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State report shows growth in northeast Missouri

A new Missouri workforce report from the Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development shows improvement for the Northeast region, but work still needs to be done in the region.

Economic developers believe they need to fill open positions with younger workers as baby boomers retire, but manufacturing continues to be the strongest industry in Northeast Missouri.

Hannibal Regional Economic Development Council Executive Director Corey Mehaffy said companies are having trouble finding workers, despite a lot of job openings.

The report projects that truck drivers, inventory movers, and personal aides will be the most needed in the near future.

The HREDC works with local companies to try and meet needs and help promote resources including the Moberly Area Community College’s Higher Education Center in Hannibal and the Missouri Fast Track Program.

“It’s a great opportunity for workers, who are in maybe more entry level positions, who would like to skill up and get into more of a skilled trade, to have the opportunity to go back and get the educational attainments,” Mehaffy said.

Numbers from report help them figure out what is needed in the workforce, so they can keep the conversation going for businesses along with people wanting to work, to help them reach their goals, Mehaffy added.

The Northeast region’s large employers included Hannibal Regional Hospital, Moberly
Regional Medical Center, and the Northeast Regional Medical Center.
Officials with Hannibal Regional Hospital attribute compensation, benefits and providing state of the art facilities/technology for its success in the area.
“When we are looking to recruit people to Hannibal Regional, they want to see that things are growing, changing and improving, they can look here at see that’s happening.” Susan Wathen, VP of Human Resources at Hannibal Regional said.
Hannibal Regional has grown from around 850-1250 employees between 2013-2018, Wathen added.
The report states 51 percent of women make up the workforce in Northeast region, 16 percent live below the poverty line — higher than the state and national average, gas station jobs were the most prevalent in the region, in front of manufacturing, farming, and medical jobs.
The biggest projected loss in the next 10 years are secretary and administrative assistant jobs with a loss of 220 positions.


Drew Brown

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