Call for ideas and white papers now open

July 12, 2018

Today, the Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) and the Department of Higher Education (DHE) issued an open call for ideas to help shape the state’s Best in Midwest and Talent for Tomorrow strategic planning efforts. 

While Missouri has the potential to be one of the top performing states in the Midwest, many other states are significantly outpacing Missouri on important economic and education measures. These two initiatives are designed to work together in order to fundamentally reset the state’s approach to economic development, education, and workforce development.

About Best in Midwest

Best in Midwest will create a new strategy for economic development, by focusing on helping businesses grow and create jobs and helping workers access training and acquire skills to find employment.  Addressing this need will require DED to review its programs and structure, ensuring alignment with businesses’ needs.

“For Missouri to compete successfully in today’s constantly changing economy, we need to rethink our economic development plans,” said Rob Dixon, Director of the Department of Economic Development.  “We hear from our business and community partners every day, and now we’re asking them to put their ideas on paper to help create our new strategy.”

About Talent for Tomorrow

Talent for Tomorrow will address the state’s workforce needs, across K-12, higher education, and into the labor market. The final product will include an assessment of the current workforce and how well it matches needs, deep dives into target economic sectors, economic scenario analysis, identification of pilot projects, and recommendations for an overall workforce strategy.

“The best public policy is not created by looking out of your office window in Jefferson City.  Instead, it requires an honest and open dialogue with people of the state of Missouri,” said Commissioner of Higher Education Zora Mulligan. “Many people and organizations focus on different aspects of economic development, education, and workforce development. We want to hear their ideas.”

Submitting Ideas

Individual citizens, organizations, and other groups that have interest in economic development, education, and workforce development are encouraged to submit as little as 140 characters or up to a four page white paper on The deadline to make a submission is August 3, 2018. 

Volunteer committees working with both departments will consider these ideas as they develop recommendations on the state’s future plans. Topics may include a specific issue or policy, such as a particular economic development incentive or an education program, or broad subjects, like higher education and economic development strategies generally.

How can we help?