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Target Missouri focuses on area economic infrastructure

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Area business and community leaders will meet next month to discuss a plan for bringing more businesses and jobs to the region through the Department of Economic Development's Target Missouri Program, according to a release from the DED.

By grouping industries into "business clusters," Target Missouri intends to help communities in eight regions of the state to devise detailed plans for attracting new businesses.

These business clusters, made up of related industries that are key to Missouri's economic growth, include business and financial services; chemicals and materials; electronics and electrical equipment; health products and services; information and media; food products; paper products; transportation equipment; and tourism, the release said.

The upcoming meetings will allow area participants in Target Missouri to select the industry clusters that would be the best fit for their regions.

Once these clusters are chosen, efforts will be made to attract these types of industries by highlighting the advantages of locating in a particular region. The program also focuses on helping each region build a strong economic infrastructure that includes such things as work force, highways, telecommunications, technology, capital, taxation, regulations and quality of life.

The Target Missouri program has already formed committees in the individual regions to study each of these aspects of economic infrastructure. These committees will get together during the March meetings to discuss ideas and recruit new members.

Scheduled meetings include a 10 a.m. session March 2 at the Cinema 2 theater in Cabool and a 10 a.m. session March 3 at the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce office.

The Cabool meeting is intended for Camden, Crawford, Dallas, Dent, Douglas, Howell, Laclede, Maries, Miller, Morgan, Oregon, Ozark, Phelps, Pulaski, Shannon, Texas, Webster and Wright counties.

The Joplin meeting is to include Barry, Barton, Bates, Benton, Cedar, Christian, Dade, Greene, Henry, Hickory, Jasper, Lawrence, McDonald, Newton, Polk, St. Clair, Stone, Taney and Vernon counties.

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