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Transportation and Workforce Investments

A proposed $860 Million dollar investment to expand I-70 was the main headline following Governor Parson’s State of the State Address last Wednesday. This will certainly be a critical long-term investment to help transportation in the State of Missouri, but another proposal from the Governor is a key topic of need in Southeast Missouri.

As a person who travels the I-70 corridor across the State regularly, the proposal from Governor Parson to include a record investment for efforts to start expansion are certainly well received. I have talked previously here about how investment in our transportation infrastructure is critical to business growth and this investment will have positive impacts throughout the entire state.

As big as that announcement was, a proposal that didn’t receive quite as much attention is one that is becoming more critical in discussions about workforce and could be a great kickstart for some work in the Cape Region. That proposal was the to consider increased tax credits, subsidies, and additional investment in Pre-K programs.

While childcare has always been an issue of concern, for young families. The pandemic pulled back the current on how access to childcare is a workforce issue, as much as it is a family one. In a survey of 2500 working parents conducted by Harvard Business Review in 2021, they found that “Nearly 20% of working parents had to leave work or reduce their work hours solely due to lack of childcare.

Governor Parson highlighting childcare access issues as part of the broader workforce discussion is a key factor. Continued efforts to explore new strategies and support expanded access to services will be a critical issue for years to come for business as the labor shortage trends continue.