Labor/Housing and Retail Studies To Be Conducted By Bourbon County Eco Devo

Robert Harrington. Submitted photo.

There is a shortage of workers and also quality housing in the county.

The Bourbon County Regional Economic Development Inc. (REDI) organization is working to address that problem.

The Landmark  National Bank houses the office of Bourbon County Regional Economic Development Inc. It is located at 200 S. Main, Fort Scott.
“We are conducting a labor and housing study that will be used to help create programs that will allow REDI to help our current employers and the communities within Bourbon County to attract people,” Robert Harrington, director of REDI said.
“We know that there is a shortage of workers and quality housing within our county,” he said. “We are hopeful that after these reports are published we will get a lot of information that we can use to help find solutions for both issues.”
Looking for Retailers That are Needed
REDI is also facilitating a retail survey at the same time.
 “We will use (this study) to help give us an idea of what new retailers the citizens of Bourbon County would like to see and the information we would need to attract such retailers,” he said.
The retail survey can be viewed at:
REDI Consultants Conduct Interviews, Send Surveys
REDI recently hired Goldstone Consulting, Moberly, Missouri,  and O’Brian and Associates, Joplin, Missouri, who will be conducting the interviews and putting together the studies after they accumulate all of the information, he said.

“They will also be giving the REDI Board a strategic plan based on the data we receive,” he said REDI is paying for the study

“The consultants that we hired will be conducting interviews with several of our business owners in the upcoming months as well as surveys being sent out to Chamber members and citizens across the county,” Harrington said.
“We are also hopeful that we will be able to send these same surveys out to students in the two high schools and the community college so that we can get a perspective of our younger generation on their needs and wants as well as hopefully entice them to stay and live and work here at home,” he said.
“The studies are being paid for by Bourbon County REDI and the results will be given to my board of directors by August of this year,” he said.

4 thoughts on “Labor/Housing and Retail Studies To Be Conducted By Bourbon County Eco Devo”

  1. Studies are costing us money for what? Your consultants are making a killing on our desperation and gullibility.
    It is painfully obvious that the ‘dire’ focus should be on the goal of bringing ‘NEW’ business to Fort Scott that is not focused on Retail. Retail is, in a manner of speaking, ex-post-facto.

    Retail is dependent on discretionary/disposable income, so to focus otherwise, is to be putting the “Cart before the horse”.

    Income in this part of the ‘State’ is largely dependent on ‘entitlements’ (SSI/SSA/Disability/CTC/SNAP, etc.) and local businesses/retail have been a champions at preying on that disparity, while keeping labor/wage costs depressed and isolating the economic growth out of fear of losing control.

    Employers know and exploit the fact that workers have no where else to go to make more money in this City/County unless they just ‘LEAVE’.

    So we ask “Why the Hell would I want to live or move here??”

    Another concern going forward is to focus on “STEM” based education vs. “Sports”. It doesn’t seem like ‘FSCC’ is going anywhere doing rodeo, football, golf, or cosmetics unless you are going there just to play, what about after all that?

    What should of been the ‘focus’ of the community/city/town/county? Could or should we of produced a more educated, skilled labor pool that would attract more industry, engineering, manufacturing or higher level services.

    As it is and has been for decades, in this part, of the ‘State’, the workers have few options. Labor has nowhere else to go and is not prepared or qualified to compete globally.

    It’s global but has to be addressed locally first!

    1. It would take decades before your proposed solutions would have any impact. Fort Scott would be like Pleasanton. Site selectors want to be handed these studies to even consider a location. Without them, we have no shot. I would consider your comments more seriously if you were not hiding behind the name of a deceased 20th Century economist.

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