White River Valley Electric Cooperative has secured a $1,000,000 United States Department of Agriculture loan for the CoxHealth Learning Center in Branson. WRVEC will be presenting the check to the center at Monday, March 13, 2017 at 3 p.m.
WRVEC was founded on seven guiding principles: voluntary and open membership, democratic member control, member economic participation, autonomy and independence, education, training and information, cooperation among cooperatives and concern for community.
One of White River’s greatest contributions to the economy of Southwest Missouri and the communities served are the economic development programs. These programs help attract new businesses and expand others, specifically in rural communities. The focus is to improve the quality of life for WRVEC members and the economic and social well-being of the area.
In 2013, as part of the affiliation agreement between Skaggs Community Hospital and CoxHealth it was agreed upon that, if need dictated, a Learning Center would be built in Taney County to serve the childcare needs of both Cox Medical Center Branson employees and the general community. It was determined that childcare services are extremely limited in the Branson Community and childcare for infants are almost non-existent.
After need was established; Cox Medical Center Branson received board approval to purchase an existing building. Plans were then underway to renovate the building to become Cox Learning Center Branson. The facility will provide care for 112 children at maximum capacity. The project will create 29 new jobs in year one alone.
White River Valley Electric Cooperative applied to the U.S.D.A. and was approved to loan $1,000,000 at zero percent interest, helping make the project a reality. The check will be presented at The Learning Center located at 1192 Bird Road in Branson, MO.
Since 1990 the USDA has approved 69 loans as of May 2016 (not including the Learning Center). WRVEC has applied, received and made 17 loans in the five-county service area. White River has done 25% of the loans in Missouri in the last 20 years. Through these loans, 466 jobs have been linked to the projects involved.
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(Pictured from L to R: Cy Murray, WRVEC Economic Development Consultant; Chris Hamon, WRVEC CEO; Bob Simmons, WRVEC Board of Directors; Carrie Ridder, Cox Learning Center Director; William Mahoney, Cox Medical Center Branson President, David Strong, Cox Med. Center Bran. CEO, Simon Wajnblom, Cox Med. Center Bran. VP of Performance; Lynne Yaggy, Cox Med. Center Bran. Chief Nursing Officer)