Onward and upward: New data reveal Missouri’s climbing rankings in education, workforce readiness

For a bird’s-eye view of state rankings in areas like workforce and business climate, look no further than the Missouri 2030 Dashboard. This interactive online data hub has been measuring progress on the Missouri Chamber’s economic growth initiative Missouri 2030 with metrics measuring more than 30 factors that impact competitiveness and jobs.

Seeing the big picture is important, so new data is added regularly — and a recent update has revealed that Missouri is continuing to climb the ranks in several key areas.

Notable progress includes:

  • Missouri’s steadily rising high school graduation rates in recent years have moved the state’s rank from 10th to sixth.
  • Postsecondary STEM program completion rates have accelerated. In 2011, Missouri ranked 33rd; now we rank 15th.
  • Since this February, Missouri has moved up one spot to gain the 19th-highest number of ACT Career Readiness certificates per 1,000 people in the workforce, with 94 of the state’s 114 counties actively participating in the program.

However, the updates also revealed that infrastructure remains an area in need of improvement in Missouri. Our state ranks 41st in bridge integrity and continues to rank among the bottom states for road quality. After the defeat of a ballot measure this November that would have boosted road and bridge investment, stakeholders and policymakers are continuing their efforts to find funding solutions.

Broadband internet availability is another low performer on the charts. But since Missouri was the biggest beneficiary of the FCC’s recent rural broadband auction and there are many statewide and local initiatives underway to expand networks, the future of internet access in our state is looking considerably brighter.

While infrastructure and broadband are two areas where Missouri is still working to improve, strong education and workforce readiness efforts are moving our state in a positive direction.

Explore the full updated Missouri 2030 Dashboard at mochamber.com/dashboard.

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