The Missouri Partnership is a public-private economic development partnership and a top economic development organization in the US

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Central Region - A major center for education and government

Hermannhof WineryColumbia - University of MissouriOzark Technical Community College and Missouri State UniversityLebanonHermann's Concert HallHermann, Missouri
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The 19-county central Missouri region is home to the state capital – Jefferson City – and more than a dozen colleges and universities. The University of Missouri’s flagship campus (MU) in Columbia and its science and technology campus (Missouri S&T) in Rolla provide a steady stream of talent for businesses in all sectors, including bio, energy, and IT. 

The central region is also home to some of Missouri’s most popular recreational sites, including sizable portions of the Katy Trail bike path and the Mark Twain National Forest and several Missouri wineries.  At 58,000 acres, the Lake of the Ozarks draws visitors from far and wide for championship fishing and golf, shopping and resorts.

Central Missouri’s companies share the state’s business benefits:

  • Low business costs and taxes
  • An above-average, below-market work force
  • A low cost of living
  • A strong transportation network 
    • Highways 50, 54 and 63; Interstates 70 and 44
    • Class I rail via KCS, NS, BNSF and UP
    • Regional airports
    • Missouri River access

Major cities

Columbia (Pop: 115,276)
Jefferson City (43,330)
Rolla (19,831)
Lebanon (14,759)
Fort Leonard Wood (13,667)
Fulton (12,760)
Mexico (11,530)

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2013





Businesses and industry

The region's major employers include:

Central Missouri profile

Educational attainment:

High School Diploma 148,447
Some College 89,897
Associate’s Degree 29,620
Bachelor’s Degree 68,641
Graduate Degree 43,258
Total Degrees 379,863

Download data (Excel or PDF) for all Missouri regions and counties.
Population 2014 689,599
Population Projection 2030 769,636
Civilian Labor Force (July 2015) 330,742
Employment (July 2015) 312,453
Unemployment (July 2015) 18,289
Unemployment Rate (July 2015) 5.50%

Download data (Excel or PDF) for all Missouri regions and counties.


Recent investment projects

In just one year, the central region has announced expansions worth over $4 million, adding over 140 new jobs.
Companies include:

  • National Medical Billing - new facility
  • Henderson Products - adding 30 new jobs
  • Moore Gear - adding 35 new jobs
  • Thistle Inc. - adding 16 new jobs
  • Huber & Associates - 35 new jobs
  • BioPharma Services - 20 new jobs

Next steps

Download regional data  or find available sites and buildings in the region.

Related downloads

Related maps

Local economic development contacts


Missouri CORE (Audrain, Boone, Callaway, Camden, Cole, Cooper, Howard, Miller, Moniteau, Morgan, and Osage Counties)

Missouri’s Meramec Region (Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski, and Washington Counties)

St. Louis Regional Chamber (Washington County)


Lebanon Regional Economic Development Inc. (Lebanon and Laclede County)

City of Mexico

Columbia Regional Economic Development, Inc.

Fulton Area Development Corporation

Jefferson City Chamber of Commerce

Rolla Regional Economic Commission

Contact Us
Phone: +1.314.725.0949
Toll Free: +1.877.725.0949
Fax: +1.314.725.0743
Online Form

120 South Central Avenue, Suite 1535
Saint Louis, MO 63105

12200 NW Ambassador Drive, Suite 205
Kansas City, MO 64163