Officials say the largest state government reorganization in decades will allow the Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) to focus exclusively on its core mission, which is economic development.
Missouri’s governor is predicting improved economic results.
The restructuring plan took effect on August 28, and Governor Mike Parson (R) and Cabinet directors from four agencies briefed Capitol reporters last week about its significance and impact.
DED Director Rob Dixon tells reporters DED is now focusing on helping Missouri prosper and helping communities grow.
“For the Department of Economic Development, what that means is we’re going to go from an agency of about 900 employees, 865 or so, down to 177 employees,” Dixon says. “We’re going to be lazer-focused and streamlined.”
When Parson announced the plan in April, DED’s 865 employees were more than any of its Midwest competitors, and Missouri ranked eighth among Midwest peer states in wage growth.
The restructuring included moving the Division of Energy from DED to the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and also involved moving the Public Service Commission (PSC) and the Office of Public Counsel from DED to the newly-named Department of Commerce and Insurance.
The restructuring also moved DED’s Division of Workforce Development to the Department of Higher Education.
Governor Parson tells reporters the reorganization highlights his commitment for greater efficiency while improving customer service.
“During my State of the State (Address) in January, I committed to the General Assembly and all Missourians that my administration would fundamentally restructure state government,” says Parson.
The governor says the reorganization was needed, especially for DED to improve its performance.
“Today is a combined effort involved with achieving this historical reorganization, something that hasn’t happened in decades but was needed to better serve Missourians,” Parson says.
Parson tells Missourinet he’s confident the restructuring will lead to better economic results.
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