Stopping at Flex-O-Later during his statewide tour, new Missouri Governor Mike Parson spoke with community leaders about moving forward with a fresh start and some of the key issues he plans on working on.
“I think that problem has to be taken care of and we gotta deal with it. There’s no way to sugar coat that, it’s probably going to cost some money at the end of the day, but if we really want Missouri to grow in the heart of the United States of America, we have to do better on infrastructure,” said Parson. “That goes all the way from our highways to our bridges especially in rural Missouri…but also for the airports, our ports down the river ways, rail; all of that’s going to make a difference on how well we do in the future.”
The Bolivar native says a second major issue he wants solved is having a skilled workforce. “No matter where you go in Missouri…the problem exists trying to find those good people to take good jobs and to have the skills to do them. Missourians have always had a good work ethic, but we also realize sometimes we don’t have the skills that they need to work in plants anymore when you’re talking computers and technology..”
“Robotics are the new wave and we have to prepare for that. Other states have done a pretty good job of doing that. Take Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Georgia, a lot of t states have been developing that workforce development for a long time, we just need to get caught up,” added Parson.
The new governor applauded local leaders that make up the state legislature for their hard work. “I’ve never seen the legislative section of government work any better than it has this year. All of these gentlemen and ladies that are up there kept their nose to the grindstone. They kept pushing out good legislation and for the first time we did a lot things in the state’s history that we haven’t done for a long time such as tax reform, fully funding education, union reform and many other pieces that help government be smaller and more efficient and that got overshadowed so I just want to thank everyone up there.”
Parson also jokingly addressed some controversy as to what he was doing when he got the call that Governor Greitens had resigned and that he’d be taking over as head of state. “I wasn’t on the tractor, I was getting up cattle at the time..make sure you get that right now so you know what I was doing! But I’ve already heard that I was bailing hay and stuff..”
“I’m a normal guy with a normal life. We were at home that particular day, Teresa (his wife) was actually shopping, so in a way that might have saved me some money by getting that call.”