Why tech companies want to move to the Ozarks

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3/KSPR) - A new report from the Missouri Chamber of Commerce predicted Missouri will rank in the top ten states for tech growth within the next five years.

The Technology 2030 Report was released at the Technology 2030 Conference in St. Louis in late March. The goal of the report is to promote and support the Missouri technology sector, showcasing the economic opportunity it provides. The report shows it's not just Kansas City and St. Louis that have earned national reputations as good locations for tech businesses, but also Missouri’s mid-size cities and small communities, including Springfield.

According to the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, Springfield has seen a 70% increase in job growth in the IT field over the past decade. The Southwest Missouri Chapter of the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) is also the second largest in the nation.

One of the things that is putting the Ozarks on the tech map is the quality of life. Ryan Mooney, Senior Vice President of Economic Development with the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, said if the Ozarks can continue to invest in the community, the area can quickly reach the top. "Tech workers tend to like things that are unique and original, and we have a lot of things that are uniquely Springfield that we need to grow and continue to enhance," said Mooney.

Another thing those workers and companies are looking for is easy access to the downtown area. "We have a number of companies that we have worked with in the past that want to be in the downtown area to take advantage of all the amenities that exist down there for the people they would like to hire and like to retain at their operation," said Mooney. "We've been working with private developers, MSU, and the City to create more office space in the downtown area that would be ideal for growing technology companies."

Most recently, the downtown area gained a neighbor with the E-Factory and IDEA Commons.

To read the full Technology 2030 Report, follow the link attached to this story.