The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce held its annual Economic Outlook Conference on Wednesday. As KSMU’s Megan Burke reports, two of the area’s needs are a younger, skilled workforce—and buildings for them to work in.
Ryan Mooney, Senior Vice President of Economic Development for the Chamber, said Springfield’s unemployment rate is very low—it’s at three percent.
But he added that the city will need to grow its workforce by attracting more young people to the area as Baby Boomers continue to leave the workforce faster than they can be replaced.
“But in order to have those people, we are going to have to invest in our community. We’re going to have to be a better place that more people want to live and work so that we are able to attract from the outside and retain the talent we have here already,” Mooney said.
Mooney also highlighted the demand for empty offices and buildings, saying businesses can’t come here unless they have somewhere available for them to set up shop.
“We just don’t have much quality office space on the market for the needs that we are seeing in economic development leads,” Mooney said.
Mooney says the Chamber is striving to attract young people and investors through social media and other ways.