September 26, 2019


We want to keep sharing with you success stories of how you and your colleagues are making change happen.

You may not know it, but colleagues in five departments are making the most significant restructuring of state government in decades happen. These changes were made official last month. These changes will impact how we help grow our economy and develop our workforce for the future. This is all about being more effective and efficient to serve every community and every family in Missouri.


We have moved some divisions from the Department of Economic Development (DED) to other departments. Here’s an overview:

Shifting from DED

Governor Mike Parson signed Executive Order 19-03 in January 2019. It went into effect on August 28, 2019.


Governor Parson is committed to improving Missouri’s economy and developing our workforce for the future. Back in 2018, we launched the Best in Midwest and Talent for Tomorrow initiatives to achieve these goals. The Best in Midwest initiative focused on making DED the best economic development agency in the Midwest.

Together, the newly-named Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development (DHEWD) partnered with DED to launch the Talent for Tomorrow initiative.

Best in Midwest and Talent for Tomorrow
Teams crisscrossed Missouri to engage business and community leaders to hear from them what needed to be done. They engaged with more than 3,700 Missourians.

They dug into the data of how we stacked up in our economy, workforce, and education in comparison to our competitors in neighboring states. While we had some successes to celebrate, the facts also highlighted we needed to do better.
These initiatives produced a set of final recommendations that didn’t sit on the shelf to collect dust; they are being implemented. Restructuring DED and other departments was among these recommendations.

Just one highlight: the Division of Workforce Development was combined with the previously-named Department of Higher Education to create the DHEWD. Why? This now creates one department to ensure adult Missourians get the help they need for success in the future. Such help covers from degrees to professional certificates to apprenticeships to other opportunities.

Watch this video to learn more about the restructuring:
Reorg video
Watch the video with closed captioning

Thank you to the department directors and their teams: Rob Dixon, Director of Department of Economic Development; Zora Mulligan, Commissioner of Higher Education and Workforce Development; Carol S. Comer, Director of the Department of Natural Resources; and Chlora Lindley-Myers, Director of Department of Commerce and Industry.

And, thank you to Office of Administration (OA) Commissioner Sarah Steelman and the OA team for ongoing support of the restructuring.

A lot of hard work behind the scenes is making these changes happen. They will help us serve better our fellow citizens.

Best regards,
Drew Erdmann
Chief Operating Officer
State of Missouri