Associated Industries of Missouri President and CEO Ray McCarty attended the Governor’s Conference on Economic Development this week in Kansas City.
Governor Mike Parson kicked off the event by introducing Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. Governor Haslam talked about the dramatic turnaround in his state, particularly with regard to infrastructure and workforce, two areas highlighted by Governor Parson as areas he wants to address early in his administration.
In a later panel featuring Gov. Parson’s Chief of Staff Aaron Willard and several cabinet members, attendees were given a glimpse into the effort underway to bring all departments together around these two issues. Willard said Governor Parson has directed all state departments to be “laser focused” on infrastructure and workforce because he believes that will provide long-term impact. He said changes now will impact generations to come. The goal is to get some initial results in 8-9 months.
When Governor Parson took the stage again as the featured luncheon speaker Thursday, he reiterated his commitment to improving the lives of people, starting with workforce development and infrastructure. While announcing support for the highway infrastructure ballot issue that would raise fuel taxes for critical highway and bridge improvements, the governor was quick to explain infrastructure includes broadband and utilities, as well as all modes of transportation infrastructure.
Governor Parson said he did not intend to fail the people and publicly recognized the legislators in the crowd, as well as his own cabinet members, a refreshing change that did not go unnoticed by the attendees.
Throughout the conference, all department directors appeared as one team, focused on success for Missourians and making Missouri the Best in Midwest while training the Talent for Tomorrow using certificate and degree programs of all types, including those that prepare workers for careers in manufacturing, other skilled trades, and service industries.