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REDI Report – July 25, 2015

Jobless rate holds steady as more join the workforce

Laclede County received some more good news this week with the release of our June 2015 unemployment rate. For June, our rate remained at 6.5 percent for the third straight month. This was also the best June in seven years, dating back to June 2008’s unemployment rate of 6.3 percent. Our continued improving number is also backed by the fact that we added more people to our labor force and put most of the newly available workers into jobs.

Again, this is a good trend that everyone in Lebanon and Laclede County should take pride in. Everyone in some way played a part in this positive result. Employers continue to add jobs. Employees continue to improve their standing by furthering their education through traditional means (GED or college) or by enhancing their own personal marketability through the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC). Every citizen who spends money at our local grocery stores or other retail outlets contributes to those respective businesses allowing them to remain viable and in some cases grow (some even added new jobs). So as you can tell, it is certainly a domino effect of a lot good people doing a lot of good things paying off for our local economy.

Two upcoming events are prime examples of people within our region, community and county doing their part to enhance our economy. The first is a job fair that is being sponsored by U. S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler. This event will take place on Thursday, Aug. 13 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Cowan Civic Center. The job fair will be a duel opportunity for employers and potential employees alike as the two sides will have the chance to learn more about what each has to offer. I encourage our local businesses and industries to sign up and participate in this job fair. I also hope that those in need of employment will take this opportunity to visit with area employers during the 5-hour time span of the event. For more information on the Aug. 13 job fair, visit http://hartzler.house.gov/events or contact Shaelyn McClanahan at 202-577-3724 or by e-mail at shaelyn.mcclanahan@mail.house.gov. I am also happy to provide any interested businesses with the registration form for the event if they prefer.

One month later, our friends at the Lebanon Area Chamber of Commerce and the Local Makes Sense committee will host their annual “Business Expo and Fun Day” on Saturday, Sept. 19. I am really looking forward to this one as I have heard wonderful things about its success over the past few years. The expo and fun day attracts in excess of 4,000 attendees to see what Lebanon and Laclede County have to offer. And of that great number, many come from outside the city and county!

I don’t want to spill too many of the details just yet, but based on some of the conversations I’ve been a part of with the chamber and Local Makes Sense committee, some additions to this year’s event should make it one of the best ever! Participation is free with your paid membership with the Lebanon Area Chamber of Commerce. That alone is a tremendous value for your chamber membership not withstanding all the other great things the local chamber does for its members and area businesses. Be sure to contact the Chamber to secure your space and for more information. You can do so by calling 417-588-3256 or emailing chamber@lebanonmissouri.com.

I want to once again recognize U. S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler and her staff for putting together their upcoming job fair and also the Lebanon Area Chamber of Commerce and Local Makes Sense committee for their business expo. These are just two more ways that area entities and individuals will help us continue to move Lebanon and Laclede County forward.

Have a wonderful weekend!

(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)