Parson plans to reshuffle state agencies, aims to boost economic and workforce development

Gov. Mike Parson issued executive orders on Thursday to decrease the number of agencies and employees the Department of Economic Development manages in order to better focus on its mission of increasing job growth and business development in Missouri.

“I think it will make a huge difference in how we operate,” Parson said Thursday. “The main thing is (the Department of Economic Development director) gets to focus on economic development. You’ve got a lot of other agencies in there with a lot of other employees that’s taking up daily space, I want to say.”

Parson said in a press release that Missouri could do “a lot better” in economic growth, especially compared to other Midwestern states. Missouri ranked 42nd for economic growth in 2018, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Parson’s orders will move the Division of Workforce Development under the control of the Department of Higher Education, the Department of Energy to the Department of Natural Resources, and the Public Service Commission to the Department of Commerce and Insurance.

A new Regional Engagement Division within the Department of Economic Development will reassign existing staff to direct more resources towards business development.

The orders also call for the creation of a new division dedicated to connecting businesses with skilled workers.

Read more: St. Louis Public Radio

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