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Kirksville: Where Education & Innovation Meet

The city of Kirksville, in Northern Missouri, is quickly becoming known as a community where education and innovation meet. In fact, Kirksville has been named the “smartest city in rural America,” offering best-in-class educational resources and more. From award-winning grade schools to Truman University, Kirksville is known nationwide as the place where talented students go to get even smarter.

Located in Upstate Missouri, the city of more than 17,000 people offers small town values and charm with big city amenities. Kirksville is known for being innovative and serves as the center for the region’s business and industry.

“Kirksville is a thriving community in a rural area,” said Carolyn Chrisman, Executive Director of Kirksville Regional Economic Development Inc. “We have a young population, a growing renewable energy industry, and a dedication to helping businesses be competitive.”

Education is important to the continued growth of any community, and in Kirksville, education is a way of life. Home to award winning K-12 programs and Truman State and A.T. Still Universities, it is easy to see why so much talent calls Kirksville home.

Founded 150 years ago, Truman State University has the distinction of being Missouri’s only statewide liberal arts and sciences university. With more than 6,000 students, Truman offers its students a wide variety of professional and master’s level programs. The university has consistently been recognized among the nation’s best colleges and universities. For the past 20 years, U.S. News & World Report has ranked Truman as the No. 1 public university in the Midwest.

“Truman has been a fixture for years in this ranking, and many others, because we focus on producing graduates who are extremely well prepared to excel and advance in their chosen fields and who emerge as true leaders ready to thrive in the complexities of a rapidly changing, technologically advanced, multicultural world,” said University President Susan L. Thomas. “Being able to do all that, at a very reasonable cost, is why Truman is such an exceptional university.”

But Truman State is not the only world-class university that calls Kirksville home. A.T. Still University was founded in Kirksville in 1892 and is the founding school of osteopathic medicine in the world. Osteopathic physicians are devoted to a holistic philosophy of medicine and are educated, tested, and licensed almost identically to those earning M.D.’s, however, they take an additional 200 hours in osteopathic manipulative medicine.

With so much world-class talent being churned out of area institutions, businesses in the region are finding great success. From medical centers to Kraft Heinz and Hy-Vee Foods, companies that choose to grow in Kirksville are booming. In fact, Kraft Heinz recently expanded their area plant to accommodate 900 employees. When you add in short commutes and a low cost of living, it is no wonder so many people choose to live and work in the region.

We haven’t even mentioned the airport yet. The Kirksville Regional Airport offers daily flights to St. Louis and is one of the region’s most vital economic development assets. A study by the Missouri Department of Transportation stated that the airport has a total positive economic output to the community of more than $6 million.

From the region’s world-class talent, to its small town feel and big city amenities, Kirksville is a one of a kind destination for businesses looking to expand.

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