Nixon’s Missouri Works program looks to revive state economy

Nixon’s spokesman said increasing the number of degree holders is still a priority.
The Taco Bell located at 220 Business Loop 70 E is now hiring full time management positions. Gov. Nixon's Missouri Works plan would create more job opportunities in Missouri.

Despite his push for creating job opportunities in the state under his new Missouri Works program, Gov. Jay Nixon’s spokesman Scott Holste said Nixon still has the goal of increasing the percentage of Missourians who have advanced degrees, whether they are from four-year schools, two-year schools or technical schools.

“We want to make sure that as part of increasing the number of people with degrees, they’re being prepared for jobs that are going to be in demand,” Holste said. “Missouri Works seeks to bring those jobs that are going to be in demand to Missouri.”

He said the Works strategy goes hand-in-hand with Nixon’s goal of increasing college degrees because it is important that there are jobs available for Missourians to step into after they have finished their training.

“They mesh very well together,” Holste said. “We’ll continue to work with our colleges and universities to continue preparing graduates for the jobs tomorrow.”

Nixon discussed his Missouri Works strategy in his State of the State address in Jefferson City on Jan. 17 as part of his plan to expand the Missouri economy in 2012, according to a news release.

The Missouri Works plan calls for more jobs in the auto supplier industry, more Missouri-made goods sold as exports worldwide, more training opportunities for veterans and advancements in science and technology jobs, Holste said.

Holste said Nixon’s ultimate goal in this strategy is to keep Missouri’s economy moving forward by increasing exports and putting more people back to work in manufacturing and high-tech jobs.

“We want to make sure that we’re able to continue to build on the success, give people good jobs and continue the drop in the unemployment rate,” he said.

To accomplish this goal, Holste said Nixon wants to build on the success Missouri has experienced in export growth during the past three years. Continuing to work with both the manufacturing industry and agricultural industry to keep steady flow of Missouri exports has become a top priority for Nixon, he said.

In addition to expanding on overseas exports, Holste said Nixon plans to focus on ensuring veterans are hired through the Show-Me Heroes program, which was launched two years ago.

“The governor wants to expand on that through increasing training opportunities for veterans to make sure that the jobs they step into are ones that are in growth sectors,” Holste said.

Rep. Mary Still, D-Columbia, said she supports any program that creates jobs in the state, especially in the automotive industry. Missouri has made historic investments with Ford and General Motors in the past, she said.

“The governor has been successful in reinvesting in those major industries,” she said.

She also said she has a lot of hope for the Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act, which would benefit Columbia given the number of high-tech jobs with MU.

“Job creation is the most important thing we can do to revive the budget,” she said.

Still said though she supports the Missouri Works initiative, she believes that investing money in MU, what she calls the “economic engine” of the state, would be the best move to benefit the economy.

“We are the state’s major research university,” she said. “The key to the economy of the future and job placement is the investment in this university.”

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