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Chamber makes hires for The Network, public affairs

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The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce named a new leader for The Network and hired a former legislative assistant as a policy analyst.

Katie Jones, who recently graduated from Drury University with a degree in advertising and public relations, was selected as talent retention coordinator for the chamber’s workforce development team. In that capacity, Jones is responsible for membership and programming of The Network, the chamber’s young professionals career-building organization. She’ll also help college students find job opportunities locally, according to a news release.

“Katie’s strong communication and creative skills are ideally suited to help the workforce and economic development teams more broadly tell the story of why it’s great to be a young professional in Springfield,” chamber Vice President of Workforce Development Lindsay Haymes said in the release. “That’s an incredibly important component of a successful talent retention initiative — and it strengthens our talent attraction efforts, as well.”

Jones succeeds Paige Oxendine, who coordinated The Network for more than three years before becoming business incubator program coordinator at The eFactory in July, according to her LinkedIn profile.

For its public affairs team, the chamber hired Tyler Hobbs to track legislation, research policy issues and advocate for chamber priorities in Jefferson City, according to the release.

Hobbs, a civil affairs sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserve, most recently served as legislative assistant to state Rep. Holly Rehder, R-Sikeston.

“Tyler’s professional skills and experience in the legislative arena will be a tremendous asset to the chamber’s mission to serve as the primary catalyst in promoting the economic health of the Springfield area,” said Sandy Howard, the chamber’s senior vice president of public affairs, in the release.

Hobbs’ position is new, chamber spokeswoman Jennifer McClure said.

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