Chamber retreat Focuses on Priorities for Future Growth in JCMO
Published: Monday, May 13, 2019
By: Randy Allen
On April 23rd, the Chamber held its Annual Spring Retreat at Duckhead Point at the Lake of the Ozarks and was hosted by Central Bank. The Retreat was a full day event and in addition to the members of the Board, City elected officials and leadership from some of the major manufacturers and businesses were in attendance. Led by Chairman of the Chamber’s Board of Directors, Dave Minton of Central Bank, the retreat focused on prioritizing economic development activities and resources for 2020.
The chamber holds semiannual retreats to discuss “big picture” items with its board and community leaders in a forum removed from the normal business agenda. During the day, we heard reports on the recent history of the chamber’s Economic Development efforts, discussed major economic development challenges and how the economic development sector can facilitate solutions to these challenges, business retention and expansion priorities, business attraction needs, and community development initiatives.
During the Breakout Sessions and subsequent discussion, the group decided the chamber’s top 4 economic development priorities were:
- Business Retention and Expansion
- Community Development Projects and Support
- Workforce Development
- Business Attraction Projects
Our workforce and community development challenges, in many respects, are not at all different from other communities of our size in Missouri and the Midwest. We all need to attract talented, young, college graduates and find ways to entice our natives to remain or move back to our City. Jefferson City has performed well on many levels over the past decade, and new projects & initiatives are creating positive momentum. The retreat attendees echoed the importance of maintaining that momentum which will create a sense of place for all ages.
In discussions with our existing businesses, both large and small, we hear that finding the qualified workforce they need to grow is getting increasingly more difficult. They are constantly looking for new employees to fill the positions required for the growth of their business. They struggle to find employees who are willing to work and who are skilled enough to provide a noticeable impact within their workforce.
Overall, the retreat sparked a lot of good conversation and we collectively agreed on a few broad principles that will need further attention during the next steps in planning for 2020.
I want to personally thank the board and our guests for taking a full day to discuss these important issues. It is impressive to see all come together with a positive attitude and work to make the Jefferson City area a better place. With these ideas in mind, the Chamber and its partners will work toward creating a strong plan for 2020.
Please contact me with your ideas for our community at 573-634-3616