MU Extension is implementing a new staffing model and budget structure that would give programs a more geographic focus.
Michael Ouart, director of MU Extension, says county by county reviews will be conducted to better place staff in their specialized areas and will simply shift the lines of the old regional divisions. Extension officials say the new model will give regions more control to prioritize budgeting within their area.
Jody Squires is an urban youth specialist for St. Louis County; she says the restructuring will help focus their programming towards more specific audiences and have greater impact.
“Across the state, people need the same things; they need good quality educational programs and opportunities. But the way we deliver them might be different, the number of people that we work with, that simply reside in the urban areas, are much greater,” said Squires.
Squires says the restructuring will continue keep the citizens in mind and meeting their needs in the most strategic way. Beginning in January 2013, the plan is expected to reduce the number of extension regions from eight to seven, and will group regions based on area-specific needs.