rise for the region. Read More→

New trends on staying competitive in the labor market

Labor Study Crystal BallLabor Day week ushered in a series of workshops for local employers with the debut of a long-awaited labor supply certification study. During the one-hour sessions, employers gained new insights to boost competitiveness as an employer of choice, wage competitiveness, commute patterns, retention trends, and what motivates workers of all ages and types. Read More→

Joplin Metro among nation’s best for logistics and quality of life

Business Facilities magazine published their 12th Annual Rankings Report in their August edition. The Joplin metro area landed in the top ten ranking for two different categories: 7th for Logistics (industry sector) Leaders and 8th for Quality of Life. Joplin ranks alongside very worthy competitors.

  • Quality of Life Rankings
    1. Oklahoma City, OK
    2. Nashville, TN
    3. Minneapolis, MN
    4. Baton Rouge, LA
    5. Indianapolis, IA
    6. Greenville, SC
    7. Lexington, KY
    8. Joplin, MO
    9. Albuquerque, NM
    10. Witchita, KS
  • Logistics Leaders Rankings
    1. Memphis, TN
    2. New Orleans, LA
    3. Louisville, KY
    4. Houston, TX
    5. Joliet/Elwood, IL
    6. Long Beach, CA
    7. Joplin, MO
    8. Dupage County, IL
    9. Bay County, MI
    10. Oswego County, NY

Other rankings by the magazine include categories such as lowest cost of business, economic growth potential, STEM job leaders, innovation hubs, greenest metro, entrepreneurship leaders, and fastest growing. The report also includes state and global rankings. Business Facilities is a national publication that has been the leading location source for corporate site selectors and economic development professionals for more than four decades.