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"Feels Like Home Tour" Stops in Lamar - KOAM TV 7

"Feels Like Home Tour" Stops in Lamar

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LAMAR, MISSOURI -

Lamar leaders invited in officials from the capitol to tour the city and help find ways to grow jobs.

Missouri Economic Development Director Mike Downing says "Like other rural communities they face the challenge of a changing economy more to technology base than knowledge base than it was 20 years ago, so they're looking how to adapt to that."

With the local hospital already hitting their internet capacity limit, the city is looking at ways to improve connections.

Mayor of Lamar Kent Harris says "We have a few local businesses that currently have the broadband but we need to try and make it available to our residents. The problem you get into is how much is it going to cost. And that's an issue you have to weigh when we're trying to work with other existing things too."

With the loss of “O'Sullivan Industries” back in 2007 Barton County was hit hard. Now community leaders are looking for more ways to attract other big employers to this area.

Downing says "The community has a site on the west side of town. It's a nice develop site near a rail. And it has had a lot of visits, but it still hasn't caught. It's tough business because companies are first and foremost are looking at the ability to attract and retain skilled workers. And so just having a site by itself without looking at the other issues about worker skills is an issue.

Mayor Harris says "What I've learned is some of the properties that the city of Lamar has or like to term it the community, are very marketable we just need to do a better job of getting the word out to some broader areas.  Whether it be large acreages, which we actually have large acreages that some sites are looking for. We just took it for granted that people know these things"

The city of Lamar took the first step to increase their skilled workforce by becoming the state's 25th certified “Work Ready Community” today.

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