Recent indicators predict incremental growth in Central Missouri.
Census figures released last week revealed Cole County's population grew by nearly 4,600 people between 2000 and 2010, an increase of 6.43 percent.
Jefferson City added 3,443 people, an 8.7 percent increase, during the decade.
Those numbers kept the city 15th largest in the state, while Cole County slipped one notch, to 15th, among the 114 counties and St. Louis City.
What do these numbers mean in terms of future growth and prosperity?
The outlook is promising, according to community leaders featured in the "People, Places, Products" supplement in the Sunday News Tribune.
Asked about goals for 2011, responses included: "vital and vibrant downtown;" "looking forward to working with prison redevelopment;" and "distinctive history and forward momentum."
These phrases - and our interpretation of them - aren't meant to sugar coat the obvious challenges ahead.
Meeting those challenges will require empowering employees to carry out insightful plans.
More specifically, here's how some area businesses characterized their goals:
• "A recurring theme this year will be a continued focus on improving efficiencies to outperform our competition."
• "Our goal is to be in position to take advantage of the upcoming construction revival. Our employees have always been the key to successful implementation of our business plan."
• "Our plant vision has been to deliver world-class results in all we do, while providing flawless execution of all innovation. This will continue to be accomplished primarily through the use of a totally empowered and highly talented workforce."
Those are the types of attitudes and outlooks that transform obstacles into opportunities.
And those opportunities become achievements when employees are properly trained and motivated to succeed.