One on One with incoming Acting Director Rob Dixon

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DED Update

One on One with incoming Acting Director Rob Dixon

On June 2, 2017, Governor Eric Greitens named Rob Dixon, current President of the Missouri Community College Association, as Missouri’s new Acting Director of Economic Development. Mr. Dixon will start his service with DED on July 1, 2017.


Before Rob takes his official post with DED, we had the opportunity to learn more about the incoming leader and the vision he has for the department. Here is a one on one with Rob Dixon: 

What is it about Missouri that makes it feel like home? 

It is home! I’m a native Missourian, and I have lived here my entire life, with the exception of the five years that I was in the Marines. After my service, I knew I wanted to come right back home. 

What is your experience working in economic development? 

My entire professional life after the military has been in either economic development or workforce development. I started my career working for the chamber of commerce in Hollister, Mo. My job was to grow the local economy just as the economy nationwide was sinking. Our main focus was to look at what barriers and challenges prevented our business community from growing and then develop solutions. What I found over and over again was that one of the most important things we could do as economic developers to help businesses was to address their workforce issues. I then started a position with the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, which served a 10-county region. There, I created the chamber’s inaugural plan to help grow the region’s existing businesses. This experience again reaffirmed my belief that workforce development was crucial to ensuring the success of our business community. That’s when I took a position with Missouri Community College Association and immediately went to work to make our programs easier for businesses to access training for their employees.

How will your experience with the Missouri Community College Association help in your new position? 

There are so many community colleges, workforce development organizations, and other like-minded agencies that work to build up their local workforce. In my new role at DED, we will be working with entities all across the state to ensure that Missouri’s employers have the quality workforce they need. 

Rob Dixon at MCCA Rally Day in 2015, Jefferson City. Photo courtesy of MCC Newsroom.

What are you most proud of from your time with the MCCA? 

Aligning the workforce development programs that community colleges offer and creating the workforce network. The consortium allows a business to access workforce training that they need, regardless of whether or not their local community college offers it.

What are you most looking forward to in your new position at DED? 

Honestly, it’s being a part of a team that is working on the most important issues facing the state. I have an eight- year-old son and I want him to have opportunities in Missouri in the future.   It’s our responsibility to leave our state in better shape for the next generation. To do this, we’ll need to roll up our sleeves and work together to grow our state’s economy.

What one goal do you hope to accomplish as Director of the Department of Economic Development?  

The governor has laid out a clear vision that he wants to help Missouri’s businesses create more jobs and to help Missourians earn higher pay.  This is our mission at DED, and I am looking forward to working together with the Governor, his team, the folks at DED, and economic developers across the state to accomplish this.   

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