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Area leaders learn a "regional" approach to economic development - KOAM TV 7

Area leaders learn a "regional" approach to economic development

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 The Joplin Regional Prosperity Initiative might seem to defy logic with  three states and seven counties working together to grow business and industry.
   
     Today leaders from Missouri Kansas and Oklahoma came together in Miami for a lesson in landing new companies or expansions of current ones from Dean Barber, with Barber Business Advisors out of Texas. 
      Economic developers are learning the benefits of competing for  new jobs and investment through  a regional approach.  Barber discussed what goes into  site selection for business and industry.  
Barber toured the tri state area  and says he's seen positive things when it comes to public education in the region.  He says, " There's a pride in the school systems that's very important. Because ultimately companies are looking for that pipeline of talent for the future"  

Another plus is Jasper, Cherokee and Labette Counties being certified as work ready communities. Barber says, "Its hugely important.  For me, it shows that there's documentation, proof that educators and the  business community are collaborating together."

Barber admits politicians would rather have businesses locate in their states or  in their towns to garner tax revenues but he says its important to note the benefits to the surrounding towns. 

Judee Snodderly, the Executive Director of the Miami Area Economic Development service agrees saying,  "Maybe the  job is not here in Ottawa County but there's still great benefit. They're   gonna come back here to spend their tax dollars  and its a quality of life issue."

Barber says property can be an asset costing much more per acre in urban areas. Umicore, a company in Quapaw  bought 63 acres and officials there say building codes made a difference too when it came to expansions and adding jobs.  The company built in 2005 and 2010. 
umicore's business development director, Jeff Koch says, " In some areas, restrictions are such you might wait six months before you move on a development. And here, we were able to react and capture the market when the timing is right." 

That's something these regional  communities hope they can do with current and new businesses  working as a united front.
 

the presentation by Barber was sponsored by the Joplin Prosperity Initiative involving three states and seven counties.  Barber appeared in Pittsburg, Miami and Carthage. 

The initiative has its own web site click here for a link. 



 

 

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