Springfield metropolitan area sees fast-paced growth across the region

Published: Apr. 13, 2022 at 9:13 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 13, 2022 at 9:14 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - There’s been a lot of growth across the Ozarks over the last few years.

That growth has been happening not only in Springfield but especially in the areas surrounding it, like Republic with its new Amazon fulfillment center. However, people living outside of Republic may be wondering how those big projects benefit them.

The Springfield-Area Chamber of Commerce President Matt Morrow says what happens to help one of the communities within the area thrive, actually helps the entire area succeed.

”When we see those groups working together, those counties, those cities, those communities working together toward a common vision for regional growth, regional prosperity, the sum of that prosperity can really be greater than the parts,” Morrow says.

Morrow says the Springfield metro area is the fastest growing in all of Missouri. It’s growing twice as fast as the average metropolitan area across the country.

“The growth that happens in a region like ours doesn’t happen at the expense of one city or community to the other but in fact, actually really helps it,” Morrow says.

Republic has seen an extensive amount of growth over the last few years. City Administrator David Cameron says each city is using its own resources to benefit the whole area.

“We’re leveraged to bring in business because of our geographic location to infrastructure,” Cameron says. “I think understanding what our strengths are in each individual community and lean into those versus who we’re not is very, very important. That’s what regionalism is all about.”

Cameron says each city needs to embrace the strengths they have within the area because each community has something unique to offer. However, Cameron says each city then comes together and sees how that allows the entire area to flourish.

“A healthy Republic is good for a healthy Springfield and a healthy Springfield is good for Republic and Nixa and Ozark and vice versa,” Cameron says.

Morrow says while the communities may vary in size, they work together as partners. That allows each to benefit individually while also allowing southwest Missouri to benefit.

“We have to answer questions for companies that are considering where they will expand or re-locate,” Morrow says. “The number one question they have is will I have an available workforce. The more people who live in an area, that’s a labor shed. So there are opportunities to migrate and to work and maybe live in one city and work in another or vice versa.”

The goal is to continue to see growth in opportunities across the entire region.

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