Governor Mike Parson came to Springfield Friday to talk about economic and workforce development during a stop at the John Deere Reman plant in Springfield.
The Governor’s stop the plant comes on the heels of the company’s announcement last month that they were moving drivetrain and hydraulic manufacturing operations to Springfield and expanding their facility, adding 130 more jobs to the community.
Jena Holtberg-Benge, manager of John Deere Reman Business, said that the policies of Governor Parson’s administration was a factor in the company’s decision to expand in southwest Missouri.
“Investing and the incentives that we received from the state was a big reason why we chose to expand here in Springfield,” Holtberg-Benge said. “The workforce development in particular and our work with Ozark Technical [Community] College and some of the things they’re able to do because of the funding from the state has been exceptional.”
Holtberg-Benge added the company can’t wait for OTC to open the Center for Advanced Manufacturing that was made possible in part through state funding.
The governor said workforce development programs like those at OTC are going to continue to be a priority of his administration and will see increased funding in future years.
“When I became governor three years ago…infrastructure and workforce development was key,” Governor Parson said. “We’re starting to take that into our high schools, our elementary schools, our middle schools, trying to prepare these kids for the workforce. Work ready programs we have now are in 57 counties and we want it to be in every county before I get out [of office.]”
The governor added funding workforce development will remain a priority.
“We’ve been funding [workforce development] all along and we will continue to fund it,” Parson said. “If you’re not, you’re going to get left behind. It’s as simple as that. Other states are aggressive at that, but when I start talking about “we’re second in the nation, we’re in the top ten,” the one thing that should tell you is when businesses look at our state…we’re very sure we’re being aggressive in making sure we’re meeting the demands of that workforce development.”