Missouri State Representative Derek Grier learns about vast potential the four-county region represents beyond the existing $2.8 billion economic impact that Fort Leonard Wood has on the Missouri economy.

Missouri State Representative Derek Grier visited with civic leaders and community members from the Fort Leonard Wood region as part of his economic development tour across the Show-Me State.

As chairman of the House Committee on Economic Development, Rep. Grier, R-Chesterfield, said Fort Leonard Wood was his first stop as he visits Missouri’s top industry hubs and meets with various chambers of commerce and regional economic development committees across the state.

Grier attended the quarterly board of directors meeting for the Sustainable Ozarks Partnership (SOP) on Thursday. At the meeting, Grier learned how SOP and the four-county Fort Leonard Wood region are working with regional communities, governments, organizations as well as state and federal enablers as stakeholders in an effort to make the region a better place to live and work, while enabling Fort Leonard Wood mission success and advocating for mission sustainment, expansion and job growth.

SOP leaders described for Grier how the organization’s work is guided by the desire to gain positive recognition for the region and to strengthen the region and Fort Leonard Wood through its strategic plan, vision, mission and overarching goals. Grier spoke to the group about the importance of traveling to parts of the state like the Fort Leonard Wood region to learn more about areas outside of Missouri’s larger cities.

He commented specifically on the potential of the region to leverage the existing network of well-educated and skilled military spouses and nearly 1,000 service members that transition out of the military from Fort Leonard Wood each year to attract new businesses, industry and jobs to the region. 

“We appreciated Rep. Grier spending the day with us and learning about the vast potential that the region represents beyond the existing $2.8 billion economic impact that Fort Leonard Wood has on the Missouri economy. We look forward to working with Rep Grier and Mark Sutherland going forward,” said SOP Executive Director, Dorsey Newcomb. 

During his stop, Grier also visited the Fort Leonard Wood base, and took a windshield tour of the Fort Leonard Wood area. The stop is the first on a multi-city tour that will see Grier stop in Rolla on Dec. 18.

“I want to thank the SOP for inviting me to learn more about the amazing things they are doing to help their area grow and prosper. It’s clear the Fort Leonard Wood region has the resources and workforce to achieve an even greater level of economic success. As a state, I want to ensure we are creating a level playing field that will allow businesses and workers here, and across Missouri, to thrive,” Grier said.