map of missouri, words are talent for tomorrowIn May 2018, the Hawthorn Foundation, the Missouri Department of Economic Development and the Missouri Department of Higher Education launched Talent for Tomorrow, an initiative that will fundamentally reset Missouri’s approach to meeting the state’s workforce needs.


The initiative will produce an assessment of how the state’s current workforce aligns with employer needs, look at different economic scenarios to help build a workforce system that can adapt as the economy evolves, and identify a pilot project.


It will culminate with the announcement of a set of recommendations that will form an over arching workforce strategy for the state. A major goal will be to align secondary and postsecondary education with the public workforce system and the needs of the private sector.


Guiding the initiative will be a task force of thought leaders from business and industry, education, trade, the public workforce system, state and federal government, and the legislature.


Innovators, entrepreneurs, civic leaders, scholars, and others to engaged in the process through regional workshops in St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, Columbia, and Cape Girardeau.


A final report will be unveiled at the Governor’s Conference on Economic Development September 5-7, 2018.


Submit ideas

Individual citizens, organizations, and other groups that have interest in economic development, education, and workforce development are encouraged to submit as little as 140 characters or up to a four page white paper on The deadline to make a submission is August 3, 2018. 


Volunteer committees working with both departments will consider these ideas as they develop recommendations on the state’s future plans. Topics may include a specific issue or policy, such as a particular economic development incentive or an education program, or broad subjects, like higher education and economic development strategies generally.

Learn more about Talent for Tomorrow and Best in Midwest at