1 min read
Posted on 07.14.09
  • 1 min read
  • Posted on 07.14.09

I rarely pass up an opportunity to say “St. Louis” to anyone who might not otherwise hear the name — and the crush of reporters in town all looking for a story before the All-Star game begins have let me name us a lot. I suspect I will have done 50 local and national interviews by midnight tonight.

Fox Business News, a cable network, had me on a panel (with a US Labor Department official and a young man, Daniel Seddiqui, who has decided to try to find work in 50 states over 50 weeks) talking about jobs here. The government expert suggested that workers be flexible about what they do and where they do it; Mr. Seddiqui seemed to get that.

That was a good conversation for St. Louis. Over the past five decades, we’ve transitioned from a manufacturing-based economy to an economy that’s very diverse. There is still a lot of manufacturing here — and we’re getting more — but our strongest efforts are in medicine, bio-technology, agricultural research, transportation, entertainment, professional services, and education. Despite the strong downward tug of the national economy, that flexibility has spared us some of what other regions (think Detroit) are going through. Economic diversity is the key to weathering downturns in any one industry.

I wish they had asked me about what InBev has taught us.