It’s no surprise that the U.S. economy has shifted in recent years. Economic development agencies realize they must review plans, programs and structure to ensure they are delivering the services the business community needs. With an eye to the future, Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) recently announced the Best in Midwest state-wide initiative to develop a plan to become the top economic development agency in the Midwest.
With the intent to ensure a thriving and successful Missouri for the next generation, the initiative focuses expansively on helping Missouri workers access better training and skills in order to find employment and helping the more than 160,000 Missouri businesses flourish. The DED will conduct an economic analysis to identify the state’s opportunities for growth and job creation, study best practices in economic development from across the country and deliver recommendations on how the State can implement the new strategy.
Beginning immediately, the Department, with the help of professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers Public Sector LLP, will conduct a complete top-to-bottom review of Missouri’s economic development strategy. PwC PS brings expertise in organizational and program design, strategy and economic development – and has recently assisted other states on similar projects. A complete project timeline is below.
Bob Langenkamp, EDC president and CEO, was invited to serve on the advisory committee that will help create the new strategy, along with public and private sector economic development officials, business leaders, workforce development and tourism professionals and legislators. The advisory committee was created earlier this year to provide input from a local economic development and business perspective to gain understanding of the local markets’ current economic environment and needs for the future.
“As an enthusiastic partner of the State and its agencies, we wholeheartedly support the Best in Midwest initiative and look forward to a prosperous future for Missouri and Kansas City,” said Langenkamp.
Best in Midwest Timeline:
- January – April: Form the advisory committee, supporting staff committees and select a consulting firm.
- May – July: Conduct an economic analysis and comparison research to identify opportunities for growth and job creation and study best practices implemented by peer agencies in other states.
- July – September: Based on research findings, develop strategy recommendations.
- September – December: Begin legislative and executive review of strategy recommendations, and begin implementation.
For more information on Best in the Midwest, visit https://ded.mo.gov/content/best-midwest.