The third session cohort for the Class of 2023 will tour 5 different counties in North Missouri September 13-15 to include Adair, Sullivan, Knox, Shelby, and Macon Counties. The City of Kirksville in Adair County and the surrounding area is filled with hardworking people who take pride in their work. But the proven work ethic of those who live in and around this region of the state is only part of the story. We will enjoy an immersive experience to gain an understanding of the issues facing rural Missouri.

This region enjoys a wonderful “quality of life”. We will tour the two institutions of higher education that provide jobs for the region as well as present art and cultural experiences. Each of the counties has a traditional setting with a County Courthouse in the middle of the town square. The class will see an eclectic group of coffee shops, eateries, antique and specialty shops. Sprinkled throughout are traditional high-volume retail stores, local restaurants, and lots of outdoor adventures! The region offers plenty of spaces for hiking, biking, jogging, canoeing, boating, and fishing. During the height of the seasons, some of the finest whitetail deer and turkey hunting are found here that exceed any found anywhere in the country.

Interested in learning more before we straddle the Northwest Missouri and Northeast Missouri regions? You can find real time job summaries, occupational projections, cost of living, Missouri Jobs Report, and Economic and Workforce Data. The Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC) is the research division of the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development’s Office of Performance & Strategy. Their work provides innovative analysis and assistance including studies of the state’s economic trends, targeted industries, and labor markets.

According to MERIC reports:

The Northeast Region is comprised of 16 counties with the largest cities being Hannibal, Kirksville and Moberly. Health Care and Social Assistance is the largest industry in the region, with 16% of the region’s employment. Some of the largest private employers in the Northeast region are Walmart, Bodine Aluminum, General Mills, and SC Data Center. Truman State University is a large government employer in this region. The average annual wage for all industries in the Northeast Region is $37,068.

The Northwest Region is comprised of 18 counties, with Buchanan County being home to Saint Joseph, the region’s largest city. The top industries in the Northwest Region are Manufacturing, and Health Care and Social Assistance, which combined account for 33% of the region’s employment. The Region’s top employers are in health care and advanced manufacturing. The top health care employer is the Mosaic Life Care. Boehringer Ingelheim is a major employer in chemical manufacturing. The average annual wage for all industries in the Northwest Region is $40,491.