Location Profile: Missouri's Central Region
Higher education and government are among the defining characteristics of Missouri's Central region. Within the 12 counties that make up the CORE Partnership, there are seven four-year colleges and universities and three technical and community colleges. The University of Missouri is the state's land grant institution with its main campus in Columbia.
"Mizzou" offers 265 degree programs and has top graduate programs in medicine, law, and veterinary medicine all on the same campus. Nearby Stephens College, Central Methodist University, Columbia College, Lincoln University, William Woods University and Westminster College offer everything from traditional liberal arts to equine studies.
Jefferson City, tapped by Forbes magazine as the metro with the 10th lowest cost of doing business, is the seat of Missouri government, with the stately Capitol building as its centerpiece. Education and government insulate the region from ups and downs in the economy. They also account for above-average high school graduation rates and college placement scores. It was the quality of local education and the quality of life in Columbia that led Forbes magazine to rank the city 4th best small metro for business. It was also these qualities that convinced State Farm to expand its customer service operations there.
Quaint communities such as Boonville, Moberly, Fulton and Mexico grace the Central Region. They host a variety of industries such as Brookstone, Dura Automotive, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Spartan Light Metals, and Missouri's only nuclear power plant in Callaway County. The Churchill Memorial, where Winston Churchill gave his famous "Iron Curtain" speech, is located on the Westminster College campus in Fulton. In the southern part of the region, the Lake of the Ozarks boasts 1,150 miles of shoreline, 15 golf courses, and numerous quality resorts.
While the region maintains a healthy economic base, significant efforts are underway to meet the needs of a growing science and technology-based economy. Utilizing part of the University of Missouri's property, the new Discovery Ridge Research Park is under development with a cluster of research-oriented companies beginning to fill the campus.
Missouri CORE Partnership
Mike Downing, Director
213 Adams Street
Jefferson City, MO 65102