Celebrating the spirit of summer

DanThere’s something magical about the summer that takes us back to our younger days. For me, being outside on a humid Missouri summer day reminds me of growing up in St. Louis.

Those days, the break from school meant getting to play outside, participate in sports and hang out with friends. However, during my teenage years, those summer days were far from days of leisure. I held a number of odd jobs as a teen. I worked on a road crew, cutting grass in the sweltering sun. I did some painting. One summer, I was paid to pull garbage out of local creeks.

Other times, I worked as a bellhop and a busboy. I even worked a week as a lifeguard at a local pool.

Many of you likely have similar memories. I’m certain many of Missouri’s business leaders can point back to their summers as a teen and the lessons they learned about hard work and what it feels like to receive a paycheck.

Right now, many young Missourians are learning similar lessons during their summer jobs. They are exploring different professions and getting a feel for what they’d like to do in the future. I am fully convinced these are critical lessons for Missouri’s youth as they grow into being our skilled workforce for the future.

I also know that businesses around the state appreciate having the extra help this time of year. The influx of young workers brings new energy and positivity in the workplace. Everyone benefits.

Our Missouri Business story celebrates the spirit of summer jobs. I think you will enjoy reading some of the summer job experiences sent in by business leaders from around the state.

Summer is also a time for travel. In Missouri, we are blessed to have two international airports and several strong regional airports serving our business and personal travel needs.

However, in recent years, our state’s airports have taken on a new high profile role in our ongoing economic development work. As global companies look to relocate or expand, a common prerequisite is locating in an area with excellent air travel options. Our airports are constantly working to fulfill this goal.

We also see big opportunities to leverage our airport capacity and make Missouri a hub for international trade. Our central location and connections with highway, rail and water transportation make Missouri an ideal place to bring foreign goods into our country. Similarly, we’ve also made the point that Missouri is an ideal place for American companies to ship their products overseas.

Airports have also become attractive development sites for certain classes of companies that find value in being able to create products and then immediately load them onto planes.

Missouri’s airports are working on all of these fronts, as well as continuing to grow their flight options in partnership with companies such as Southwest Airlines, our state’s largest carrier and an innovator in their industry.

Finally, summer is also a time to take stock of the work of our state’s General Assembly, which ended their regular session in mid-May. The Missouri Chamber is in the capitol every day during the session working on behalf of our state’s business community.

Like many previous years, the legislature ended their 2014 session with some significant accomplishments and with work left to do. Click here to read more about what passed.

As always, thank you for your support that makes our work possible.

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