Eight counties | 36 cities | one region

a voluntary council of local governments
serving the missouri meramec area.

Director of Missouri Department of Economic Development speaks with MRPC board

For immediate release

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Bonnie Prigge

ST. JAMES—Rob Dixon, director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development (MoDED), was the guest speaker at the Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) board meeting Nov. 14. Dixon updated the board on the restructuring of MoDED and how the agency is now able to truly focus on economic development. He also discussed workforce issues, broadband and opportunity zones. 

Dixon further highlighted the change in Missouri’s economy since the restructuring. Missouri has gone 38 consecutive months below the national unemployment rate average and 32,000 jobs have been created in the last year alone. Missouri has gone from 14th to 4th in the Midwest states for Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth and has become the number one state for foreign direct investment. Dixon attributes this ability to economic growth to a rededication to economic development and the governor embracing the need for change. 

In reference to broadband, Dixon discussed the work MoDED is doing with the Missouri Department of Agriculture and the $5,000,000 state grant program. These grants should be available in early December and awards will be made before spring. 

In other business, the MRPC board:

  • Approved the appointment of Laurel Boisonault from Washington County to the board as representative for small business; and
  • Reviewed the board’s state priority choices that will be taken to the state capital in January.

Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. Gasconade County Presiding Commissioner Larry Miskel serves as chairman of the board. A professional staff of 27 offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.

To keep up with the latest MRPC news and events, visit the MRPC website at www.meramecregion.orgor on Facebook at www.facebook.com/meramecregion/.