By MATT PIKE
St. Joseph Post
The St. Joseph Community Alliance has revealed the results of a recent community survey and are seeing improvements for the first time in years.
Director of the Community Alliance Tama Wagner says perception of St. Joseph has increased in several key areas.
"Every livability trend has improved from is it a good place to work, is there overall quality of life in the community, is it a good place to raise children," Wagner says during a press conference at the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce. "What's significant about this, is that for the first time since 2010 trendlines have improved."
Wagner says the largest increases came in the area of as a community are things moving in the right direction.
More positive results came from an older demographic, and the community alliance is working to find ways to get a more positive insight from younger people.
Wagner says one way they could do that is utilizing Missouri Western and showing this is a university town.
"How do we integrate that into the community? How do we integrate the students into the community? How do we make this have a university vibe that a lot of different communities have?" Wagner questions. "Alot of it is starting with this, understanding that's a demographic that we need to reach out to, and we need to be very intentional about bringing in, so that's something we'll continue to work on."
Missouri Western's "Grow Your Own" program received massive support from the community in the survey with 82% of those surveyed supporting the effort.
The positive increases, members of the Community Alliance believe, can be attributed to something you don't see often in communities- collaboration.
Wagner says many of the different groups in the Community Alliance have really bought into what is being done with the 2040 plan.
"Because I think at the end of the day, we all want to make St. Joseph a better place, we all believe in that adage bloom where you're planted, and you have to be very intentional about doing that," Wagner explains. "And if we weren't aligned, we wouldn't be having the successes we're having because we would all be working individually."
Wagner says together the Community Alliance is really having a positive impact and are achieving some great things.