Joplin's future discussed in a way never done before in recent m - KOAM TV 7

Joplin's future discussed in a way never done before in recent memory

Some leaders in Joplin come together today to make history for a first group meeting between them and others.  History was made for the future to be unified.

How should Joplin stand in ten years?

"We need to help companies of any size find the best fit for technology for them," says Rob O'Brian, president of the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce.

"I think if we have increased opportunities for everyone no matter the category, whether it be education, healthcare, recreation, jobs, that will bring people to the area," says Joplin city council member Mike Woolston.

"Provide more opportunities to children, regardless of social economic class.  What we can do to raise the graduation rate here as a community," says Joplin Schools Superintendent C.J. Huff.

These are opinions; important opinions, whether you agree with them or not, because they are the opinions of your leaders.  But there are different opinions.

"We're splitting up into different groups, making sure they know and work with people from other entities," says Sheria Brainard, an outside moderator with Performance Plus who works with various organizations and groups across the country.

Entities, at this group meeting, like the Joplin School District, Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, City of Joplin, and Missouri Southern State University.

"They take into consideration how the decisions they make impact the other parts of the community," says Brainard.

Each organization and group's goal should play into another goal.

More technology and opportunities in Joplin schools can mean better tech-minded people in the workforce.  But there's challenges in scoring those goals.

"What's generally acceptable, in terms of use of technology, which requires a whole new set of soft skills the industry needs us to teach these kids," says Huff.

In the end, though, collaborating, and remembering to continue to collaborate, iswhat'ss key.

"I don't know of another town, so far, thats had all those governing bodies together, helping to decide what its citizens want," says Brainard.

It's already a model for other cities, as well.

The moderator of today's group meeting will soon send out a list of prioritized projects discussed.  That list will be posted on our website as soon as it becomes available.  

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