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Missouri Blueprint Offers Model for Tech-based Economic Growth

April 18, 2003

A Blueprint for Prosperity and Jobs, a comprehensive strategic plan to foster and sustain job growth, business success and community vitality in Missouri, has been released by the Missouri Department of Economic Development. The product of two years of research, the plan addresses Missouri's need to focus its resources on building a knowledge-based economy, with emphasis on businesses that generate key technologies and have tremendous growth potential.

The Missouri blueprint began with Governor Bob Holden's Economic Prosperity Summit in April 2001. Since that time, the department gathered input and recommendations from business and community leaders, educators and citizens from across Missouri. A series of roundtable discussions were held with leaders from three industries that hold promise for long-term growth – life sciences, advanced manufacturing and information technology – and additional insight was contributed through six regional dialogues.

Missouri needs to strengthen “traditional” business mainstays while keeping companies in-state, the blueprint suggests. The state's mainstay industries are said to include manufacturing, agriculture, financial services and tourism. Missouri also must further develop strategies to support businesses’ efforts to expand into new global markets, the plan states.

Other highlights include an increased emphasis on education as it relates to economic development, improving the skills of the state's workforce, encouraging balanced growth and investment in communities, and strong support for small business development. Additionally, more than 25 policy recommendations or areas for improvement are provided.

The Missouri Department of Economic Development is the state's lead economic development agency. A Blueprint for Prosperity and Jobs is available at http://www.ded.state.mo.us/.