The U.S. Department of Labor reported this morning that the national unemployment rate dropped to 6% as hiring accelerated nationwide, adding 916,000 jobs. This represents the largest job growth numbers since August. Economic experts are predicting robust job creation in the months ahead, a strong recovery made possible as more people are vaccinated against COVID-19.

As NBC reported yesterday in an exclusive national story, the pathway to this recovery was STLMade. We know St. Louis is a global leader in healthcare delivery, innovation and education, but NBC reminded the country that the first COVID-19 vaccine came from one of our own: Pfizer’s Chesterfield research and development lab, with its nearly 600 talented scientists and innovators, paved the way for the first vaccine — and continues to originate every subsequent Pfizer vaccine dose for the world.

The St. Louis region has been working for decades to invest in and leverage our healthcare and bioscience innovation strengths. This regional strategy is helping companies like Pfizer thrive here. The COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough is a reminder of what we as St. Louisans can accomplish together.

With this incredible success in mind, it is more important than ever that we unite as a region around the opportunities we have in order to capitalize on the post-pandemic recovery to grow our metro. This vision comes to life through the nearly completed STL 2030 Jobs Plan, our roadmap to inclusive job creation throughout the next decade.

Let’s use Pfizer and its incredible innovations as our inspiration: Working together and focusing on our metro-wide strengths, we can ensure that St. Louis is a thriving, globally significant community with more equitable opportunities for our residents in the decades ahead.