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St. Louis College Students Launch Tourism Innovation Pilot Project

St. Louis-based Ranken Technical College students are starting a 4-month pilot project using emerging concepts, tools and technologies to attract more visitors to the region. Ranken’s newly-created 20-student strong Missouri Innovation Growth & Hospitality Team (MIGHT) will work on this project.

This innovative pilot project will give MIGHT students the opportunity to learn about emerging technologies such as virtual reality, digital marketing trends, geospatial marketing, artificial intelligence tools, social media sharing platforms and online review management software. While MIGHT students are learning about these tools and concepts, they will also use them to positively impact tourist attraction efforts to the St. Louis region.

“It’s these customized and leading-edge training programs that give Missouri talent an advantage,” Missouri Governor Mike Parson said. “Missouri’s workforce development efforts are successful because of ongoing partnerships between academia, government and private industry. We are thrilled to see the launch of this latest customized training program.”

Social media and travel review sites have significant impact on a traveler’s decisions. Ranken MIGHT students will use new tools to create positive social media buzz, as well as effectively use existing platforms and new digital marketing strategies to attract more visitors to the state of Missouri.

The training program was conceptualized during meetings at the SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington DC between CGS Infotech, Deborah Price of Missouri Partnership, Lori Becklenberg with the St. Louis Regional Chamber, and Tim Nowak with the World Trade Center St. Louis. CGS Infotech’s CEO Hiten Bhuta and General Manager Bhavish Bhutta participated in SelectUSA as part of delegation of senior business leaders led by the Ambassador of the United States to India Mr. Kenneth Juster. In a recent follow-up meeting after the SelectUSA summit, U.S. Consulate General at Mumbai Mr. Edgard Kagan encouraged Mumbai-based companies to invest in the United States and expressed his appreciation for CGS Infotech’s engagement with the US.

CGS Infotech is a global technology company with offices in Illinois and Delaware and corporate headquarters in India, that currently serves more than 5000 clients in 40 countries. “Tim, Lori and Deborah effectively presented the attractiveness of St. Louis and Missouri at the SelectUSA event,” Hiten Bhuta, CEO of CGS Infotech, said. “They followed-up on the possibility by setting-up a result-oriented visit and made very important introductions. We are excited to start this pilot project and contribute to developing new skills for students.”

CGS Infotech is an international sponsor for Growing Global 2018, the World Trade Center St. Louis’ annual event on September 21, and the Missouri Governor’s Conference on Tourism in St. Charles, September 25-27. CGS is also finalizing plans to set-up a presence in CIC St. Louis located in the Cortex Innovation Community in St. Louis during this pilot program.

Stan Shoun, President of Ranken Technical College expressed energetic support for this project and the integration of this pilot project as part of Ranken’s curriculum. “We are very pleased to team up with CGS to help build the economy while developing the 21st century workforce!” Shoun said.

CGS anticipates this training program will create a trained, tourism-focused workforce, have positive impacts on tourism promotion efforts across Missouri and in St. Louis, and provide a novel training method that can be replicated for other companies and industries throughout the St. Louis region and Missouri.

For more information on why Missouri could be a prime location to launch or grow your business, contact Steve Johnson, CEO of Missouri Partnership, at 314.725.2688 or via our contact form, with any questions you might have, and learn how Missouri Partnership can help with your business expansion and investment needs.

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