REDI Report – March 12, 2016

Jobless rate lowest since January 2007

Things are off to a great start for Lebanon and Laclede County in 2016 from a jobs number perspective. The unemployment rate for our county during the month of January was 6.2 percent. This was our best January tally since 2007. We also had our largest labor force total (16,297) since 2009. The turnaround trends of 2015 are continuing into the current year and we should all be thankful and proud of the part we each have been blessed to play in making this happen.

One of the many great companies in Lebanon that contributes to the success of local and regional economy is Carmeco. Started by J. Kenneth Carr, Carmeco has been a valuable member of the Lebanon and Laclede County community for more than 45 years. The company’s Lebanon facilities offer a full line of services for the original equipment manufacturing (OEM) market. The team at Carmeco can handle most types of metal fabrication or stamping. During my first few months on the job at Lebanon Regional Economic Development, Inc. (Lebanon-REDI), I was blessed to be given a tour of the Carmeco facilities and was very impressed by what the company and its team can do.

With that all denoted, I’m proud that Tech44 will host one of its “Bring on Breakfast” events in our community on Thursday, March 17 and right on-site at Carmeco. Not only will attendees be treated to a FREE breakfast, but also a chance to learn more about the Tech44 organization and its mission to connect business and industry along the Interstate-44 corridor from St. Louis to Joplin – which obviously Lebanon and Laclede County are very much a part of. The breakfast event formally begins at 7:15 a.m. that day. Despite no cost as mentioned, registration is required to assist with final planning purposes. Visit to sign up.

In shifting gears a little bit, I want to thank everyone who has participated in the housing survey that is part of an on-going project to assess our housing needs, challenges and opportunities in Lebanon and Laclede County. Small focus groups of local representatives met last week to discuss some our area’s housing situation and similar meetings will be held in the future. If you have not been a part of the process, but want to directly participate, feel free to contact me at anytime at one of the methods listed below. We would certainly love to have you included as part of the planning efforts and of course, in the follow-up implementation stages. Also, if you have not taken the housing survey yet, please do so. It can be found at

In closing this edition of the REDI Report, I want to take the time to thank this entire community and county for being very welcoming in my first full year here. It seems like only yesterday that I walked into the REDI offices for the very first day on the job. No matter the situation you inherit, it is always a little scary to come to a new town and to begin a new job. During the past 12 months, people here have been very helpful and I feel truly blessed to have found Lebanon and Laclede County. “Thank you” is really not enough to express my appreciation. I look forward to the remainder of 2016 as there are several activities on-going and on the horizon that I really feel will pay benefits to us for the long haul.

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

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