Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Editorial: Higher Education and Technology Are Job Creators, So Why Is the Governor Cutting Their Funding?

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Editorial: Higher Education and Technology Are Job Creators, So Why Is the Governor Cutting Their Funding?

Article excerpt

Gov. Eric Greitens' state spending plan cuts $17.9 million from a fund that invests in startups and $90 million from Missouri's colleges and universities. These are perplexing actions from a man who campaigned on a pledge to grow jobs.

Greitens may have pinned his hopes on the right-to-work law that he signed Tuesday, but economic development studies show that one of the most important factors for companies looking to relocate is an educated and trained work force.

Investing in new technology is another option for states without mountains or oceans that want to attract companies offering jobs with a future for younger workers. That was the goal of the Missouri Technology Corp., a public-private partnership that has invested more than $33 million in 97 tech startups since it launched a funding program in 2011. The state's return on one of those companies, St. Louis-based LockerDome, was twice its investment of $200,000.

Missourians need good, high-paying jobs, which Greitens pledged to deliver during his State of the State address. His plans include passing the right-to-work law barring mandatory union fees and scaling back government regulations.

But the value of those measures as job creators is still being debated. Missouri is one of 28 states with a right-to-work law. A Pew study from October shows other factors do more to create high- paying jobs. The study says employment is rising faster in fields that require more educational and specialized preparation. …

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