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Hatch, CFO report recommends creation of new nonprofit

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A study commissioned by Springfield organizations Hatch Foundation and the Community Foundation of the Ozarks Inc. recommends the creation of a new nonprofit.

The report calls on area stakeholders to create a nonprofit that would focus on workforce development, quality-of-life initiatives and branding for a 10-county region in southwest Missouri, according to a news release. North Carolina consulting firm Economic Leadership LLC conducted the study.

The recommended nonprofit would work to collaborate with private-sector leaders.

"The organization should serve as a convener, facilitator and influencer of private-sector CEOs to focus on workforce attraction and expansion, regional branding and quality-of-life improvements. Its work needs to align with other efforts underway," officials said in the release.

The report looks to similar efforts in other areas of the country, such as the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City; the Northwest Arkansas Council; and the Piedmont Triad Partnership of Greensboro, North Carolina.

The 10-county service area of the Southwest Missouri Council of Governments – comprising Barry, Christian, Dade, Dallas, Greene, Lawrence, Polk, Stone, Taney and Webster counties – are economically successful but face "challenges that are increasingly complex and require greater collaboration," the report notes.

The Hatch Foundation and CFO last year started an ad hoc regionalism collaborative following the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce's 2022 Community Leadership Visit to northwest Arkansas, according to the release.

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