I appreciated the essay written by the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce senior vice president for economic development [Editor’s note: “Workforce struggles highlight quality of place value” by Ryan Mooney, published in the July 19 edition].
Mr. Mooney shared valuable insight about demographic trends and worker shortages. I applaud the chamber’s view that investments in “quality of place” are necessary to retain and recruit a high-quality workforce and fuel community growth.
Robust broadband service with gigabit speed is a key asset that gets attention when chamber leaders study peer cities and chart a course for Springfield’s success. Mediacom has offered gigabit-speed broadband for more than four years and consumer adoption is high.
I lead Mediacom operations in Springfield. I hosted city leaders from Springfield and surrounding communities when we became the first ISP in Missouri to light up a 100% gigabit-technology network in 2017.
Gigabit internet access is not a new amenity just now arriving in Springfield. In the four years since Mediacom deployed this transformational technology, the number of subscribers choosing gig-speed connections has consistently grown. Today, the gigabit adoption rate among Springfield residents is considerably higher than the national rate.
Among all U.S. broadband subscribers, 10% are provisioned for gigabit speeds (source: OpenVault Broadband Insights, March 31, 2021). By comparison, 18.5% of Mediacom broadband customers in Greene County connect to Xtream gig-speed internet.
One might assume this big differential is due to Greene County being a metro area. However, Mediacom also delivers gigabit-speed broadband to residents and businesses in smaller communities. When Greene County is removed from data for a 15-county area of southern Missouri, the gig-speed adoption rate among Mediacom subscribers rises to 19%.
This means that when Springfield employers allow employees to work from home, they can be assured that a robust gigabit internet connection is available to all addresses within reach of Mediacom’s network in Springfield and in many other communities, too.
—Steve Bennett, senior director for area operations, Mediacom Communications
SBJ survey data is used to analyze the flow of money.
Michael Smith and Chris Sawyer, COO and CEO of Next Level Solutions respectively, discuss how they keep their remote teams and offices in and out of country on the same page. Next Level Solutions was ranked #1 in the Springfield Business Journal's 2021 Dynamic Dozen.
John Oke-Thomas, architect and co-founder of minorities in business, responds to the accusation that minority businesses are only successful because of the priority they have received in lending. He says that if a business uses a loan well, it shows their worth.
Sandra Smart, a technology and commercialization specialist, shares tips for entrepreneurs who are ready to seek funding. Some of her tips apply broadly; some target technology industry businesses. Smart works with tech entrepreneurs and startups, and hosts training workshops through the Missouri SBDC at Missouri State University's efactory.
Hollie Elliott discusses common misconceptions about locating your business in a small town. She says that there are a lot of benefits that people may not consider.
Drawing on his own experience dynamically evolving his company and business model, Jim Meinsen discusses when and how you might need to draw on new technology. Jim and Debbie Meinsen are co-owners of TCI Graphics in Springfield.
John Oke-Thomas, longtime Springfield architect, discusses his philosophy on architecture. He says that future historians will be focused on the sustainability of our contemporary architecture.
Erin Hedlun, director of marketing and communications at Evangel University, says compassion is an important job skill. Hedlun says it is a component of what makes a leader.
Rachel Barks, owner of Artistree Pottery, talks about the concepting that went behind the aesthetic of the business.
Caleb Scott, coach and co-owner of Queen City Insane Asylum football team, says he had to sacrifice early on to make sure his team had places to play. With the business climate at the time, it wasn't easy.
Aaron York talks about the culture he fosters at Donco3 as the general superintendent. York says the key is to treat your business like family.