On May 30, 2019 Blaine Luetkemeyer, U.S. Representative for Missouri’s third Congressional District, visited the Troy Chamber of Commerce to speak with small business owners within the Lincoln County area. With Lincoln County being the fastest growing county in the state, several issues were discussed over how to continue to maintain the growing population. Lincoln County is commonly known as a rural community, making one of the concerns the effect that foreign trade will have on the agricultural market this year with the recent weather conditions. Luetkemeyer commented that, with the latest environmental conditions, farmers will be hurting this year and as part of the business there will be high and low years of production, but legislature will continue to protect their agricultural producers.
“This is their livelihood, but in their trade they know that they are always looking years down the road and this just happened to be a bad year,” said Luetkemeyer. Another concern brought forth by a local business owner was the unemployment rate within Lincoln County and how to increase the amount of skilled workers.
“We try to push for education towards career preparation and we hope to see that continue because that is what we need,” said Luetkemeyer. Trade school numbers have seen a decrease over the last few years and Luetkemeyer urged that business owners speak with high schools and technical schools about allowing students every opportunity to enter the workforce with the correct skill set and that schools are teaching the skills needed in the workforce.
“Along with a skilled workforce, bringing more jobs home will cost more initially, but our economy as a whole will pick up,” said Luetkemeyer. He spoke about new plans to work with Americans that are currently on the welfare program to enter the workforce as a skilled worker. “We want to help people help themselves by increasing the benefits and training necessary to get a skilled job,” said Luetkemeyer. One final issue that was brought up was the infrastructure of Lincoln County. Luetkemeyer commented that the Missouri government is working to improve the bridges and roads across the state.