For more than 50-years, the Clarke County Development Corporation (CCDC) has partnered with local businesses, non-profits, and community organizations to help enhance and grow opportunities throughout the county. Projects supported by the CCDC cover everything from new business development to quality-of-life improvement projects and addressing the needs of industry and manufacturers across the county.
Since early in 2021, through annual strategic planning sessions as well as meetings and feedback from local industry management, it was made evident that local employers were desperate for affordable workforce housing and the amenities to help attract and retain employees across the area.
With more than 4,500 non-farm jobs in Clarke County, manufacturers and industry leaders like Osceola Foods, Miller Products Company, and Alec find themselves regularly recruiting from labor pools outside the community. Many employees drive in from the Des Moines metro area or northern Missouri to work in Clarke County. But according to local management and their HR departments, that commute adds undue stress and inconvenience to the employee and their families as well as the employers who want to make sure their time is used efficiently and provides value.
“As we work to meet the needs for our local employers, our community can benefit from more homes and a stronger tax base,” said Bill Trickey, CCDC Executive Director.
With that, in spring of 2023, ground broke on more than 122 new homes in the Vista Village development off Truman Road. Another 18-unit complex located off Highway 34 on S. Gustin has been built and completely leased out before the final coats paint have dried. These units provide a lovely 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom starter home opportunity for local workforce and the houses in Vista Village offer bi-connected homes with beautiful yards, 2-car attached garages, and more for employees looking for that next level of home-ownership.
“By growing affordable workforce housing inventory, our employers not only have a dependable resource in a local workforce, but their employees find a community they can set roots in and grow with,” said Trickey.
Amenities for citizens across the county were also addressed. With more accommodating, wider sidewalks added throughout Osceola, students and families found easier and safer paths to the Clarke Community Schools campuses. Trails projects also tied together the Q-Pond area with the East Lake extensions including a new Dog Park off Highway 34.
A grant from the CCDC also helped the community of Murray realize their goals for a community sports complex that included multiple ball diamonds, new concessions stand, and pathways to and from the complex.
In 2023, the CDCD board considered and awarded more than $1.2 million worth of grants and donations for projects across the county.
“In 2024, we want to continue to partner with all of our local organizations to help make our community better,” said Trickey. “Whether that means more donations to nonprofits like Toys for Christmas or expediting latest development of the ORBIT Education and Training Facility in Osceola, it’s the board’s mission to focus on building business and foster quality of life opportunities throughout Osceola and Clarke County.”