Missouri Secretary of State Innovation Centers Tour

Published 03/06 2014 06:44PM

Updated 03/06 2014 07:48PM

JOPLIN, MO.--- Missouri's Secretary of State stops in Joplin as part of his statewide tour of innovation centers. Secretary Jason Kander talked about the importance of entrepreneurship and fostering local job growth. This is part of a tour to highlight what is happening in each corner of Missouri related to small business.

"Our emphasis has got to be on local economic development and local entrepreneurship," said Jason Kander, Missouri Secretary of State. 

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander focused on home-grown economic development during his stop in Joplin. It's part of a tour to highlight statewide innovation centers.

"If you have a startup come up through your innovation center, and they are home grown and this is their home, they are a lot less likely to leave," said Kander. 

Kander toured the Joseph Newman Innovation Center and met with various local business leaders.

"The more that we can highlight what's going on in our region and we ask for assistance, they are aware of it and they can help us," said Steve Russell, Director of the Joseph Newman Innovation Center.

Kander says companies like Beverly's Traffic Control and Safety in Joplin is an example of the importance of home-grown development.

"She saw a need in the community for folks who have expertise in that area, and she went and created a solution to an existing problem," said Kander. 

Kander adds that innovation centers like this are key to growing Missouri's economy.

"The idea is to have more successful startups become large employers in the State of Missouri and innovation centers are a huge part of that," said Kander. 

Kander also made a stop in Springfield this afternoon. The secretary of state will continue his tour of innovation centers over the next week and a half.

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