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At its monthly board meeting last Wednesday in Tipton, the Moniteau County Regional Economic Development Council discussed more detailed plans set for an upcoming career and community resource fair, as well as reviving some of MRED's programs of the past.

The fair is set for Thursday, Sept. 23 at Centennial Hall on the Moniteau County Fairgrounds, and aims to consolidate opportunities for collegiate education, employment opportunities with area businesses and resources available in the community for both area students and adults. The plan, as of last week's meeting, is for high school students to attend from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., and then open the fair to the public starting at 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. at the latest.

Jenn Millard with Central Missouri Community Action has taken the lead in planning the event. Millard said last week she envisions the fair as being an opportunity for employers to conduct on-the-spot interviews and offer applications on-site, or simply an avenue for disseminating information about their business and its hiring requirements.

MRED President Mike Kelley, earlier in the meeting last week, detailed two MRED programs he said he wishes to "resurrect." The first is MRED's business retention program; years ago, Kelley would meet with area business owners on a rotation once per month, with the goal of finding out from them more directly if they were facing any challenges holding back their continued growth and expansion.

Kelley put out a call to form a committee, and received some interest from attendees in tagging along on those business visits. The goal, Kelley said, would be to visit with one or two businesses each month.

The other MRED program is a more recent one. Central Missouri Business Leaders, a meeting series MRED launched in September of 2019, was another venture Kelley said he wishes to bring back into the fold.

Central Missouri Business Leaders, prior to going on a hiatus early during 2020, provided attendees with the opportunity to hear from representatives with businesses such as Mr. G's Liquor and Burgers' Smokehouse. Topics at meetings ranged from how to approach tax season as a business owner to hearing the personal stories of established business leaders in the community.

"What I wanted to show people was every company goes through trials and tribulations, you know?" Kelley said last week. "It's how they dealt with those that benefits everybody else sitting in that room, because they can learn from what somebody else has already gone through. That's the big key."

In a similar fashion, Kelley said he'll be working to form a committee for bringing back Central Missouri Business Leaders, as well.

Kelley also gave the group an update regarding MRED's "Buy Nearby" advertising campaign. Since the group's last meeting, Kelley has secured advertising space in Rural Missouri Magazine for the next 10 months, and he said the campaign's commercial set to run on Co-Mo Connect is still a work in progress.

MRED's next regular monthly meeting is set for Wednesday, Aug. 11 at noon at Burgher Haus in California.

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