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The Moniteau County Regional Economic Development board met at Downtown Cafe in Tipton last Wednesday to discuss plans for its small business programs as the year continues, as well as a new project being facilitated through the University of Missouri to determine whether it would be feasible to bring a vocational-technical school to the county.

The Professional EDGE project through Mizzou's college of business will start in September, with students working together with county officials to determine whether such a school shared between the county's three K-12 schools would work.

"My vision of a Vo-Tech center for Moniteau County would be let's partner with some businesses in this area that may need some skilled work force and let them train for specific jobs," MRED president Mike Kelley said. "And it introduces those kids to the skills that they could make a lot of money (by using). It's not just a four-year educational track anymore."

For MRED's ongoing small business programs, such as Startup Moniteau, the newest round of recruitment is set to begin next month. Business mixers will be held Sept. 10 at Co-Mo Electric Co-Op in Tipton and Oct. 8 at Grind in California, after which anyone interested in taking steps toward learning how to successfully start and operate a small business in the county will be able to sign on for the program.

As for Central Missouri Business Leaders, Kelley said there are plans to gauge interest, with the hope of being back for regular monthly gatherings starting in September.

In other news, MRED will receive a portion of a $30,000 Economic Development Administration grant — $5,000 in administrative costs — that will go toward a "Buy Local" campaign including manufacturers and retailers in the county.

MRED's next regular monthly meeting will take place at noon Wednesday, Sept. 9 in California.


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