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Rob Dixon talks rankings, right-to-work and workforce preparedness

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In June, Gov. Eric Greitens appointed Rob Dixon to lead the state’s Department of Economic Development.

Dixon, serving as acting director until the state Senate can confirm his appointment, took leadership of the department during a busy summer as several new pro-business reforms took effect.

Dixon’s remarks align closely with the goals of Missouri 2030. Click to learn more.

On Sept. 21, Dixon spoke to a gathering of local chamber of commerce professionals during the Chamber of Commerce Executives of Missouri conference in Branson.

“Certainly we are making progress on many fronts because of the work that you all do… since January of this year, our employment levels are going in the right direction. We have, at this very moment, more Missourians than ever before earning a paycheck,” Dixon said.

Right-to-work was one of the first reforms signed by Gov. Greitens. Dixon said the new law is already having a strong, positive impact on business attraction efforts.

“We are already seeing project activity that we never as a state would have looked at before,” he said. “They just would have passed Missouri right on by. But they are looking at us now because of it.”

However, the law is being challenged by efforts to put it on the ballot for an upcoming election.

“There’s a fight ahead to maintain that as the law of the land,” Dixon said. “I can tell you I think it’s going to take the business community to stand up and make your voices heard on that.”

Dixon also discussed the need to improve Missouri’s workforce. He said the governor is helping bridge the gap between the state’s education and economic development efforts. Dixon said that Missouri has a great opportunity to be a leader in this area.

“How do you plan an education system for that 14 year old that’s in middle school today for a job that might not even have been invented yet? That’s the reality of what we are trying to do,” he said. “There’s a lot of opportunity for us to really set Missouri apart and truly lead the country. Because lots of people are talking about these issues, lots of people recognize these are issues but not a lot of people are actually rolling up their sleeves and addressing them. And we are in Missouri.”

Watch highlights from Dixon’s speech:

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