10/16/08 Branson West, MO
The Missouri Community Betterment (MCB) Program is celebrating its 45th anniversary this year successfully helping Missouri communities enhance their community life through overall community development, planning, and implementation. Work to start MCB began in Missouri in 1962, when chamber of commerce leaders, state agency officials, utility representatives, and others began the formation of the program. In 1963 the program was established as a part of the then Division of Commerce and Industrial Development, now known as the Missouri Department of Economic Development.
The MCB Program accomplishes its mission primarily by lending technical assistance to communities, by hosting informational meetings across the state, by officially recognizing the participating communities, neighborhoods, and individual adult and youth community volunteers throughout the state, and by rewarding those that excel in the program.
The Missouri Community Betterment Educational Fund, Inc. (MCBEF) is a private, not-for-profit Corporation made up of businesses, public utilities, community representatives, federal and state agencies and individuals. MCBEF is the sponsor organization of the MCB Program and fulfills its purpose by providing strategic direction, determining the process for judging, community participation, designing the annual conference to recognize community achievements, and obtaining the necessary funding for the program.
The MCB Program is now more important than ever to communities. More and more federal and state programs, as well as non-governmental programs, are looking at where they can best invest their money – a kind of viability test. They are looking at the needs of the community, but also at “What has the community done for its part?” “Does it have its act together?” Does the community have a strong organization and an overall program and plan in place so it can maximize the benefits from outside assistance?” A broad-based MCB organization with an overall plan can provide this framework for outside assistance from other programs.
Sharing vital information for community improvement is a part of the MCB concept. Now available on the MCB website (www.mocommunitybetterment.com) are: a resource guide to provide financial and technical assistance for communities, a forum to allow communities to interact with one another, an inventory form to assist communities in their local planning processes, MCB community visit criteria to determine if a community qualifies for personalized local assistance, and other important information. MCB also publishes monthly newsletters to keep communities updated on all MCB activities.
There are no dues, and any community in Missouri may participate. MCB recognized communities have been as small as a population of 53, to communities over 20,000 populations. The Missouri Community Betterment Annual Conference is set for October 19 and 20, 2008 at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City. Representatives from all Missouri communities and neighborhoods are cordially invited to attend the conference by contacting MCB.
You may contact MCB Executive Director Jan Simon at 417-334-3474 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note the next time you drive into a community in the state, and see the MCB logo attached to the local city limit sign, that you are entering a progressive community that has its’ act together, and is working hard with local adult and youth volunteer leaders to make their community a better place to live, to work, to visit and to do business.