The MCB Program can trace its roots back to a Union Electric Corporation (now Ameren Missouri) initiative in the 1950’s called “Planned Progress.” Planned Progress aimed to attract new businesses to rural areas of the Missouri through the support of local community improvement projects. After the initiative had been in place for several years and had successfully recruited several industries to small communities, it caught the attention of then Governor John Dalton, who convinced Union Electric to “move it to scale.” A public/private partnership was formed between the corporation and the state, and the program was expanded statewide.
In 1963, Missouri Community Betterment was officially formed under the Department of Economic Development. While administration of the program moved to the state, private sector influence in the program remained strong. A host of utility companies had joined Union Electric in subsidizing an annual program conference, and, in 1987, Missouri Community Betterment Educational Fund, Inc. (MCBEF) came into existence. MCBEF is a private nonprofit corporation that raises and distributes funds on behalf of the program. With MCBEF as an adjoined legal entity, MCB became a three-way partnership between the state, the private sector, and Missouri communities. Thus MCB has been a longstanding program in Missouri that has evolved in sponsorship and increased scope. It has remained popular among smaller communities, which are frequently overlooked by other programs.
In 1988 Missouri Community Betterment Educational Fund, Inc. was no longer under Missouri Department of Economic Development. As a private, not-for-profit corporation a board made up of businesses, public utilities, community representatives. federal and state agencies and individuals was formed. Missouri Department of Economic Development remains a strong supporter of the program.
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.
View 1970 photo of MCB Staff
Photo Identification chart for above
MCB Conference Themes (1964 to present)
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