Positioning our region for tech growth
Missouri in general, and southwest Missouri in particular, are in the midst of a technology industry boom that doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.
That’s the news from the Technology 2030 Report, commissioned by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce & Industry and released at a recent conference in St. Louis. There are several bits of good news for the Show-Me State:
- Missouri’s tech sector has experienced 12% job growth in the last five years
- The state ranks ninth nationally in projected tech workforce growth over the next five years, at 9.5%
- And Springfield is pulling its weight, with 70% job growth in the IT field in the last decade
The Chamber’s economic development staff leaders continue to tell the story about what is leading to tech growth in our area, and how we are working to encourage it.
Chamber Senior Vice President of Economic Development Ryan Mooney spoke to KY3 recentlyabout the growth in tech sector jobs and what it will take to sustain it, including quality of life investments.
“Tech workers tend to like things that are unique and original, and we have a lot of things that are uniquely Springfield that we need to grow and continue to enhance," he said. Making sure the Springfield region is attractive for tech talent ensures that our workforce pipeline can meet employer demands as they grow.
Mooney also mentioned the importance of real estate – specifically real estate downtown for new and growing tech firms It’s a point he emphasized again in an article with the Springfield Business Journal.
That article pointed to World Wide Technology as an example; the company started a remote office in Springfield four years ago with one employee, but after moving to Brick City on North Campbell Avenue, the company now employs 28 here and is continuing to grow. Ben Pomerenke, the company’s first Springfield employee, pointed to the area’s well-educated workforce and generally lower cost of living as ways the area can compete with bigger cities – a point Mooney echoed as well.
“We really work on educating college students on the opportunities here,” Mooney told SBJ. “If they’re getting that tech degree, they don’t have to go to Kansas City, St. Louis or Chicago or Dallas. They can get those jobs here and may really like the lifestyle they can have here.”