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REDI Report – January 9, 2016

Excited for economy’s ’16 prospects

A new year has arrived and I am very excited about what 2016 holds in store for Lebanon and Laclede County. Several projects that were in the planning phases during 2015 will most likely come to life this year and they will all provide benefits to our community and county.

We had some solid news to report on the job front as 2015 final figures came in. While our unemployment rate was slightly up for the month of November 2015, coming in a 6.1 percent, there was a silver lining to this news. Our labor force continues to grow and this was our best overall November since 2007. The last two or three months of our year typically result in higher unemployment as some of the more seasonal employers in our area make arrangements for the coming year. I am hopeful we will see our unemployment rate start to dip lower again in the early months of this year and the good momentum we had in 2015 will carry into the next 12 months.

Social media has certainly become a very powerful marketing tool over the last several years. While there are plusses and minuses to some of the content that appears on websites such as Facebook, we cannot overlook the impact social media outlets can bring to businesses and organizations looking to get the word out about their products and services. I would, however, encourage business owners to make social media one “part” of your marketing strategy and not the full plan.

Lebanon-REDI added a Facebook page this past year and it has certainly been a learning curve as to what content will be the most viewed and, more important, most valued.

Recently, we have started a trend of featuring some of the available job openings in our community and county. During the last few weeks, we were able to post about a job fair for Emerson Climate Technologies and employment opportunities at Lowe Boats. Both these posts received heavy traffic, which is of course the end goal – to connect job seekers with available positions in Lebanon and Laclede County.

The Missouri Career Center is a great partner in the process and you can always visit their website to learn more about what jobs are open right now in our community and county. The direct address is jobs.mo.gov. There is also a link to the Missouri Career Center job search page on the main page of the Lebanon-REDI website at www.LebanonREDI.com.

Seeing the success of the recent posts, we will continue to provide regular listings of available jobs from our local employers on our Facebook page. If you haven’t done so already, please go and like it at www.facebook.com/lebanonredi. We are getting close to 100 likes!

Have a great weekend everyone!

(Brian Thompson is the President/Chief Executive Officer of Lebanon-REDI. He may be reached at his office at 200 E. Commercial Street at 417-533-5627, by mobile phone at 417-288-9737 or by e-mail at brian@lebanonredi.com)