CHICAGO (AP)__ Former President Bill Clinton had some good jobs news Wednesday for Joplin, as the southwest Missouri city works to recover from a devastating tornado.

During a Clinton Global Initiative conference in Chicago, the Democrat announced that the Macon, Mo.-based outsourcing firm Onshore Technology Services plans to create 1,000 jobs in rural Missouri over the next five years with a focus on Joplin. The company trains people, including those who are underemployed or have lost manufacturing jobs, for new careers in information technology.

Clinton praised Onshore for its focus on rural America and for keeping information technology jobs, which are routinely outsourced to other countries, in the United States.

“This is a model for all of you who care about this part of our country which has consistently suffered higher unemployment and lower-income gains over the last 20 or 30 years. I ask you all to keep this in mind,” he said.

Ron Yust, a principal consultant with Onshore, said during a phone interview that the company’s model is “to build outsourcing centers in rural Missouri so that the cost of living is low and we can compete with offshore firms.”

The company, which has 72 employees, has Missouri offices in Joplin and Macon and a smaller staff in St. Louis.

Copyright The Associated Press

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