Wherever there's a will, you'll find us - empowering our community to do the extraordinary. At Southeast, we partner with business and industry leaders across the region to build a better community.

Fostering business and workforce development and facilitating the process of innovation to enhance the regional economy is the daily work of our Economic and Workforce Development team. It’s where we pair the institutional knowledge and resources from Southeast Missouri State University with those around us to create new, high-value jobs; generate positive economic and social benefits; and advance entrepreneurship.

  • We align workforce and non-credit training programs with academic, industry and public sector needs.
  • We develop effective partnerships with business and industries throughout southeast Missouri and the University’s service region in the identification of training needs and leading to the development and delivery of revenue producing workforce education and training solutions.
  • We plan and coordinate events to promote the University’s continuing education, workforce education and training opportunities.

About the Division

  • Small Business Development Center

    The Small Business Development Center offers business owners access to resources they'll need for each step of their business journey. They can help with the planning, the strategizing, financial resources and more to help you launch your business.
  • Career Services

    The Office of Career Services assists students and alumni as they navigate through their educational journey and toward a professional career. Students can get help with everything from resume help to mock interviews to assistance with landing an internship.
  • Workforce Development

    We offer Workforce Development classes to help people acquire new skills that are in demand by employers in the region.
  • Economic Impact

    SEMO is an engine for economic growth throughout all Missouri through economic engagement efforts, workforce development initiatives, spending practices, arts and cultural events, and its NCAA Division-I athletics program. SEMO creates value in many ways, and it greatly influences both the lives of its students and the state economy.

Continuing Education

Continuing Education works with area businesses and industries to offer non-credit courses to help increase the skill level of the region’s workforce. Personal enrichment courses are also available. 

Regional Professional Development Center

The Regional Professional Development Center offers professional development opportunities to educators across southeast Missouri. It provides ongoing featured programs tied to statewide systems, as well as additional professional learning opportunities and support on a variety of relevant topics in education

Law Enforcement Academy

The Law Enforcement Academy provides basic law enforcement training and education to prospective law enforcement officers and ongoing training to those already in the field. The Academy is a Missouri Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) approved provider.

Catapult Creative House

Catapult Creative House provides a space where students, faculty and the community can create and collaborate. It is home to a shop stocked with handmade original items, meeting spaces, studio spaces, and an art gallery.

Assistant Vice President, Economic and Workforce Development

"We're excited to work with our regional business community and our local, state and federal partners in economic and workforce development. Southeast plays such a critical role at so many different levels regionally and beyond. We are committed to enhancing these specific areas outlined in this new office."

John Mehner

Profile picture of Mr. John Mehner

Our Partners

  • Logo for U.S. Small Business Administration
  • Logo for America’s SBDC
  • Logo for U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration
  • Logo for USDA
  • Logo for Missouri Department of Economic Development
  • Logo for Missouri Technology Corporation
  • Logo for Missouri Association of Councils of Government
  • Logo for Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers
  • Logo for Delta Regional Authority
  • Logo for Innovate U

Our History 

Southeast in 2003 launched the Innovation Center and Missouri Research Corporation to support the advancement of the region’s economic appeal and strength by accelerating local and regional economic growth and development. Over the next several years, those entities’ offered business development services, business incubator space, entrepreneurial training, access to capital, research and technical assistance, and more. 

In 2006, the entities partnered with the Kauffman Foundation and the Delta Regional Authority to offer training for aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs in Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee. 

More than 600 participants had been trained through the program by 2011, resulting in 281 new businesses. The Kauffman Foundation then joined with the nonprofit to continue the development and distribution of the program nationwide to more than 150 affiliate organizations. 

The U.S. Department of Commerce in 2013 awarded the entities with designation as an Economic Development Administration (EDA) University Center and the nonprofit was renamed the Missouri Innovation Corporation (MIC) to reflect its development into more entrepreneurial and economic development activity.  

With this rapid growth of both outreach and student-focused efforts, there was a separation to better serve each group resulting in the now Economic and Business Engagement Center primarily serving the external community.

Get the Training You Need. Today.

The Will to Do

Are you an entrepreneur, economic developer, or professional seeking development opportunities? Southeast offers a wealth of training and programs for business owners of all levels of expertise, across all industries.

Economic and Workforce Development