JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Today, the Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) launched a new initiative that will create a new statewide strategy for economic development, according to a media release from the department.

The initiative, titled “Best in Midwest”, will focus extensively on helping businesses grow and create jobs, while also helping workers access training and acquire skills to find employment.

“Missouri’s business community is fully supportive of the Best in Midwest initiative, because it’s what we need to compete and win,” Dan Mehan, President and CEO of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said.

Addressing this need will require DED to review its programs and structure, ensuring services are aligned with the business community’s needs.

Starting immediately, the Department will team up with PricewaterhouseCoopers Public Sector LLP (PwC PS) to conduct a top-to-bottom review of Missouri’s economic development strategy. PwC PS has recently assisted other states on similar projects, and brings expertise in organizational and program design, strategy, and economic development.

“Over the course of this year, DED will conduct an economic analysis to identify Missouri’s opportunities for growth and job creation, study best practices in economic development from around the country, and issue recommendations on how the State can implement the new strategy,” according to the press release.

Items requiring executive or legislative action will then be presented to Governor Eric Greitens and the General Assembly for later review.

“Missouri has the potential to be an economic powerhouse,” Greitens said. “It’s time we realized that potential, and we’re going to do it by transforming the Missouri Department of Economic Development into a laser-focused national leader in economic development.”

“Missourians deserve the best,” Greitens added, “and that’s what we’re going to give them.”