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In Annual City Address, Springfield Mayor Emphasizes Diversity & Skills Training

During the annual State of the City address Thursday, Springfield Mayor Ken McClure emphasized the need for diversity and talked about the relationshiop between poverty and economic development.

He stressed the need for a skilled workforce and training programs to cultivate it.

"We have people who need quality jobs and employers who cannot fill those jobs," said McClure.  "It is a classic skills gap."

Collaboration between local business and education is helping to train skilled employees.  A recent state spending bill allocated $10 million to MSU and $4.5 million to Ozarks Technical Community College.

"Despite our low unemployment, we continue to have a high poverty rate," said McClure.

He highlighted some local projects that have seen success in lifting residents out of poverty by training them for in-demand jobs.  McClure said continue to create a vibrant atmosphere will attract talent and help to mitigate the high poverty rate. 

He also said the coming year will be one in which the city cracks down on so-called nuisance properties, call them "a public safety issue."