Missouri Gov. Mike Parson made Carthage a stop on his first listening tour of the state 11 days after taking the office.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson made Carthage a stop on his first listening tour of the state 11 days after taking the office.
Parson toured the Flex-O-Lator plant with Karl Glassman, the CEO of Leggett & Platt, which owns the plant, and other company officials and talked with employees on the manufacturing line.
Parson then spoke with local community and political leaders and the media in a round-table discussion.
Glassman noted that the new Governor was on day 11 of his new job after taking the office when Former Gov. Eric Greitens resigned on June 1.
“On behalf of the 22,520 employees of Leggett & Platt around the globe, it's an absolute honor to welcome Gov. Parson on your 11th day on the job,” Glassman said. “For you to come to Southwest Missouri, to come to Leggett & Platt, spend a bunch of time on the floor, dealing with the folks who really make this country work, it's an honor to welcome you to our facility.”

Moving on
Parsons talked about moving Missouri forward after the contentious and controversial time under Greitens.
He talked about the importance of helping workers and the businesses that create jobs to keep Missouri's economy healthy.
“You know what's really important is these vehicles sitting here in the parking lot,” Parson said. “People are here working, drawing a paycheck and going out there and spending money in our communities. That's what makes the world go around is the people out here working every day for those jobs around the state of Missouri. I'm just excited about trying to figuring out how to we help those people, how do we make their lives better, how do we make Missouri better.”
When asked how his administration will be different from his predecessor's administration, Parson said “transparency is going to be huge for me.”
“I want people to know what's going on in the Governor's Office, whether that be the media, whether that be through committees, through the political side of it, the money trails,” Parson said. “I want people to know what we're doing in the governor's office and we want to be open about that to everyone. We want Missourians to know what we're doing and we want them to be proud of the governor's office.”

The new Governor talked about two priorities of his administration — improving infrastructure and helping create a skilled workforce.
Parson said Missouri's infrastructure is “a problem,” and dealing with it will cost money.
“But if we really want Missouri to grow in the heart of the United States of America, we have to do better on infrastructure,” he said. “And that goes all the way from our highways to our bridges, especially in rural Missouri as we well know what the affects on those rural bridges and everything. But also for the airports, the ports down our river ways, rail, all of that's going to make a difference in how well we do in the future.”
Parson said the 10-cent-a-gallon gas tax increase, which voters will see later this year, is the only fair way to fund improvements to highways and bridges.
“That way everybody pays, and I think it's the most fair way we can do this simply because the people who use it the most are going to pay more,” Parson said. “People who use it less don't pay nearly as much. If you take a senior citizens, someone who doesn't use the roads that much, it's not going to be much of an increase to them, but if it's some of us who drive constantly down Missouri roads, you're going to have to pay, which you should. I think that's something I'll be supporting.”

Skilled workforce
Parson said Missourians have a good work ethic, but they need the skills to do the jobs available in the modern world of work.
“No matter where I go, whether it's Joplin, Kansas City, the Boot Heel area, Northwest Missouri, the problem exists trying to get those good people to take good jobs and have the skills to do the work,” Parson said. “Missourians have always had a good work ethic, most of us who grew up in this state understand that most people here really do have a good work ethic. But we also realize that sometimes we don't have the skills that they need to work in plants anymore when you're talking about computers and technology. The old days of lifting some old bulk piece of metal or cutting it off with a saw are about over with. As I go through this company, you see robotics out there, and that's the new way. We've got to prepare for that.”